Lidl-Trek signs junior time trial world champion Felicity Wilson-Haffenden

Australian is one of five juniors the team has secured for 2024 onwards

Clock10:36, Friday 13th October 2023
Both Felicity Wilson-Haffenden and silver medallist Izzy Sharp will ride for Lidl-Trek in 2024

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Both Felicity Wilson-Haffenden and silver medallist Izzy Sharp will ride for Lidl-Trek in 2024

Lidl-Trek has announced the signing of junior time trial world champion Felicity Wilson-Haffenden on a three-year contract, becoming the fifth rider the team has secured straight out of the junior ranks.

Eighteen-year-old Australian Wilson-Haffenden has greatly impressed so far in 2023, winning the Australian junior road race and time trial titles, the Oceania time trial title, and most recently becoming junior world champion against the clock with a commanding ride at the Glasgow Worlds in August.

Read more: Pro cycling transfers - every move for the 2024 season

“In choosing my first team I felt it was really important to go somewhere that was focused on development, giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as a bike rider and a person,” Wilson-Haffenden said in a press release issued by her new team.

“After my first conversation with Koen [De Kort, DS] and Ina [Teutenberg, DS] I knew Trek was going to be able to do this and so much more. The inclusion of a number of riders coming straight out of junior ranks further confirmed Lidl-Trek was the right team for me, with a great combination of developing talent and experienced role models to connect with, learn from and enjoy my first years in the pro peloton.”

Wilson-Haffenden is the fifth rider that Lidl-Trek have signed straight out of the junior ranks this season, an unusually high number for a WorldTour team.

The other signings are the rider who took silver behind Wilson-Haffenden in the Worlds TT, Izzy Sharp, Canadian multidiscipline stars and twins Ava and Isabella Holmgren, and most recently Fleur Moors, the European champion and an exciting Belgian talent.

Despite the growing under-23 circuit in women’s cycling, it’s clear that many of the most talented juniors are still being snapped up into the WorldTour straight out of the under-19 ranks, with teams keen to develop riders for the future.

Lidl-Trek’s recruitment strategy has seemingly been to secure the signatures of the most proven talents, picking up five riders who all already have major wins and titles to their name.

The American team has previously shown their commitment to young riders and development, signing both Shirin van Anrooij and Elynor Bäckstedt out of the junior ranks, both of whom have ascended to strong senior riders: Van Anrooij already a WorldTour race winner, and Bäckstedt a valued domestique.

As well as joining four riders who are also new to the WorldTour ranks, Wilson-Haffenden will be one of four Australians on Lidl-Trek, alongside Brodie Chapman, Amanda Spratt and Lauretta Hanson.

“I am super excited to be joining the fellow Australians at Lidl-Trek as these are riders I have looked up to since I began cycling,” she said. “To think about riding with them during laps of Bunningyong at road nationals it is hard not to start smiling. I feel incredibly lucky to be joining a team with such a high calibre of riders who I can learn from, it is hard to name a single person I am excited to ride with when there are so many!”

Wilson-Haffenden’s arrival brings Trek’s 2024 roster up to 18 confirmed riders, with a maximum of 22 riders permitted under the current UCI regulations.

Related Content

Link to 5 unmissable stages of the 2024 Tour de France
The fearsome Col du Galibier appears shockingly early in the 2024 Tour de France

5 unmissable stages of the 2024 Tour de France

Mountains, gravel, and final-day drama: Here's our pick of the most promising stages of the upcoming Tour de France

Clock
Link to Analysing Visma-Lease a Bike’s Tour de France long list
Jonas Vingegaard and his then Jumbo-Visma teammates have been triumphant at the Tour de France for the past two years

Analysing Visma-Lease a Bike’s Tour de France long list

With Jonas Vingegaard on the comeback trail and Sepp Kuss suffering from illness, the team still has plenty of question marks looming before July

Clock
Link to Should Tadej Pogačar be worried by Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič at the Tour de France? - GCN Racing News Show
YouTube video undefined

Should Tadej Pogačar be worried by Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič at the Tour de France? - GCN Racing News Show

The Critérium du Dauphiné came to a conclusion at the weekend with Roglič as the winner, but Dan Lloyd can't see him winning the Tour, here's why

Clock
Link to Adam Yates using Tour de Suisse as final test before Tour de France
Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates)

Adam Yates using Tour de Suisse as final test before Tour de France

British rider will back up Tadej Pogačar later this month but Suisse offers the chance to test his form and fitness

Clock
Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox