UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling add Banks, Thomas to 2018 preliminary roster
OAKLAND, Calf. – UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling is excited to announce its preliminary UCI women’s team roster for the 2018 racing season. Proven time trial and GC rider Leah Thomas and emerging British talent Lizzy Banks are the newest additions to the team.
“Leah will make a great partnership with Katie (Hall) in the stage races,” said UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team director Rachel Heal. “The team really made their mark both in the U.S. and Europe this year and I’m looking for the same in 2018 with these two fantastic additions.”
Leah Thomas, a Cupertino native, has been racing professionally for two full seasons (2016, 2017). The 28-year-old’s 2017 highlights include second at the UCI Winston Salem Cycling Classic, fifth overall in the Amgen Tour of California and third at the Tour of the Gila and the Tour de L’Ardeche.
“The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling squad is built around teamwork,” Thomas said. “I am excited to integrate my strengths and be a contributing member. The combination of racing at home in the U.S. and abroad will provide ample opportunities to build upon last season’s success and gain vital international experience in the process.”
Banks, this year’s overall winner of the United Kingdom’s prestigious Women’s National Road Series, has quickly become a rising star in both the U.K and European circuits.
“We see a ton of potential in Lizzy,” said Heal, herself a former National Road Series champion. “The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team is excited to see her develop by giving her plenty of opportunities to excel and grow under the tutelage of some of the best riders in the world.”
A native of Sheffield, 26-year-old Banks looks forward to building on her proven consistency and all-around prowess to booster team and personal gains.
“The U.S. offers a great variety of challenging racing that will be different to what I have previously experienced in the UK and Europe,” Banks said. “With the support of an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced team it’s a wonderful place for me to continue my development and transition in to professional racing. I’m particularly looking forward to stage racing and using my strength as an all-rounder to contribute toward team victories. Personally, I hope to develop towards the goal of achieving a UCI podium placing and I can’t think of a better place to do it.”
Katie Hall will return to UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling as a GC leader. Some of her many achievements include: first overall at the Tour Femenino de San Luis, second in the Amgen Tour of California and Tour of the Gila and a stage win at the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen. Also returning is multiple time New Zealand national road and time trial champion Rushlee Buchanan, Colombian Diana Peñuela and 2014 Gent-Wevelgem champion Lauren Hall. Australian powerhouse Lauretta Hanson and North Carolina resident Janelle Cole round out the roster thus far.
2018 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Preliminary Women’s Roster:
- Lizzy Banks
- Rushlee Buchanan
- Janelle Cole
- Katie Hall
- Lauren Hall
- Lauretta Hanson
- Diana Peñuela
- Leah Thomas