Tamiko Butler signs for Drops, Belén López and Kirsti Lay on Olympic aims, Mayuko Hagiwara 3rd at Asian Cycling Championships, plus team news

Sources: Drops, Canadian Cyclist, Entrecunetas, Live-radsport.ch, Astana

Antigua and Barbuda cyclist Tamiko Butler has signed for Drops Cycling. The team press release states:

“Tamiko is experienced at the highest level having competed in PanAm games, the Commonwealth games and the recent Tour de San Luis where she placed 21st on the Queen Stage.

The current Caribbean Road Race champion is targeting qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio and everyone at Drops is delighted to be able to help her prepare for this during the first part of the season.

Tamiko is equally excited to be part of the team as we are to have her.

“Having the opportunity to ride for a UCI team which is managed and run by people who I trust and believe in is more than a dream come true.,” she said.

“I just hope that I can do my part to make this as successful a year as possible for the team”

Tamiko will add more strength in depth to our squad and will be riding a predominantly continental race programme.”

Belén López of Lointek has had a blow to preparations for Rio 2016. López told Entrecunetas.com that her employer won’t give her the necessary time off during the season. Full interview here. In contrast Kirsti Lay of Rally Cycling has told Canadian Cyclist how her season will go:

“I’ll probably mostly be doing road races for the month of April, and then leading into May we’ll switch back to track. And then if all goes as plan, after the Olympics I’ll switch back to road with Rally.”

Full interview here.

Mayuko Hagiwara of Wiggle High5 added a third place at the 2016 Asian Cycling Championship to her gold in the TT a few days ago. Astana had some riders taking place, posting on their Facebook page:

“Makhabbat Umutzhanova very active today at Asian Championship Road Race: she went on a breakaway but the peloton brought back these little group and then all kazakh riders missed the crucial move. Best at finish was Natalya Saifutdinova, 16th.”

Full results here. Gallery and results here.

There are some new sponsors in town: Northwave and Top Girls Fassa Bortolo plus Green Paper Recycling and Consorzio Nazionale per il Recupero e il Riciclo dell’Alluminio for Servetto Footon (now known as Servetto Footon Alurecycling).

There is an article on Cycling News today about Team SmartStop which has some background information on the sudden closure of BMW-Happy Tooth Dental.