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Mayuko Hagiwara renews her contract with Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is extremely happy to confirm that Mayuko Hagiwara has renewed her contract with the team and will spend a third year racing in the black and orange jersey. The 28-year-old from Maebashi, in the centre of Japan’s main Honshu Island, is a ten-time National Champion, having taken four Hinomaru jerseys in the road race and six in the time trial, including both in 2014.

“I am really excited for my contract with Wiggle Honda in 2015,” Hagiwara said. “Also I’m really looking forward to working with so many strong teammates.

“I think the team could be able to get wins in the World Cup, the Giro Rosa, and some big races in the calendar. I would like to work hard for the team’s success in the 2015 season. It will be exciting year for our team!”

Hagiwara enjoyed her best European season to date this year, which also saw her take back both her Japanese road and time trial titles in June. She really came of age as a climber in races like the Giro d’Italia, where she took third place on the tough uphill finish at San Donato Val di Comino, and finished the race in 19th place overall.

Other results for Mayuko in 2014 saw her take the Best Asian Rider’s jersey at the Tour of Zhoushan Island, in China, in May, having also supported the victory of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Lotte Becker. Mayuko’s final lap attack in the Sparkassen Giro almost managed to hold off the sprinters, despite the flat nature of the course, and also forced the other teams to put in a hard chase to the benefit of her teammates once again.

A bad crash in the Open de Suède Vårgåda World Cup race threatened to end Mayuko’s season prematurely with a bad knee injury, but she returned to fitness quickly enough to represent Japan in both the time trial and road race at the World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, less than a month later.

“Mayuko is a great example of how much talent actually exists in potential athletes who may never be given the opportunity to demonstrate it,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Managing Director Rochelle Gilmore. “Mayuko was given the opportunity to join Wiggle Honda, base herself in Europe and race alongside World and Olympic Champions. It only took Mayuko one and a half years to prove she has the ability to be one of the best cyclists in the World, when she finished third in a stage of the women’s Giro d’Italia in July this year.

“Our athletes are now asking for Mayuko to be a part of our important teams at the important races as Mayuko has the ability to influence our team’s results and be a threatening athlete in a break-away situation.

“When Mayuko first came to our team at the start of 2013 she did not speak a lot of English and she didn’t really understand professional cycling,” Gilmore added. “However, our staff recognised her talent and have been extremely pleased with her rapid development.

“Only those who know Mayuko quite well can comprehend her ability, our staff and athletes believe in Mayuko’s capabilities and expect that she will continue to surprise the cycling world in 2015!”

Mayuko Hagiwara’s contract renewal brings the number of confirmed athletes for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s 2015 squad to thirteen. The Japanese champion will rejoin returning members Anna Sanchis, Amy Roberts, Dani King and Emilia Fahlin, alongside eight new signings. These will be two-time Giro d’Italia winner Mara Abbott, Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore, Great Britain Criterium Champion Eileen Roe, Manx talent Anna Christian, Breton Champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Italian Time Trial Champion Elisa Longo Borghini, and Australians Chloe Hosking and Commonwealth Games Champion Nettie Edmondson.

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