Team News – UnitedHealthcare Racing Inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour


The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will start the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour on Wednesday with Brits Hannah Barnes & Sharon Laws

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Team News – UnitedHealthcare Racing Inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour

Beginning May 7th and concluding on May 11th, the Friends Life Women’s Tour will take the riders through the roads of Great Britain’s East Midlands and East Anglia for five stages.

The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team goes into the race with a talented squad and incredible momentum following overall victories in the Tour Femenino de San Luis, Vuelta a El Salvador, and most recently, last week’s Tour of the Gila.

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Sports Director Rachel Heal summarized the team’s sentiments towards the new event, “We’re really excited to bring a team to the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour. We have been talking all year about setting a new standard for women’s racing by treating the women’s team in the same professional way we do the men’s. It’s great that race organisers are also raising the bar and running races to the same professional standard that they set for the men’s race.”

Hannah Barnes, winning the Novant Health Invitational Criterium earlier this season. British cycling star and UnitedHealthcare Blue Train rider, Hannah Barnes, is especially looking forward to stage 1, as the race will finish near her hometown and offer Hannah the opportunity to race before her friends, family, and local fans for the first time since signing with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.

She commented, “I’ve been looking forward to this since hearing that the team would participate in the Women’s Tour. The prospect of racing on my training roads in front of all my friends and family made me so motivated. I have loved racing with these girls and to be able to do so in Britain makes it even more ‘awesome!’ I can’t wait to get on that start line and race”.

“This is the biggest event I have ever done and hearing all the details about the cameras, TV coverage, and media- it’s going to be amazing for women’s cycling not just in Britain, but all around the world.” View Hannah’s video interview about the race here. Also from Great Britain, Rachel Heal concurred, “For me personally, being able to also return home and lead a team in the first British UCI women’s stage race is pretty special.”

Read an interview here with Hannah

In terms of the route and the team’s goals in the race, Heal added, “The race in Britain is set to be a tough one, with no major mountains but a lot of tough roads. Fortunately, we’re bringing a really strong team to match. Hannah has already enjoyed sprinting success this year and with the experience that Lauren Tamayo, Ruth Winder, and Cari Higgins bring to the leadout, I am looking forward to the team being competitive in the sprint stages.”

“Sharon has already proven to be riding strongly with some great form, so she’ll be our go-to rider when the road tilts uphill. For Katie Hall, this will be her first European racing experience but I’m confident the has the strength and skill to jump right into it.” Stage 1 begins in Oundle and finishes 93.8 kilometers later in Northampton, with two intermediate sprints and two climbing competitions along the way.

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Roster, 2014 Friends Life Women’s Tour
Hannah Barnes (GBR)
Katie Hall (USA)
Cari Higgins (USA)
Sharon Laws (GBR)
Lauren Tamayo (USA)
Ruth Winder (USA)

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