The 2023 season witnessed a challenging start for Israel Premier Tech Roland in Australia. However, the team concluded the year on a high note, with notable performances in China by Maggie Coles-Lyster, Tamara Dronova, and Mia Griffin. These efforts brought the team close to breaking into the top-10 in the global rankings. This was achieved despite the inability to garner points from Russian cyclist’s participation in National, European, and World championships.
Amidst this success, the UCI revisited certain races following complaints led by St Michel Mavic Auber93. Some Category .1 races fell short of the required minimum of 90 participants, affecting Israel Premier Tech’s standings. Consequently, the team lost points won by Steels at reVolta and Thi That Nguyen in La Vuelta a Tailandia. Rubén Contreras, the Team Manager, expressed frustration at this, highlighting the contradiction in the UCI’s goal of globalising the sport in countries like Thailand, where achieving the minimum participation to earn points is challenging. The team’s competitive debut is set for January in Mallorca, opting not to travel to Australia, unlike this year.
Nevertheless, last season Israel Premier Tech Roland successfully retained its World Tour license for the next two years. The team enjoyed international victories from Steels, alongside wins from Dronova in Andalucía, Kiesenhofer in Canada and at the Crono des Nations, and Hartman and Pirrone in Germany. The team’s overall performance was commendable, ranking just behind AG Insurance Soudal Quick Step but ahead of Uno X and Human Powered Health in the UCI World Ranking.
Looking to 2024, the team will undergo significant changes. From January 1st, Israel Premier Tech will no longer sponsor the team, transitioning to 100% Swiss sponsorship with principal support from Roland, a confectionery company established in Basel in 1939. Twelve riders will commence this new chapter, welcoming Antri Christoforou from Human Powered Health, Natalie Grinzcer from Lifeplus Wahoo, Sylvie Swinkels from Coop Hitec, and Giorgia Vettorello from BePink Gold. Returning riders include Tamara Dronova, Elena Hartmann, Thi That Nguyen, Elena Pirrone, and Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer.