News: 2021 Drops Cycling

14 riders in the 2021 Drops Cycling (UCI) women’s cycling team with new signings including Dani Christmas, Alice Towers and Maike van der Duin

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

News: 2021 Drops Cycling

The team offered contract extensions to their entire roster of riders and staff for 2021 saying “2020 started so brightly for us with a successful Team & Partner Camp followed up by several top ten finishes at Setmana Valencia and the GP Samyn. Our early season successes on the road were consolidated with stage wins and leaders jerseys during our lockdown e-racing season, including two stages wins at the inaugural Tour de France Virtual. Everyone is super motivated to build on those successes in 2021 as we once again strive to return to the highest echelons of the sport”.

As well as the core of the team being retained from 2020, the team also made some exciting signings like Alice Towers who will become the latest young British rider to race for the team in 2021. The 18 year-old will become the youngest rider on their roster and fits perfectly with one of our founding principles; to provide a pathway to the international peloton for young British talent outside of British Cycling’s track based academy programme.

“I’m very excited to become a Drops rider for 2021 and super thankful for the opportunity to be part of a fun team with such fighting spirit. I can’t wait for next year to experience my first pro race calendar and look forward to sharing all the hard work with the girls!” enthused Alice.

Team Director Bob Varney commented. “I have watched Alice develop over the last two years and met with her in July to discuss her future. In an ideal world we would have offered her a Stagiere’s contract there and then, but with Covid restrictions I felt that it would be more beneficial if she had some National level racing in Spain. Having the opportunity to race La Perigord Ladies 1.2 race was an added bonus. After she finished an encouraging 32nd in the group sprinting for 13th, only 1.35 behind lone leader Sheyla Gutierrez, whilst still a Junior, I knew she was ready to make the step up. Alice is a valuable addition to our talented U21 squad and I believe she has a very bright future ahead of her.”

Alice Towers, the youngest rider on the squad for 2021

Drops Cycling Team also signed 19 year old Maike van der Duin. Having grown up in Assen, a hot bed of youth racing known to many European riders, van der Duin is accomplished on the road and the track, sprinting to the silver medal in the Scratch Race at the recent European U23 Track Championships in Fiorenzuola D’Arda, Italy.

“I’m very happy to be joining Drops next season” she says. “I’m looking forward to meeting the girls and staff for the first time. Hopefully next year will offer more opportunities to race with the new Covid measures in place. I’m happy with this step forward and enthusiastic to learn from our experienced riders and to race alongside them next season. I am very grateful Drops have given me the chance to combine racing road and track which will help my development further.” commented van der Duin.

The final rider signing in the Drops Cycling team for 2021, is Dani Christmas, who is their 14th and final rider for the 2021 season. Dani joins the team after two years with Lotto Soudal Ladies. Known for her aggressive racing style, she’s well known to put herself in a breakaway. Although her 2020 season was derailed due to COVID-19, she made the most of the racing she did have with a 35km solo breakaway at GP Euromat which saw her caught with just 3km to go. Earlier in the year, Dani tackled eRacing with aplomb by winning the first stage of the Skoda V Series event, an event that saw her finish third overall.

Dani will bring vast experience to the team, both on and off the bike with her cycling and athletics background. Having made a name for herself as one of the best middle-distance runners in the country, unfortunately her running career was curtailed due to injury. We believe Dani to be the only person to represent Great Britain in athletics, on the road and in cycling eSports.

Of the move to Drops, Dani commented. “As a British rider, I’ve always followed Drops with keen interest and now feels like the perfect time to get involved in the project. 2020 has been a year like no other so I’m pleased to have overcome the challenges and look to 2021 with the excitement of a new home to direct my passion and energy. I’m looking forward to working with both the staff and riders to help develop the next wave of British talent, achieving great results along the way.”

Team Director, Bob Varney commented: “I am delighted to finally sign Dani having missed out on the opportunity at the end of 2018. In the past two years, she has reinforced the qualities that we saw in her then and will bring a wealth of experience to the team in 2021. She will strengthen our classics squad and fit seamlessly into our culture. I’m excited to see her continue to grow in 2021 and become a valuable mentor to our talented young group of riders.”

The team will also help mentor Dani for a future DS role, a position she has shown to have the skill set to transition into after her career.

Drops 2021 Squad in full:
Lizzy Bennett (GBR)
Anna Christian (GBR)
Dani Christmas (GBR)
Joss Lowden (GBR)
Maria ‘Tata’ Martins (POR)
Emily Meakin (GBR)
Emilie Moberg (NOR)
Elise Olsen (NOR)
Sara Penton (SWE)
Finja Smekal (GER)
April Tacey (GBR)
Alice Towers (GBR)
Marjolein van’t Geloof (NED)
Maike van der Duin (NED)

 



Cycle Division’s Shop


Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)


Other News on VeloUK