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Australian track stars Baker & Manly return to GreenEDGE Cycling for 2022 & 2023 – Team BikeExchange


Former GreenEDGE Cycling team members Georgia Baker and Alexandra Manly return to the squad as they sign on for two seasons, ready to turn their full attention to the road, after spending the previous years following their track ambitions.
 
Older and wiser, the Australian duo have high ambitions as they make their comeback to the Women’s WorldTour peloton, hoping to add extra firepower to the squad and looking to build on their past experiences of racing overseas.
 
Manly, a Team Pursuit and Points Race World Champion, previously spent five seasons with the team, while Baker, also a World Champion in the Team Pursuit event, spent one year with the squad back in 2017.
 
With this previous experience and understanding of how the Australian outfit works, the mid 20-year-olds are motivated to see what they can achieve in 2022.
 
Brent Copeland, General Manager on Baker & Manly:
“Alex and Georgia are not new to the team, Alex spent five years with GreenEDGE Cycling and Georgia was with us in 2017 and we are very happy to welcome them back into the family.

With Alex, she had other targets on the track over the last couple of years which will have helped her to improve and develop her riding characteristics in many ways. She has achieved top results in her career since the junior level and we are looking forward to seeing what she can do next year back on the road.
 
Georgia has matured as a rider over the past years on the track and we believe we will be able to help her grow even more. It’s very important for us that she already knows some of the riders and the staff members, this will facilitate her and us into this new chapter of our journey together. She has lots of track experience and her characteristics can give us different options during the year in various races.”
 
Alexandra Manly:
It’s really special to be returning to GreenEDGE Cycling with my priority focus now being on the road. I have many friends in the team already and it feels right to be returning to the team that has helped me develop over the years.
 
I will keep in touch with the track, but it won’t be what I prioritise. I am most looking forward to being back racing regularly and chasing some new goals with the girls.”
 
Georgia Baker:
“I’m really excited to be joining GreenEDGE Cycling again, I was with the team only briefly in 2017, but it actually feels like a new and fresh start.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back to the team and I’m looking forward to working with the girls and having a successful season together.
 
I’ll be based in Europe for the entire season and setting myself up in Girona and Andorra. I’ll be keeping in touch with the track throughout the year and will hopefully compete at the Commonwealth Games, but road will be a priority for me this year.
 
I’m honestly unsure what to expect next season, I don’t have a huge amount of experience in the Women’s WorldTour Peloton, but I’m looking forward to the new challenge and learning lots to contribute to the team success.”
 
Georgia Baker
Date of Birth: 21st September 1994 (27)
Nationality: Australian
Previously joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2017 – 2018
New Contract: 2022 & 2023
 
Top Results:
1st Commonwealth Games Team Pursuit 2018
1st World Championship Team Pursuit 2019
5th Tokyo Olympics Team Pursuit 2021
5th Rio Olympics Team Pursuit 2016
4x National Track Champion
 
Alexandra Manly
Date of Birth: 28th February 1996 (25)
Nationality: Australian
Previously joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2015 – 2019
New Contract: 2022 & 2023
 
Top Results:
1st U23 National Champion Road Race & ITT 2018
1st World Championships Points Race 2019
1st World Championship Team Pursuit 2019
1st Commonwealth Games Team Pursuit 2018
5th Tokyo Olympics Team Pursuit 2021
3x National Track Champion

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Junior stars Makayla MacPherson and Kaia Schmid make the leap – Rally Cycling


Promising American talents Makayla MacPherson and Kaia Schmid will join Rally Cycling for 2022 and 2023. The pair, who both finished in the top five at the recent Into the Lion’s Den criterium, sign from States-based under-19 development squad LUX Cycling, and have been racing each other since they were 11 years old. 

The duo is excited to be making the jump up to the elite ranks, not least because they’ll be able to get off their junior gears. Both newcomers spoke about the move as they begin their journey into the higher echelons of the sport. 

Freshman racer

Macpherson, the current junior national road champion, revels in the hard races and is looking forward to taking on the “really big learning curve” that she will face in 2022.

The 18-year-old from Corona, California has had a successful year as a junior. Alongside her nationals victory, she finished fifth in the World Championships in Flanders, won a stage of the Rás na mBan in Ireland and showcased her talents year-round at the American crit series. 

“I’m beyond excited,” MacPherson said from Milligan University, Tennessee, where she is studying nursing. “I’m looking forward to learning how to work in a professional team and seeing how Rally Cycling can help with my development so that two, three years down the road I can reach my full potential.”

The college racer completed a late summer block of racing on European roads and took a victory at the first time of asking when she won the opening stage of the junior Watersley Ladies Challenge. 

“The people over in Europe are fully into cycling, I love that about the atmosphere and the racing is next level, so I’m super excited to be a part of that,” MacPherson added.

Off the bike, MacPherson is just as good at escaping into a good book as she is flying up the road. She also enjoys exploring new places and kicking back on the beach – she’s a “California girl at heart” after all. 

A developing multi-talent 

Rally Cycling is also thrilled to welcome junior star Kaia Schmid to its ranks. The 18-year-old from Marblehead, Massachusetts is a punchy rider who considers herself a “climbing sprinter”, as showcased by the silver medal she won at the hilly junior World Championships. 

An accomplished criterium and track racer, the multi-talented Schmid won three junior national track titles in 2021, the junior criterium champs and the junior world track title in the elimination race. 

“I feel like I had a pretty successful junior career, so I’m feeling excited and confident that I’ll be able to make the jump,” Schmid said. “The race opportunities I will get with Rally Cycling are so important for my development and since it’s an American team, it’ll help with the transition to WorldTour as I’m doing it with people I already know really well.”  

Schmid racing at the 2021 junior road world championships.

Schmid also made the journey over to Ireland to race Rás na mBan where she also came away with a stage victory.    

“That was a confidence boost,” Schmid explained. “There aren’t many climbing races in America, so I got to see how I could climb, and I surprised myself. I was like ‘oh actually, you know, I can climb I think too’ so that was cool.”  

When she’s not on two wheels, Schmid can be found sending it just as hard on a pair of skis. A talented freeskier, Schmid excelled on mogul runs while still in high school. 

The next generation 

Women’s team director Joanne Kiesanowski worked with Scmid at the junior track World Championships and is excited to help the duo with their development.

“Both Kaia and Makayla have already shown their strength against the rest of the world at the junior World Championships this year,” said Kiesanowski. “Rally Cycling is so happy for the opportunity not only to invest in the next generation of American cyclists but also to move into the elites with strong and accomplished athletes.” 

“I have seen both of them show such maturity on and off the bike and I have a lot of confidence in them taking the step up to the elites. We look forward to working with them at their pace and monitor their performances and recovery to make sure they have the time to grow as athletes and individuals.

“As an American team, these two young athletes, Kaia and Makayla, have a safe and good place, with an elite-level opportunity, and amazing support from our team as we look to compete in Europe,” Kiesanowski added.

The team looks forward to welcoming MacPherson and Schmid to its line-up.

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com