The DID Women’s Cycling team have sprung a surprise with the announcement that British Criterium Champion Hannah Barnes will guest for the team in An Post Rás na mBan in September.

Sprint specialist Barnes has enjoyed a stellar season in the colours of MG Maxifuel in Britain this year and joins the DID squad having taken some significant scalps in her 2013 campaign.

As well as her victory in the British Criterium Championships, Barnes also won the London Nocturne ahead of Olympic Omnium Champion Laura Trott and took a commanding win in the Johnson Health Tech Tour Series.

For her first racing visit to Ireland she will join a team packed with stage race experience and talent. Kirsten Peetoom of the Netherlands is a regular on the international scene and a former stage winner in Rás na mBan who guested with DID Electrical at the Tour du Limousin where she garnered a seventh place finish on the final stage.

Amy Brice joined the DID Electrical team at its inception at the start of the current season and has enjoyed her fair share of success on the home scene. A climber, Amy took a Queen of the Hills podium in the Bedford 3-Day in April.

Like Peetoom and Brice, 2012 National Omnium Champion Sarah Piner has prior experience of Rás na mBan and will look forward to putting her bunch skills and team time trial technique to the test in Clare.

Scotland’s Julie Erskine has already guested with DID at two French stage races and the Prudential Ride London Grand Prix. Her season successes include second in the Scottish National Road Race Championships and fifth in the Ryedale Grand Prix.

“To be able to draw in such strong guests to help our team is evidence that DID RT is taken seriously abroad”, says Team Manager Stewart Carr.

“The Rás na mBan organising team have raised the bar again this year, putting on an amazing race with a bigger, stronger field than ever. I hope to see it inspire more riders, teams and sponsors into the sport.”