Geerike Schreurs: Soigneur turned pro gravel rider

 

To be honest, I never would have thought I’d be sitting at my laptop writing a blog for Voxwomen. In August 2023 I decided to make a career switch and so many exciting things have crossed my path since. I am Geerike Schreurs, 34 years old, from the Netherlands. This season, I will be racing gravel full time for Specialized Racing – SD Worx Protime. Through this blog I hope to give you some inside gravel stories. First let’s start where it all started. 

Some of you might know me from cycling races. I worked for the last 7 years as full-time soigneur in women’s cycling. From 2019 I joined Trek-Segafredo (Now Lidl-Trek), and I worked there for 5 years. When Trek started the women’s team back in 2019, I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the team. I got to work with great, professional riders. I made new friendships and being part of the team taught me a lot. However, in 2023 more often I realised the job didn’t give me the energy anymore I use to have. I knew I had to change something, but change can be hard. I think most of us go through phases in life where you question yourself; ‘what is next?’. In August 2023, I decided not to continue as a soigneur for the following year. In September 2023, I did my last races with the team. I remember traveling home from the race feeling sort of empty. It was a long process and not knowing what would be next was very frightening. 

 

Ronde van Vlaanderen on the finish line with Elisa Longo Borgini (Photo Jojo Harper)

 

Last year I signed up for the Traka 200. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I went into the race without any pressure or stress, I just wanted to challenge myself. I competed in a few more gravel races in the following months. I could feel that at the races is where I can show my strength. I love competition, I love the community and being outdoors just makes me happy. I thought, why not ride your bike more and compete in few more races in 2024 if it gives you so much happiness? It took some courage to get myself out there and talk to people about my plans, to find some sort of support through sponsors. I was so lucky to have met the right people at the right time. I was introduced to Specialized bikes who were looking for a European based female gravel racer. SD Worx Protime was enthusiastic and thought it was a good opportunity for the team to have a full-time gravel racer on board. Basically, in a very short time, a dream came true. I cannot be more thankful for this opportunity. 

 

 

Bike-packing / gravel training near Girona 

 

After a few training camps with the team, I feel more and more like a rider. The transition from soigneur, who looks after the riders, to becoming a rider was interesting at times. I am someone who wants to work hard for others and give my best for them, and now I had to take a step back and let others look after me, which I find hard at times. The staff and riders of the team welcomed me with open arms and are all so enthusiastic about my new plans, that I started to be more relaxed about it. It is fun to be a rider and, to be honest less hard working (haha). Well, let’s say very different way of hard working. 

 

First training camp with the team back in December (Photo Getty Images) 

 

In the upcoming months, I will race in some of the biggest gravel events in the world and I’m looking forward to sharing more about that in my next blog. 

 

Thanks for reading,

Geerike (Gee)

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