Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank is gearing up to defend its title at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche tomorrow. Lauren Stephens took the overall win in 2020 and is back with a driven squad to tackle this year’s edition of the 7-day stage race.
“I’m looking forward to racing Ardeche again. I believe this will be my sixth time here,” Stephens said. “Last year, we came to this race motivated and determined to win. This year is no different!”
The Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche (2.1) takes place in the hills of South-Central France, and is one of the most attritional races on the UCI calendar. The event starts September 8th and runs through the 14th, and features more than 800kms of demanding terrain.
Joining Stephens on the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche roster is Nina Kessler, Emily Joy Newsom, Emma Langley, Veronica Ewers, and Leah Dixon.
The US riders traveled across the pond with a successful Joe Martin Stage Race under their belts, which saw Ewers finish second overall and Langley take a couple of stage wins and the queen of the mountains jersey. Both are traveling to Europe to compete with TEAM TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank for the first time.
“After a great performance at Joe Martin, I’m excited to see the US contingent of Lauren, Emily, Emma and Veronica tackle Ardeche,” Hedderman said. “With Lauren as the defending champion, there is added pressure on the team, but with Nina and Leah rounding out the squad, we have a great team, and we’ll give it everything to see if we can repeat last year’s success.”
Dixon will be starting her third Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche.
“Obviously, it’s renowned for being a very tough race, but we had an awesome year in 2020 with Lauren Stephens winning general classification, so I’m hoping with some great team work we can emulate last year’s success,” Dixon said. “I’m also looking forward to getting to know and having some fun with teammates. I’ve just met Emma Langley and Veronica Ewers off the back of their success at Joe Martin.”
Emma Langley is joining the squad in France for Tour de l’Ardeche. “The scenery of the Ardeche region is beautiful, and even though it’s a tough race, it’s easy to remember how much of a privilege being a professional cyclist is at this race.” The Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche will not be broadcast. More information is available through the race organisation’s website and Facebook page.