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by Mark Zalewski
April 18, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Gaudin wins out of two-rider break at Tro Bro Leon; Scarponi nets Astana first win of season at Tour of the Alps; Gilbert outsprints Kwiatkowski to win his fourth Amstel Gold Race; Anna van der Breggen powers to a solo victory at women’s Amstel Gold Race return; Walkout: Illuminate women leave over dispute with manager; Gilbert out for rest of Classics with kidney injury; Rivera retains Women’s WorldTour lead after Amstel Gold Race; Amstel Gold Race defending champ Gasparotto crashes out, but escapes serious injury; Pieter Weening expected to return for Liège; Cookson says he did nothing to be ‘ashamed of or concerned about’ while head of British Cycling; Apeldoorn to host 2018 UCI Track World Championships; 2017 UCI Track World Championships – Day 4 highlights; Video: Paris-Roubaix with Fast Forward Wheels.
Riders Samantha and Skylar Schneider announced on social media last week that they, along with several other riders, have left Team Illuminate –a newly formed UCI women’s program –only one race into the 2017 road season. “I will no longer be racing with Team Illuminate. I’m not sure what is next, but am ready and motivated to move on,” Skylar, the younger of the two sisters, tweeted.
A lot of eyes are on the sister duo after they dominated the US Pro scene last year. Samantha, 26, netted 15 wins on her way to taking first in the US Pro Road Tour, while her 18-year-old sister took home 10 wins of her own to finish third in the series, behind WorldTour sprinter Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb).
In her breakout year, Skylar also won US junior road race and criterium titles as well as the silver medal in the junior women’s World Championship Road Race in Qatar. After such a season, the sisters were hoping to take their careers to the next step and fielded offers from several teams, but ultimately chose a brand new program.
With a promise of keeping the core of the Schneiders’ existing team – ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI – together, Team Illuminate decided to add a UCI women’s program to its men’s Continental squad, offering a home to the sisters, their father and core riders.
But just one race into the season, half of the women on Team Illuminate roster are leaving, terminating their contracts out of “respect to ourselves and our well-being as well as our future.”
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