Rally Cycling has signed young climbing talents Henrietta Christie and Barbara Malcotti to its women’s team for 2022 and 2023. The new additions are the first names to be announced for next season’s roster.
Both newcomers spoke about signing for Rally Cycling and their aspirations for the coming years. With the team applying for a Women’s WorldTour license, they will have plenty of opportunities.
Pair of Kiwis
Christie, from Christchurch, New Zealand, is the current under-23 national time trial champion and joins from the Bepink squad.
“I’m really excited about getting to meet everyone next year,” Christie said. “Rally Cycling can help me progress with my career, and I can’t wait to build some strong foundations within the team.”
The 19-year-old recently competed in both the women’s elite World Championship road race in Flanders, and the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, arguably the two most gruelling weekends of racing this season. The jump up did not faze the talented young climber though.
“I love pushing myself to the limit,” she said. “My aspirations are to get stronger every day and aim to get on a UCI Women’s WorldTour podium next year.”
Christie describes herself as a hardworking, driven and team-focused rider who enjoys competing in stage races, as showcased by her young rider classification victory at the Tour Cycliste Féminin in September.
“It’s going to be so cool to be part of a team that is so close-knit and is like a family.”
Returning for 2022 will be a fellow New Zealander whom Christie looks up to. Olivia Ray, the current national criterium champion, will renew her position on the team for next season and the duo will bring a unique Kiwi vibe to proceedings.
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Italian jersey hunter
Rally Cycling is also excited to welcome young climber Barbara Malcotti, who will be the team’s first-ever Italian rider.
The 22-year-old from Tione di Trento (think mountains) has raced with the Italian team Valcar – Travel & Service since 2019 and is looking forward to joining an international program.
“I’m excited to be racing with girls from around the world,” Malcotti said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to improve my skills and be a good rider for the team.”
Like Christie, Malcotti is a climber who thrives in the mountains. Her fourth place in the young rider standings at the 2021 Giro d’Italia Donne, and strong top-10 finishes in the recent Italian fall classics, the Giro dell’Emilia (8th) and Tre Valli Varesine (4th), showcase her strengths going uphill.
“I look up to Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos and Elisa Longo Borghini because I like their method of racing. They stay in the bunch, get in the breakaway, and they attack, and I think a rider must do all of these things.”
Malcotti also hopes to figure in the Ardennes Classics and aspires to follow in the wheel tracks of her compatriot and current teammate, new world champion Elisa Balsamo.
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A platform for progression
“We saw the promise and progression that they have shown already at a young age,” said women’s team director Joanne Kiesanowski. “Henrietta showed a lot of progression already after only a few months in Europe and Barbara has kept improving from her junior years and is ready to move to a World Tour team after racing at a very high level in the elites.”
“They both have shown strength in stage racing and have the abilities to be GC contenders in the future,” Kiesanowski added. “We’re excited to work with them and help them develop over the next two seasons.”
The team looks forward to welcoming Christie and Malcotti to the line-up for the next two years and is thrilled to have Ray returning. We’re not done yet, stay tuned for more rider announcements over the coming weeks.