News: Laws & Barnes to ride for UnitedHealthcare


Former British RR champion Sharon Laws and British Crit champion Hannah Barnes to ride of US quad, UnitedHealthcare

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The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, has announced five additional elite women who will complete the 12-rider roster of its 2014 women’s professional team. Hannah Barnes, Sharon Laws, Katie Hall, Cari Higgins and Jacquelyn Crowell, are slated to join an all-star lineup that includes (among others) US Criterium National Champion, Alison Powers; 2013 Giro d’Italia Femminile winner, Mara Abbott; and 2012 US Olympic Silver Medalist, Lauren Tamayo. Also included in that lineup announced back in September are Ruth Winder, Rushlee Buchanan, Coryn Rivera and Alexis Ryan.


Sharon Laws on the top step of the podium in 2012 after winning the British Road Race championship.

The women’s team (which is also sponsored by UnitedHealthcare) will operate under the leadership and tutelage of decorated cycling veteran and team director, Rachel Heal.

“We are pleased to have these five outstanding professionals join our team,” said General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo. “These additional five women complete a great lineup that we expect to be a force in the sport. When hiring this year’s team, I wanted more speed and more climbing strength. Bringing Sharon on gives Mara a lieutenant in the mountains, while Hannah gives us a 1-2 punch in the sprints with Coryn Rivera. And you can never have enough depth, and Cari, Katie and Jackie just bolster that for us.”

UnitedHealthcare has been a sponsor of the men’s team since 2009 and the title sponsor since 2010. UnitedHealthcare’s support also gives the cycling team members and staff, the opportunity to promote the benefits of exercise, nutrition, goal setting and healthy living to people across the country. As ambassadors of living a healthy lifestyle, the pro cyclists on the team have reached thousands of people throughout the past three years with that positive message and those efforts will continue into 2014.


Hannah Barnes winning the Tour of Britain women’s support race at Westminister in London

About the Riders
Hannah Barnes joins Team UnitedHealthcare from Maxifuel Pro Cycling. In 2013, Barnes won the Elite Women’s Criterium at the 7th edition of the IG London Nocturne. Among her other notable results produced during the 2013 season, Barnes is the National Series Winner, National Criterium Champion, 2013 Johnson’s Health Tech Tour Series Winner, and she took second place in the 2013 Prudential Ride London. The five-time Smithfield winner and 22-time national champion represented England at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games where she won the time trial and criterium titles.

Sharon Laws is not just a highly decorated professional cyclist, this world-class athlete with a Master’s of Science in Conservation spent 13 years as an environmental consultant for a range of organizations including the Department for International Development (British Government), the United Nations Development Programme and Royal Botanic Gardens, among others.


Sharon Laws all smiles winning the British title in 2012.

In 2008, Laws entered the Australian Road Race Nationals while working in Melbourne, finished second and she never looked back. Laws left her office job and that same year she represented Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and became the British National Time Trial Champion. Included among the numerous victories Laws has achieved since 2008 are the 2013 99er Cycle Tour (South Africa), 2013 Herald Cycle Tour (South Africa), the 2012 British National Road Race Championships (UK); and Die Burger (South Africa). She has also landed on the podium in other prestigious races such as the Giro del Trentino (2nd in Stage 2, 2012), the Giro Donne (2nd in Stage 2 in 2011), and the British National Road Race Championships (3rd in 2011).

Cari Higgins grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta playing all sports. The multi-talented Higgins excelled in everything she competed in, but chose to focus on soccer, earning a scholarship to the University of Alabama where she was a member of the Crimson Tide’s women’s soccer team. She was equally successful academically. Higgins moved to Colorado to begin a corporate career after college where found cycling and a few years later, put her corporate career on hold to turn pro at 32. A member of the 2012 US Olympic Long Team, Higgins has represented the US at the World Cup, Pan-American and World Championships. She has also finished 5th in the Scratch Race at the 2012 Track World Championships, 6th in the Points Race at the 2011 Track World Championships and has 17 National Championships and six Pan-American Championship medals.

Katie Hall joins the 2014 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team from Metromint Cycling. The Mercer Island, Washington native was a member of the cycling team at the University of California. Katie quickly established herself in the sport in 2013 by winning the Mt. Tam HC, Mt. Hood Cycling Classic – Three Summits Road Race, Esparto TT and Patterson Pass Road Race. She also grabbed second in the Vacaville Grand Prix, finished third in the Oakland Grand Prix, and took fourth in the Giro di San Francisco, all in 2013.

Jacquelyn Crowell was a standout racer at the University of Florida before turning pro in 2009. Since then, Jackie has also been a member of the US national team, earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and raced for Exergy TWENTY16 before joining the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team for the 2014 season. Crowell was the Elite National Points Race Champion and the Elite National Team Pursuit Champion in 2012. In addition, Crowell has landed on the podium in many key races, too, taking 2nd in the 2012 Nature Valley Time Trial and 3rd in the 2012 Cascade Cycling Classic Prologue.



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