The Soltec Team has launched its 2023 team with 10 riders, of which surprisingly only 3 are Spanish. Registered with the UCI as Soltec Team, they’re also known as Soltec Costa Cálida with ties to the region of Costa Cálida in Murcia. The team will look to build on its first season in 2022 where Soltec received an invitation to the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta and acquitted itself well thanks to the short-term signing of Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer.
7 international riders make up the team’s 10-strong squad with the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Turkey and Ethiopia all represented. Nino Oliver of the Marcelino Oliver Foundation will continue as the team’s sports director.
British interest is through Freya Rawlins, a former lawyer who has been riding for Instafund Racing in 2022. The team’s Spanish contingent is María Escalera, Andrea Soldevilla and Cristina Vila. María Escalera, who raced 2022 with the Eneicat RBH Global team, and Andrea Soldevilla are both new to the Continental level, although Vila did race once for, then club team, Groupe Abadie-Le Boulou at the GP Féminin de Chambéry in 2022.
Sofia Gomes of Portugal joins from the Massi-Tactic team. Only 19 years old she has shown a lot of promise whilst continuing her studies on the side. She is joined by compatriot Mariana Libano who won the first U19 Volta a Portugal in 2022. She is also a MTB champion in her native Portugal.
Fiona Mangan from Ireland joins Soltec Team after racing with IBCT last season. When that Belgian-Irish team closed this off-season, Mangan had to find somewhere new to ride. She was 3rd in the Irish national championships last season.
Ethiopian Thrhas Teklehaimanot Tesfay, 21, still on the team, is one of the most promising runners in Africa. She has two golds and one silver in her country’s national championships so far in her career. Polish rider Alicja Ulatowska is also 26 years old, joins the team after racing triathlons. She was also the aquathlon world champion in 2019 in Pontevedra. Finally, the Turkish rider Esra Nur will also join Soltec Team.
The team completed its first race at the Women Cycling Pro Costa de Almería – with Mariana Libano its highest-placed finisher in 58th.