Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling is thrilled to announce that Austrian Champion Martina Ritter will be joining the team in 2018. The 35-year-old from Linz, in the state of Oberösterreich, is her National Champion in both the Road Race and Time Trial and represented her country in both disciplines in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“I’m very excited to welcome Martina to Wiggle High5,” said Team founder, owner and manager, Rochelle Gilmore. “It’s a super exciting signing for our team!
“Wiggle High5 has been searching a strong, reliable and experienced rider to support our General Classification ambitions,” Gilmore explained. “Martina has a reputation for being very consistent and committed to her roles within a team, she’s a rider we really needed to compliment our already strong line-up.”
Aside from her National Championships - her fifth in the Time Trial and second in the Road Race - Martina Ritter also won the toughest stage of the Gracia-Orlova stage race in 2017. She finished high up in both South Lake Tahoe stages of the Amgen Tour of California, ending the race in ninth place overall, then emphasised her climbing credentials by finishing fourth overall in the extremely hilly Tour de l’Ardèche.
“I am really excited to join this professional women’s team,” Ritter said. “WiggleHigh 5 is known as a well organised team with a fantastic team spirit and the best equipment. I have always been looking up to the team and now I will be part of this incredible team, riding together with some of the best road racers and Olympic Champions. It is a big step forward in my cycling career after racing for small teams in the past. I can’t wait to open this new chapter.
“I’m a good climber and time triallist and love stage races,” she continued. “My favourite races are the Ardennes Classics and hilly stage races as the Giro d’Italia or Tour of California. I want to help our leaders to achieve big results because there is nothing better than winning as a team. One big goal will also be the World Championship in my home country.”
As a strong climber, Martina will be an invaluable helper for her teammates in some of the biggest, and toughest races of the season. Her power as a time triallist will see her add power to Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Team Time Trial performance, with the World Championships taking place in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2018.
“I have high hopes to lift Martina to a new, even higher level in 2018, just as her mind and body - as an athlete - are maturing during her strongest years of her career,” Gilmore continued. “The team is counting on Martina’s support in some of the hardest races on the 2018 calendar.
“It will be such an honour to see the current Austrian Road and Time Trial Champion wearing the Wiggle High5 kit in the peloton! It’s great representation for our partners to have the Austrian Champion representing their brand, especially for WiggleCRC who have just acquired Bike24, a German online retailer actively operating in Austria.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what Martina is capable of within our team next year!”
photos Janos Schmidt