Claire Steels will ride for Movistar next season after signing a three-year deal that will keep her with the team until the end of 2026. The Briton joins after a strong season with Israel-Premier Tech-Roland.
The 36-year-old was a late arrival to cycling, competing in duathlons before turning professional with Sopela Women’s Team in 2020. After three years with the Spanish team, she switched to Israel Premier Tech Roland at the start of this season.
Steels soloed to victory at reVolta in April, and she also placed on the podium at the Durango Classic and the British championships road race, as well as 6th overall at the Tour de Suisse and 18th in her Tour de France Femmes debut.
“It’s been definitely quite an unexpected journey, but really, really enjoyable and exhilarating,” Steels said in a statement released by her new team. “I’ve always focused on just trying to be the best athlete I can be; that’s always been my drive and my motivation, whatever that’s meant at different stages of my life and disciplines across my sporting journey.
“But racing as a professional cyclist, let alone for one of the biggest WorldTour teams, is really a ‘pinch me’ moment for me. I’ve always admired the Movistar Team from afar, their professional approach and their attacking style. To be in this position is just a dream.”
Steels arrives at a Movistar team that will inevitably undergo something of a transition in 2024 following the retirement of Annemiek van Vleuten. Her new teammates will include Emma Norsgaard, Liane Lippert and Sarah Gigante.
“I do hope I’ve still got quite a lot to offer,” Steels said. “I feel like my cycling journey has only, really just begun, and I’m sure that, surrounded by experienced staff and riders, I can continue to develop all areas of myself as an athlete and racer.
“I’m especially looking forward to refining my skills to become more consistent and reliable GC contender, and first and foremost, get myself into the team dynamics, support my teammates on and off the bike, improve also those team skills.”