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Gillian Ellsay and Ellen Watters turn pro with Team Colavita/Bianchi

Watters graduates from the Cyclery-Opus team while Ellsay moves on after two years with Trek Red Truck Racing

Gillian Ellsay of Courtenay, B.C. and Ellen Watters of Sussex, N.B. have signed contracts with the UCI Women’s Team Colavita/Bianchi for the 2017 season. The pair have developed with domestic squads on opposite coasts with Ellsay leaving Vancouver-based Trek Red Truck Racing and Watters graduating from Ottawa-based the Cyclery-Opus.

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Ellen Watters tops the podium in Belgium

Watters won the Tour of Battenkill, the Tour of Somerville and helped Tara Whitten take the overall classification victory at the Cascades Cycling Classic in 2016. In August, Watters traveled to Europe for the first time with Cycling Canada’s WTE NextGen program where she took a victory in Haasdonk, Belgium. As an aggressive and powerful racer, Watters attacking style earned her the most aggressive rider classification at the North Star Gran Prix.

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Ellsay was Canadian junior time trial champion in 2015 and at 19-years-old continues to develop into a talented and strong rider. She represented Canada at the world championships in 2015. In 2016, she was the best under-25 rider at the San Dimas Stage Race and won the best young rider jersey at the Chico Stage Race.

“I’m very excited about our 2017 roster,” director sportif Mary Zider said. “Each rider brings something different and valuable to our team. You can expect to see these extremely talented athletes leverage and benefit from our collective experience, seasoned leadership and focus. We plan to accomplish team goals through a combination of selfless teamwork, tactical excellence, hard work, persistence, and a touch of creativity.”

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The American-based Team Colavita-Bianchi will focus on the USA Pro Road Tour calendar next season. The team also announced a development program in collaboration with the Killington Mountain School in Vermont. The Colavita/KSM Women’s Development Program will help the school develop cyclists while ensuring they receive a college preparatory education.

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Colavita-Bianchi also add emerging cyclocross star Ellen Noble, the U23 American champion in cyclocross, to their 2017 roster. Noble is fresh off of winning both days of the Grand Prix of Gloucester and is currently the U23 World Cup leader.

Team Colavita/Bianchi

– Gillian Ellsay (Canada)
– Kendelle Hodges (Australia)
– Abby Mickey (U.S.)
– Amber Pierce (U.S.)
– Jessica Mundy (Australia)
– Ellen Noble (U.S.)
– Ellen Watters (Canada)
– Whitney Allison (U.S.)
– Emma Grant (United Kingdom)