National women's cycling ace Teniel Campbell is set to join Australian team Mitchelton-SCOTT for the next two seasons.
The 23-year-old T&T rider has been targeted by the club since her move to Europe, the club's general manager Brent Copeland has said since their director Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas pointed her out to them.
Her top finishes for this year has been a first-place at the Tour of Thailand on Stage two, and a runner-up position at the Pan American Games (Road Race).
A release from Kairon Serrette yesterday stated: "The 23-year-old burst onto the European cycling scene when she was invited to join the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in 2018. There, under the guidance of now Mitchelton-Scott's Sports Director Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas, it was immediately evident the sheer numbers and natural ability Campbell possessed."
After a two-year development period in Switzerland, the lanky T&T rider moved to Italy earlier this year to race under Valcar Travel & Service where she immediately put her learnings to work. A third-place finish at Vuelta CV Feminas and fifth at Omloop van Hageland, got the season off to a flying start before COVID-19 pandemic brought proceedings to a halt.
Campbell did not get the type of results she was hoping for when the sport resumed, and Mitchelton-SCOTT has agreed to use the next two years to work closely with her and thereby help her gain invaluable experience. He believes it will also unlock her ability across the world calendar.
An elated Campbell said the club has been her dream team: “Mitchelton-SCOTT has been my dream team ever since I was in the World Cycling Centre, some days I have to pinch myself to believe it’s actually happening. To be given this opportunity here to continue growing and to give them the chance to help me grow and develop is really exciting because they have a lot of top-end riders, they have been here for some time now and you can progressively see how strong they are, how they develop a lot and how well they work together as a unit."
The local T&T rider who is the first women's cyclist to qualify for the Olympic Games for T&T, noted: “I never thought I would get to this point so quickly. To be performing so well amongst the best in Europe was really a shock to everyone because they wouldn’t expect me to fit in so quickly and already be a force to reckon with on the circuit. There’s still so much to discover about myself because I am so young and there’s so much to learn and improve on, so you never really know what type of rider I am."
“I just want to gain so much experience and knowledge because you can have all of the power in the world but if you don’t have the experience, that team around you to really push you and help you grow, I don’t think the results will come.”
According to Copeland: "Teniel went through the excellent schooling of the UCI World Cycling Centre and we believe she has an enormous amount of talent. Together with our team’s professional structure and experience, we will do our utmost to take the margin of improvement we feel Teniel has to the highest of levels."
“Teniel is a person who has made huge sacrifices to get to where she is and we will be giving her the support she deserves to make sure all her sacrifices have all been very much worthwhile. We also thank team owner Gerry Ryan who is always a big supporter of Australian talent but at the same time is encouraging us to keep the team as international as possible. Teniel fits in very well with this philosophy, we welcome Teniel to the team and we are very much looking forward to seeing her in our team colours.”