TWENTY20 Pro Cycling Announces Powerful 2018 Roster With Six London & Rio Olympians
Team built with focus on multi-disciplined athletes and timed events
(Boise, Idaho) - Chloe Dygert Owen (USA), Jennifer Valente (USA) and Jasmin Duehring (CAN) headline the Kenda Tire sponsored 2018 TWENTY20 Pro Cycling program. All three athletes, along with majority of the roster, will balance a track and road program during 2018. These three decorated athletes return to the team following a tremendously successful 2017 campaigns. The program will continue the balance of a full track program with a growing road calendar, keeping the team aspirations at the forefront of the program while continuing the support of the individual rider's goals. Mari Holden, 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist, returns to direct this accomplished young squad. "We are excited for the year ahead, as we balance a strong roster of athletes with an ever growing race calendar. We have strong women with their individual goals for world championships and are looking to the 2020 Olympic Games, and a crew of younger athletes that will benefit greatly from these experienced women. I hope to be able to blend this group together as a team as we did this season and showcase the strength of individual events into the road season of racing, " commented Holden.
2018 TWENTY20 Pro Cycling Roster
- Sofia Arreola (MEX)
- Erica Clevenger (USA)
- Margot Clyne (USA)
- Allie Dragoo (USA)
- Chloé Dygert Owen (USA)
- Jasmin Duehring (CAN)
- Scotti Lechuga (USA)
- Marlies Mejias Garcia (CUB)
- Danielle Morshead (USA)
- Shayna Powless (USA)
- Steph Roorda (CAN)
- Georgia Simmerling (CAN)
- Jennifer Valente (USA)
- Larissa Connors (USA) Mountain / Road
- Rachel Beck (USA) Mountain / Road
- Jamie Whitmore (USA) Para-Cycling
"We have a young, exciting and very talented roster for 2018. We have an emphasis on supporting athletes that excel in timed events. Our short-term goal is to accomplish two elite world championship jerseys in 2018, with the long-term goal to have seven of our athletes representing their nations in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We are an experienced program with an emphasis on four-year build-ups, and I believe our roster this year showcases our understanding and expertise in this. While we will certainly have a very competitive team for the 2018 season, we are looking ahead to our long-term goals and will develop the individual strategies moving towards Tokyo," said Nicola Cranmer, General Manager, TWENTY20 Pro Cycling.
20-year old Dygert Owen returns to the program for her fifth season and is more motivated than ever. "Last year I never had the chance to race road to see what my potential was. I'm looking forward to come out of early spring with my track fitness and have another go at it on the road. The team is always supportive of me during my injuries, my track dreams and my wild dreams and goals and I excited for the season ahead," Dygert Owen said.
Rio silver medalists Dygert Owen and Valente will race a robust road schedule in 2018, building to World Championships in Austria next September. Double Olympic Medalist Duehring will race a modified UCI track schedule, focusing on mass start events and will also race a full road schedule in 2018. Duehring recently came off a successful London Six Day where she scored two wins along with a silver medal at the UCI Track World Cup in Milton, Canada.
Cranmer developed this program 12 years ago, with the full-hearted intent to grow women's cycling and allow young riders a balanced program to grow both in sport and in confidence and life skills. The program has produced world champions and Olympic medalists since the start and strives to continue.
The powerful engines of Powless, Simmerling, Roorda and Lechuga will support up and coming sprint sensation Marlies Mejias. The multi-time Pan American medalist and London Olympian scored several wins on the PRT calendar this year.
"Mejias is impressive. Several of the TWENTY20 athletes brought her to the attention of team management after watching her compete in the London 2012 Olympics omnium finishing 8th place. She competed on less than ideal equipment and her competitors both Canadian and USA believed she should be given the opportunity to compete on the best equipment possible to level out the playing field. We are excited to invite her to our program, with her team debut at the Tour Down Under in January."
Allie Dragoo, Cascade Classic GC winner and Energiewacht Tour stage winner returns to the program for her fourth season and will be focusing on stage racing and track.
"I get to race for a hard working team owner who bends over backwards for us. I am directed by one of the strongest female cyclist back when racing didn't have power numbers, just pure power and strong-willed athletes. The guidance of two passionate women means a lot to me. I am honored to be participating in track racing with the team pursuit squad for Team USA. The team has set the standards high and I have to dig deep to get close to their level, I am motivated and committed to doing my best. There are only good things to come this year," said Dragoo.
Double World championship silver medalist Arreola (MEX) will supplement her Tokyo Madison goals with a high road season in 2018. This will be Sofia's fifth year with the program. First year Ph.D Clyne and collegiate road champion Clevenger open the season Tour Down Under and will look to lead on the climbs for the team in Australia. Both athletes come to the team with stage racing experience and at only 23 years of age are looking to gather world-class racing experience. While former Brown University D1 rower Morshead is set to showcase her endurance as a new signing to the team and will be important at the challenging stage races. She will graduate in May with a degree in History.
"We have incredible innovative equipment partners like Kenda Tire, Felt, SRAM, and Zipp that strive to continually find speed for these high performance individuals," noted Cranmer. This is critical for our timed event athletes.
Simmerling joins the team after Winter Olympics - Ski Cross
Canadian triple threat in alpine, skicross and track cyclist Georgia Simmerling joins the squad, bringing high-level competition experience, along with sensational speed. Simmerling won bronze in team pursuit cycling at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and also a silver medal in team pursuit at the 2016 World Championships. She is the first Canadian to compete in three different sports in three different Olympic Games. She brings experience and multi-disciplined racing to the team.
Larissa Connors who dominated the endurance scene this year winning multiple events including Leadville 100 and WEDU Aspen FIFTY will continue her affiliation with the TWENTY20 program joining the squad for occasional road events as well as racing a more independent mountain bike program in 2018. She will be joined by Aspen, Colorado resident and Ride for the Pass winner Rachel Beck who will have a combined focus on mountain, gravel and road events.