Lidl-Trek have continued to bolster their women’s squad with top young prospects, signing junior time trial World Champion Felicity Wilson-Haffenden on a three-year contract at just 18.
Wilson-Haffenden is a specialist against the clock both on the road and the track, claiming the individual time trial title at the National, Continental and World Championships in 2023, with the latter coming in front of fellow top talent and future teammate Izzy Sharp.
The Australian was praised for her resilience in Scotland after bouncing back from a crash in the junior road race to the World title in the time trial just five days later.
Sharp signed for Lidl-Trek at the same time as Canadian twins Ava and Isabella Holmgren with Fleur Moors the most recent rider to join the American squad. All four of them are also just 18. The willingness to sign and develop riders from the junior level was key in persuading Wilson-Haffenden to join.
“In choosing my first team I felt it was really important to go somewhere that was focused on development, giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as a bike rider and a person,” said Wilson-Haffenden.
“The inclusion of a number of riders coming straight out of junior ranks further confirmed Lidl-Trek was the right team for me, with a great combination of developing talent and experienced role models to connect with, learn from and enjoy my first years in the pro peloton.
“I am keen to develop my tactical skills within the peloton and learn how to negotiate the larger bunches and technical courses. As an individual, I hope to develop as a person, moving across the world and learning how to live and train as a professional.”
The young Australian was delighted at the prospect of joining one of the best teams in the women’s pro peloton, with some of Australia’s most experienced riders also on the roster for 2024 in Brodie Chapman and Amanda Spratt.
“I don’t expect the transition to professional ranks will be easy but I know with the guidance and support of Lidl-Trek I have the best network around me to make it successful,” Wilson-Haffenden said. “I am super excited to be joining the fellow Australians at Lidl-Trek as these are riders I have looked up to since I began cycling.
“I feel incredibly lucky to be joining a team with such a high calibre of riders who I can learn from, it is hard to name a single person I am excited to ride with when there are so many!
“I am very much looking forward to racing with fellow…