Team Heads to La Course by Le Tour de France with Strong and Motivated Squad
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will be bringing a strong and motivated squad of riders to La Course by Le Tour de France this Sunday.
The Women’s World Tour event is one of the biggest one-day races in the world, raced on the hallowed streets around the Champs-Élysées in the centre of Paris. With crowds numbering in their 10’s of thousands, the race is known for out and out speed, with attacks flying relentlessly from the gun.
Faced with torrential rain, the 2015 edition was a true challenge for the UnitedHealthcare team, who battled with the best riders in the world, and gained great experience in the process. Back again for another shot in 2016, the team is more seasoned in the demands of racing in treacherous weather that often befalls these races. A long early season European campaign has left the team with a much better picture of how the race may unfold, and critically a clearer picture of which teams and riders will be the protagonists throughout the day.
2016 La Course Roster
Riding as the protected sprinter, Coryn Rivera will be the one to watch on the cobbles in France. Coming off a huge success in Germany, where she won the final stage of the Internationale Thuringen Rundfahrt, Rivera will look to position herself well in the final drag race.
Iris Slappendel is a powerful addition to the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team this year, and will be instrumental in tactics on the road. The Dutch rider has 15 years experience racing in Europe, and will call the shots as the action heats up. She will be joined by Katie Hall as the riders capable and motivated to get Rivera where she needs to be in the early stages of the race. Katie Hall has also shown great form in recent weeks, with a win in the Mountains Competition at the Aviva Women’s Tour of Britain. That strength will allow Hall to follow moves in the race, in order to break up the racing and give the team the much needed tactical edge in the finale.
Lauren Tamayo won the USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships earlier this year, showing great tactical depth and awareness. She comes to France with the confidence and ability to captain the UnitedHealthcare Team’s leadout in the final. Adding horsepower to that train will be Cari Higgins. Higgins is known for her high turn of speed that has been developed over a career racing on the track. This will be put to the test in Paris on Sunday.
Rounding out the squad is newcomer to the team Diana Penuela. Hailing from Columbia, Penuela has a turn of speed that be useful in the finish. She can serve dual purpose for the UnitedHealthcare Team, by creating breaks in the racing, but also pulling hard in the final kilometers of the action.
The team has raced together for weeks on end, creating a strong and cohesive unit that will work well together on the road.
La Course uses the famed roads surrounding the Champs-Élysées in central Paris to create an exciting and visually spectacular event. The sweeping turns through the Pace Charles de Gaulle will spread out the pack before a long drag race down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The Place de la Concorde features two sharp left hand turns. It will be here that moves will try to gain ground, before the return run back towards the baying crowds on the Champs-Élysées.
La Course will be streamed live on NBCSports.com, beginning at 7:30am Eastern time on Sunday July 24th.