The team has seen several re-births under various sponsors, and we didn’t want this to be the end. Thankfully, it wasn’t – it was the start of something new and very big.
Canyon//SRAM Racing launched in November last year – promising a new era for women’s cycling – an approachable team, reliable and regular social media updates, and of course incredible riders.
The line up includes former World TT champion, Lisa Brennauer, UK rider Hannah Barnes who took first place at the final stage of the Women’s Tour last year, German National Road Champ Trixi Worrack, and German National Time Trial Champ Mieke Kröger. Five of the six members of Velocio-SRAM’s winning 2015 UCI World Champs Team Time Trial Team have been reunited in Cayon//SRAM and the event is one that’s high on their agenda.
So far, the team have already claimed first place overall at the Tour of Qatar, with a stunning performance of team tactics that saw Trixi Worrack take the win. They’re all riding aboard top end Canyon road and time trial bikes, painted to match the team kit that when unveiled in December was subject to adoration both from men and women after their own set.
The road bike of choice is the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX, with its wattage saving aero handlebar arrangement, feather light frame and full SRAM E-Tap gearing. When on the bars, the team ride the Canyon Speedmax TT – complete again with SRAM E-Tap and Zipp aero wheels.
The bikes have been well received – DS Ronny Lauke told us: "The support from CANYON has been outstanding from the first moment. It was clear that athletes on the team would receive training, race entries, dedicated bikes for climbing, time trialling, and aerodynamics, just like a [men's] World Tour team has. We were the first receiving and using the new Speedmax CF SLX time trial bike, and this makes the riders feel well looked after and confident in the support being given.
"CANYON is taking the approach into the world of women's cycling very seriously. They are not only wanting to be part of a journey, they actively want to drive it"
"CANYON is taking the approach into the world of women's cycling very seriously, by also being a shareholder of the company behind this team. They are not only wanting to be part of a journey, they actively want to drive it, making sure that female athletes and riders benefit from the same engineering knowledge that the male counterparts benefited from so far. The exchange about equipment between the team and the brand is unique and important. It enables CANYON to be sure they can deliver the best equipment to the riders, and it allows the riders to be sure the equipment is the best, to know how the equipment was developed, and so they only need to concentrate on performance. We couldn't have asked for any better!"
It's not just the manager who is happy though, the riders love them too - British rider Hannah Barnes said: "Canyon, SRAM and Rapha have worked together and still are doing so to make CANYON//SRAM Racing look the best and perform the best.
"Canyon is committed to making us perform while we are training and racing, giving us the top of the range bikes. The Ultimate CF SLX and the Speedmax CF SLX. The Ultimate is perfect for women, with a large range of stem lengths, bar choices, frame sizes, so it's not difficult to be comfy and in control when riding. Canyon also gave us the first opportunity to ride the Speedmax time trial bike ahead of the male supported teams. Showing they are a huge supporter of women's cycling."
"I'm really excited about the support of Canyon and their development of a women specific bike. I'm curious to find out how the new bike will optimize the handling and feeling of the bike."
Discussing the work Canyon are doing to develop a new women's bike, former Time Trial World Champion Lisa Brennauer said: "I'm really excited about the support of Canyon and their development of a women specific bike. I'm curious to find out how the new bike will optimize the handling and feeling of the bike. I´m sure it will play a big role especially for the smaller women on the small frame sizes. Maybe also topics like reach and handlebar width is something that would be different in the new women`s specific bike and will optimize the handling and position."
We've been lucky enough to talk to Katrin Neumann - the woman driving the development of the new bike, see the video on the 'Women's Bikes' tab below.