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Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling in the top five of the UCI team classification
An impressive start to the season, and the signing of a World championship medallist, has put Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling into fifth place in the International Cycling Union (UCI) team rankings. New Zealander Linda Villumsen brings several ranking points with her, while several strong performances have also served to lift the team in the classification.
"It's fantastic for our team to be ranked top 5 in the world in our first year of existence and it makes is our goal to be ranked top 3 by next season a reality," said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team manager Rochelle Gilmore. "It would be dream to achieve number 1 in the next few years."
Emily Collins took Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling's first ever victory in the Omloop van hat Hageland on the 3rd of March, managing to outpace American sprinter Shelley Olds (Tibco) and Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) in the process.
Two-time road World champion Giorgia Bronzini has taken the team's biggest result of the year so far as she won the Classica Città di Padova on the 16th of March, having previously finished second in the Drentse 8 and third in a stage of of the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
Lauren Kitchen and Bronzini have both been in the World Cup points this season, as they finished in 13th place in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Ronde van Vlaanderen respectively. Double Olympic champion Laura Trott then made a stunning debut for the team at the GP Dottignies on the 1st of April, finishing fourth after getting herself into the winning break that went away in the opening kilometres.
Along with Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling's promising results so far, it has been the team's collective spirit and willingness to work hard for one another that has impressed directeur sportif Simon Cope this spring.
"It shows maturity, and also shows how strong the team spirit must be," he commented after Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders had taken control of the head of the peloton during a particularly windy stage of the Energiewacht Tour in the Netherlands this month. "They want to ride for each other, and you don't see many teams doing that really."
The team will see action again this evening in the Omloop van Borsele time trial, in the Netherlands, where World junior time trial champion Elinor Barker will make her long-awaited Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling debut.
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
12. December 98
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day