In a surprise announcement, Team Jayco-AlUla and Liv Racing TeqFind have confirmed that their two teams will merge in 2024 until 2027. On top of the merger, there will be the creation of a new development team linked to the WWT team, providing a pathway and chance to move riders around for certain races. It’s the same progress that teams such as Canyon SRAM, Fenix-Deceuninck and UAE Team ADQ have made since the development team rules were put in place last season. The development team will be known as GreenEdge Cycling Development Team.
Liv Racing TeqFind has generated many strong riders having competed at the highest level since 2009 in various well-known guises. The team can trace its lineage back through CCC-Liv, WM3, Rabo-Liv and Nederland Bloeit. As a result, it can lay claim to some major victories at the Tour of Flanders, Flèche Wallonne Féminine and La Course by Le Tour de France. Liv Racing TeqFind has also had many world champions and Olympic champions in various disciplines on its team over the years. The Rabo-Liv years were particularly prosperous with riders like Anna van der Breggen, Marianne Vos, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Annemiek van Vleuten all riding for the team then.
GreenEDGE Cycling has been at the forefront of women’s cycling since 2012 when the team was brought to life, and over the years it has enjoyed success in many major races, with overall and multiple stage victories at the Giro d’Italia Donne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour Down Under, Strade Bianche and La Course by Le Tour de France to name a few. Riders like Annemiek van Vleuten, Amanda Spratt, Emma Johansson and Judith Arndt all contributed over the years.
Both Jayco-AlUla and Liv Racing TeqFind have raced on Liv bikes this season, with the men’s Jayco-AlUla team riding Giant bikes, of which Liv is the sister marque. The merger comes as LIv Racing TeqFind look increasingly close to the WWT licence relegation battle as teams below them make big strides in closing up the points difference. As a result of this merger, it looks like it will free up a licence for use by another team. At the moment, Israel Premier-Tech Roland is just missing out and will be the beneficiary of any extra available licence.
What this means for the current riders of the two teams isn’t clear as to who will ride where. The earliest rumours suggest that Kristen Faulkner and Thalita de Jong won’t be part of the merged team but that remains to be confirmed.
“For us, this is a huge step forward and a valuable one for female riders. To have a structured development pathway in place for any rider is not only an important part of a rider’s career, but is something that we feel is lacking for the women’s peloton in particular. Unlike the men’s peloton, there is currently no competitive under 23 category and the step up from junior to elite level is huge. We are passionate about this new mission and believe it will be extremely beneficial, not only for the riders on the programmes, but inspiring for the upcoming younger generation, to envisage a career pathway.
Having the two new teams working closely together will create a solid structure and foundation. We are thankful to Liv Cycling for their commitment and their active and passionate approach, bringing opportunities and ensuring inclusivity through various projects like this one. We believe it will be an impactful and important step for women’s cycling and it is something to be incredibly proud of.”Brent Copeland, Team Jayco AlUla general manager
“We are extremely happy to take next steps in the further professionalisation of women’s cycling with Liv Cycling. Together we have a long history of establishing a solid foundation for the sport. This is now in place, with good training facilities and guidance and an appealing race programme. In the phase we are in now, we see that a different approach is required to further increase the success of women’s cycling and its reach. The absolute top is getting stronger, for the youngest generations the step to the high WorldTour level is sometimes hard to overcome.
With the arrival of a Development Team, we are creating the ideal environment for up-and-coming talent. With access to the same knowledge, insights and training methods as the WorldTeam, tomorrow’s heroes can get ready in a professional environment. So that one day they will be on the highest podium of the most famous races. Thanks to this careful approach, we are making our beloved sport accessible to even more women, regardless of their background. This reinforces the open, global character of women’s cycling. We thank Liv Cycling for their unwavering support.”Eric van den Boom, Liv Racing TeqFind owner & manager