American climber Tayler Wiles and young talent Elynor Backstedt have both signed contract extensions which will see them representing Trek-Segafredo through 2023 and 2024 respectively
After a difficult early season, Tayler Wiles was diagnosed with iliac artery endofibrosis which brought a premature end to her 2022 racing campaign. Wiles recently underwent successful corrective surgery and is now able to ride again, the first step on a long road to her usual competitive level to prepare for the 2023 season.
“I am so excited to be extending my contract with Trek Segafredo for another year,” said Wiles. “This season has been unbelievably difficult due to my injury and basically having to miss an entire calendar year of racing. The team has been really supportive of me through this and that has helped a great deal with my recovery and motivation for the future. I know I am capable of so much more than I was able to show in recent years due to being held back by the external iliac artery endofibrosis and I am so excited to see what I can do now that I am on the other side of the surgery. After what felt like a lifetime away from the bike I’m finally back on two wheels and have to do very specific physiotherapy daily to regain strength and balance, but I am very motivated!”
Wiles is not short on motivation for her return to racing, but if she ever needed an extra push, she has one thanks to the inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
“Watching the Women’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift last month was amazing but also so brutal because I’ve dreamt of racing the Tour since I started pedalling a bike. Admittedly there were a few tears in between cheers for my teammates. However, it also made me hungrier than ever to fight hard to become the rider I know I can be and beyond. Trek has always felt like family to me, and I am so grateful for their support this year. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in the season to come.”
Team Director Ina Teutenberg is also happy to see Wiles return to the Team after surgery.
“Tayler really struggled at the start of the year. She always gives 100% but it was clear that there was an underlying problem and I think it was a relief for her when they worked out what that problem was. Now that she had surgery to fix it, she deserved a contract extension to show what she’s capable of at full health. Tayler is a solid climber and likes to race aggressively, I’m sure we’ll see more of that and hopefully she will acheive the results to match her efforts.”
Elynor Bäckstedt hasn’t had the easiest ride since turning pro in 2019, having been side-lined for long periods after breaking her tibia in 2020 and collarbone in 2021. Despite another collarbone fracture this season during the Spring Classics, Bäckstedt returned to racing as a strong helper to the Trek-Segafredo unit, contributing to team wins at the EasyToys Bloeizone Fryslan Tour, the Women’s Tour and the Baloise Ladies Tour, and more recently as part of the winning team time trial contingent at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta.
“I’m really excited to be staying with Trek-Segafredo over the next two years,” said Bäckstedt. “The support I have received from the coaches and staff through a tough couple of seasons has been incredible, and after a solid period of training and racing without injuries I am seeing improvements in myself. Next year I really hope to have a good Classics season and to have the chance to showcase my strength in both the Spring Classics and some time trials.”
Bäckstedt also showed her progression against the clock, one of her preferred disciplines, and has relished the opportunity to absorb knowledge from her teammates, like World Champion Ellen van Dijk.
“It’s been a privilege to learn from world-class riders, and especially time triallists, and I am looking forward to be able to keep learning from the best,” said Bäckstedt.
Ina Teutenberg added: “Elynor is getting stronger and learning with each race she does. She’s shown herself to be a loyal teammate who we can rely upon and has really helped the team on many occasions this year. The next two years will be important for Elynor’s continued development and I think that she is in the right place to take the next step.”