Ceratizit-WNT renews key names while adding talent for 2021

by Dane Cash


Ceratizit-WNT has secured some of its biggest names while adding talent for next season, as revealed in one big announcement on Wednesday.

The German-based team, one of the most successful non-WorldTour squads in the women’s peloton, has announced its full roster for 2021. Veteran sprint star Kirsten Wild and back-to-back Madrid Challenge champion Lisa Brennauer headline the list of riders renewing with the team, while rising star Lizzy Banks and Classics talent Lotta Henttala will give the squad new firepower next season.

Wild, 38, saw limited racing action in the pandemic-shortened season but enjoyed a particularly strong 2019 campaign, winning both Gent-Wevelgem and Driedaagse De Panne in what was her first year with the team after various stints at the AA Cycling Team, Giant-Shimano, Hitec Products, Cylance, and Wiggle-High5.

Brennauer, the former time trial world champion, has been a consistent force in one-week races and one-day races in recent seasons. The reigning German national champion just won her second straight overall title at the race currently known as the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta.

Joining Wild, Brennauer, and nine other returning riders are three newcomers. Banks is headed to the Ceratizit-WNT after two years in the Bigla organization that would become Équipe Paule Ka, which is folding. The 30-year-old Brit is a versatile talent with two Giro Rosa stage wins to her name over the past two editions of the race.

“I’m delighted to be joining Ceratizit-WNT in 2021, we’re all aware of the difficult situation that led to this transfer but sometimes out of a difficult situation can arise a fantastic opportunity and this is what has happened here,” she said in a team press release.

“It’s rare that you get this clear alignment with what you think, and the team think you can do. There’s so much talent within this team that’s bubbling through and is about to crack open some big results, then you’ve got proven winners, world class riders like Lisa Brennauer and Kirsten Wild who I can’t wait to work with. I think the duo of Lisa and I in the final of a race can be incredibly dynamic duo and a dangerous one as well.”

Henttala is joining Ceratizit-WNT after two seasons with Trek-Segafredo. The six-time Finnish national road champ counts numerous WorldTour wins on her career palmares, including one-day victories at Gent-Wevelgem and the Crescent Vargarda and stage wins at the Giro Rosa and the Women’s Tour.

“It’s exciting for me to join the team, I had a very challenging year, but I am ready for new challenges and this is a new motivation,” Henttala said. “Dirk [Baldinger, sports director] and I have a joint vision for next season. I won my first professional victory with Dirk as my sports director in 2015 in Thüringen, so we have some nice history, but I hope we can continue to make history together in 2021.”

Also coming aboard for 2021 is Polish national champ Marta Lech, who has spent the past two seasons with CCC-Liv.

Wild, Brennauer, Banks, Henttala, and Lech join Laura Asencio, Franziska Brausse, Maria Giulia Confalonieri, Kathrin Hammes, Julie Leth, Erica Magnaldi, Sarah Rijkes, Lin Teutenberg, Lara Vieceli in comprising the 14-rider WNT-Ceratizit roster for 2021.

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