Aussie Lizzie Stannard has reached an agreement to join Israel-Premier Tech after leaving Zaaf Cycling. That makes her the third rider to leave the team in recent weeks after Audrey Cordon-Ragot joined Human Powered Health and Mareille Meijering left to join a local club team this week. The riders haven’t been paid so far this season and after a recent rule clarification by the UCI, riders are now free to join Women’s WorldTour teams without having to wait for the June 1st registration window. If any riders want to join a Continental team, they are free to do so as usual.
Lizzie Stannard joined Zaaf Cycling after 2 years at Valcar-Travel & Service. Unfortunately, that team closed this off-season and the remnants become the UAE Development Team. That left some riders struggling to find new opportunities and saw Stannard joining Zaaf Cycling amongst their promises to become a Women’s WorldTour team as soon as possible and a budget of upwards of €4 million. A strong domestique in the Valcar sprint train, Stannard also had strong results when able to go for her own goals last year.
That included 7th in GC at the Giro Toscana, 8th in GC at the Tour de la Semois and near top-10s at the Tour de Suisse and a trio of the Spanish one-day races too. She’s able to support a leader on the climbs too and could provide some depth on the team for the likes of Claire Steels this season as well as scoring points to help her new team stay in the Women’s WorldTour. At the moment, Israel-Premier Tech desperately needs a points boost to ensure their safety. We will probably see more former Zaaf Cycling riders joining teams in the next couple of weeks. The likes of Dani de Francesco, Heidi Franz, Maggie Coles-Lyster and Lucie Jounier are all proven to be Women’s WorldTour quality riders.
Main photo credit: Flaviano-Ossola