Wiggle High5 welcomes Donna Rae Szalinski to the British-registered squad to work with sport director Nico Claessens and team owner Rochelle Gilmore.
Rae Szalinski will play a crucial role in supporting and mentoring the team’s 15 athletes to achieve their personal best and win more races.
"It’s with extreme pleasure and confidence that we introduce Donna Rae Szalinski to one of the top teams in the world,” said Gilmore. Rae Szalinski will replace Egon van Kessel as one of Wiggle High5’s sport directors effective immediately.
Van Kessel has had an impressive run of results with Wiggle High5 over the past 18 months, most notably winning the 2015 Tour of Flanders. He directed the team to three additional World Cup wins last season: Drenthe, Chongming and Vargarda. “We have parted ways in a friendly manner,” said Gilmore. “We thank Egon for his efforts over the past one and half seasons and wish him success in his future plans.”
Rae Szalinski joins the team with an accredited UCI Sport Director’s license and over 10 years experience working with elite women in Australian and Europe. She directed Australia’s High5 Dream Team to the top of the National Race Series in its inaugural season.
In Europe, Rae Szalinski’s experience includes directing the Australian National Team to numerous world class results including a stage win at the Route de France last season and a win at GP Plumelec this season. The results her riders achieved over the last year played an integral role in ensuring Australia would start with four riders at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in August.
Rae Szalinski will commence her role with Wiggle High5 at the British National Championships next weekend. She will make her 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour debut with Wiggle High5 at the Giro Rosa in Italy, the 11th round of the 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour.