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by Shane Stokes
September 23, 2014
Adding on to the previously-announced signings of Annemiek van Vleuten, Shelley Olds and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, the Bigla Cycling Team has named a fourth addition to the squad. It has inked a one year contract with Dutch national road race champion and current Rabobank Liv rider Iris Slappendel, continuing the increase in level and ambition of the team.
“When it came to this decision to switch teams I was basically looking for a new environment and a more challenging one for myself,” said Slappendel, pictured second from left above.
“At Rabobank I played the same role in the team and with Bigla we will race different tactics which will give me more opportunities.”
In addition to her victory at the Dutch championship, Slappendel also won stage seven of La Route de France and was eighth in the Ronde van Overijssel. Her past results also include victory in the 2012 Open de Suède Vargarda and victory in the GP Comune di Cornaredo in the same year.
She has often been in a position where she has had to ride for team-mates, but should now have a greater chance to chase her own results.
“I feel it’s a step in my career that I need right now,” she said. “A change of environment is always good after a few years. It’s good to be surrounded by new management and new teammates, which can inspire and motivate you.”
Team manager Thomas Campana is himself a recent addition to the team and he said that the all rounder and Classic specialist is an important signing.
“Iris is the kind of rider a team needs for many different disciplines,” he said. “She will play a major role in our tactical ideas for how we want to approach races. Apart from this, Iris is one of the most experienced riders in the TTT. I was extremely pleased with her decision to join the team next year.”
The 29 year old has clear targets in mind as she looks towards 2015. “The spring Classics are important for me and I’m also thinking of the world team time trial championships in America. That’s a big goal.”