The transformation of BikeExchange-Jayco’s women’s squad from one that is dependent on one or two key leaders to a team with broader options has continued into 2023, with the Australia team announcing its completed 15 rider roster on Tuesday.
The team is up two riders from 2022, with the most notable additions including Letizia Paternoster, whose arrival from Trek-Segafredo was already announced in August. Three Australian newcomers – Amber Pate, Alyssa Polites and Georgie Howe – have also been brought into the team, joining with the UCI’s new neo-pro status while Ingvild Gåskjenn joins from Team Coop-Hitec Products.
The team has lost a number of key riders in recent seasons, starting with a dominant Annemiek van Vleuten at the end of 2020, then Grace Brown the next season and Amanda Spratt too is now departing for Trek-Segafredo. However, while the team’s ranking and win tally dipped significantly in 2021, the 14 UCI wins in 2022 doubled 2021’s total and was contributed to by riders across the team.
“This season the team enjoyed some great results with wins from seven different riders, this gives us a lot of confidence heading into the new year,” general manager Brent Copeland said. “We don’t need to rely on one leader, we have a range of talent.”
Plus, the team’s new injection of talent, may well broaden the base even further, just as the addition of Alex Manly, Kristen Faulkner, Georgia Baker and Ruby Roseman-Gannon did in 2022.
Howe, 28, is the Oceania time trial champion and the former rower started making an impact on the bike almost immediately once she began racing. She spent part of the year in Europe with the Keukens Redant Cycling Team, slotting into the top ten on her first two days of racing with the team at the Lotto Belgium Tour and taking fourth place overall in the Baloise Ladies Tour.
Pate was second to Howe in the continental championship time trial and second to Grace Brown at the Australian Road National Championships. The 27-year-old also lined up with BikeExchange-Jayco at the Santos Festival of Cycling in January as a guest rider, doing a huge volume of work to help Ruby Roseman-Gannon on her path to overall victory, and Pate also gained some European experience with the national team.
Polites took out the Australian U23 time trial title in 2022 as well as the age category road title while finishing third overall in the combined elite/U23 race. At 19, she is the youngest rider on the team.
As part of the new UCI’s Women’s WorldTour regulations in 2023, teams are allowed up to 20 riders plus two neo-pros – up from 16 riders – but most squads are expected to remain well under the maximum as the sport continues to develop. BikeExchange-Jayco’s 15-rider team is still the outfit’s largest women’s roster in their 12-year history, shifting up from ten to 11 in 2020 and then 13 in 2021 and 2022.
“We have seen over the last couple of years how much women’s cycling is progressing,” Copeland said. “It has been incredible to witness and be a part of and it was demonstrated this year with a very successful Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Naturally, with the inclusion of these high-profile stage races, the team’s focus leans more towards overall stage racing success.”
In stage races the team will likely rely on Tour de Suisse runner-up Faulkner, who won the Giro d’Italia Donne mountains classification, two stages and wore the maglia rosa. Manly, winner of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour and a stage of the Tour of Scandinavia, will also get more time in the spotlight.
“We have built a team for 2023 that is well balanced, and we believe we have the right pedigree of riders to challenge for general classification podium placing and wins,” Copeland said. “We saw with the great support from their teammates this season, riders such as Kristen Faulkner and Alex Manly showed their huge potential in racing consistently through long stage races and I’m sure we will see them challenging for overall victories in many tours next season.”
The team has also added new sports directors, two of whom will be dedicated to the women’s programme – Shawn Clarke and Megan Chard.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco women 2023
- Jess Allen (AUS)
- Georgia Baker (AUS)
- Teniel Campbell (TTO)
- Kristen Faulkner (USA)
- Ingvild Gåskjenn (NOR)
- Georgie Howe (AUS)
- Nina Kessler (NED)
- Alex Manly (AUS)
- Amber Pate (AUS)
- Letizia Paternoster (ITA)
- Alyssa Polites (AUS)
- Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS)
- Ane Santesteban (ESP)
- Chelsie Tan (SGP)
- Urška Žigart (SLO)