25.11.2022 Continental, News, Race news
OLIVIA SHILILIFA AND VALENTINE NZAYISENGA EXTEND WITH CANYON//SRAM GENERATION
CANYON//SRAM Generation is excited to announce contract extensions for Olivia Shililifa and Valentine Nzayisenga through 2023. The duo were part of the UCI Continental Women’s Team’s debut season, which exceeded all expectations and ambitions.
The team’s 2022 campaign saw victories at Tour de Lunsar, Gisaka Race, GP Pontevedra, and Groupama Ladies Race Slovakia as well as stage wins at Tour de l’Ardéche. Overall GC victory came at Tour de l’Ardéche and the team showed its consistency with further GC podium performances at Vuelta a Ruta del Sol, Tour Féminin Pyrénées, and 5th in GC at 2.PRO Thüringen Ladies Tour.
Under the two-tier structure of CANYON//SRAM Racing, and forming part of its long-term D&I program, the development team provides a formal pathway to the Women’s World Tour. The successes on the results sheet of CANYON//SRAM Generation come after the team’s mission of providing opportunities to riders from nations currently underrepresented in the pro peloton. The team provides a base in Europe for riders to live, train and race from, with all the supervised training, individual coaching, mentorship and structured race program necessary to support riders on and off the bike.
CANYON//SRAM Generation Sport Director Adam Szábo: “As always, starting something completely new is challenging, but we had a good plan, strong partners plus riders and staff eager to take up the obstacles ahead of us. We established a well-functioning base in Girona, Spain, where we created a safe and comfortable place for our riders to focus fully on riding and learning.”
“We started with no real expectations on the performance side. However, we exceeded even our highest ambitions with all the combined results and performances. We set the bar high, but we shouldn’t lose sight of our initial aim of the team: develop and teach riders to become professional cyclists.”
Olivia Shililifa said: “I cannot be more grateful for another opportunity with CANYON/SRAM Generation to showcase what I have grown to love doing. I learnt so much in a short period, I can only imagine what more is waiting for me next season.”
“It was a challenge to start racing only towards the end of the season, to keep up with the other riders, and to adjust to a new environment. But I am truly grateful for the support and understanding the team gave me throughout my stay in Europe.”
“Next season, our team will aim to strike for any chance or opportunity we get. I want to take the key points I learned this year into my performances next season. I have many of them! My favourite is to always have a clear goal of what you want to achieve, whether in a race or a training session. I also hope that with my performances for the team, I will gain selection for Namibia at world championships, Commonwealth and Olympic Games.”
CANYON//SRAM Generation Sport Director Adam Szábo: “It took almost three-quarters of the season to overcome visa challenges for Olivia. When she was finally able to join the team and had her first races, we saw huge potential in Olivia. She made immense progress during her short time racing, and she returned home after the season with even more motivation to work towards her goals.”
Valentine Nzayisenga said: “I am happy to sign again with CANYON//SRAM Generation. I had a hard year where I learned a lot from many races. I sometimes missed home, but I managed it with my teammates and am happy with my season.”
“I enjoy being home in Rwanda now and training, but I look forward to returning to the team soon. My aim for 2023 is simple: to work hard.”
CANYON//SRAM Generation Sport Director Adam Szábo: “Valentine was one of the most consistent riders throughout the season. I expect her riding skills and positioning in the peloton will continue to develop, and we will see Valentine take her chances in the more demanding hilly courses.”