Knaven Transfers To EF Education-Cannondale

Dutch rider, Mirre Knaven is joining EF Education-Cannondale effective immediately. She is transferring from AIG Insurance-NXTG U23 and will put on the team colours for the first time to compete at the Thüringen Ladies Tour.

“EF Pro Cycling has always been my dream team, so I wanted to get here as soon as possible,” Mirre said of her decision. “My first race with the team is coming quickly, but I’m super excited. I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone, the riders and directors and staff. I think it will be a really good atmosphere at Thüringen. Mostly, I just want to help the team as much as I can.”

EF Education-Cannondale general manager, Esra Tromp agreed. “Mirre is a really young athlete; there is so much potential in her. She is determined to develop herself everyday and wants to grow into a really strong classics rider. For us, it was a great opportunity to add her to the program right away. This gives us a little bit more time to get to know Mirre and to give her the support at this young age so she can grow.”

The nineteen-year-old Dutch rider is in her second season of professional racing. This year she earned her first win of her career on stage two of Gracia Orlová in Czechia where she out-kicked the field to win a bunch sprint. She also claimed the points competition and was the best young rider at the race. Mirre followed up that performance the following month by winning both the final stage at Tour de Feminin and the Queen of the Mountains jersey.

Mirre describes herself as a classics-style rider, explaining, “I’m not a climber but I can go over hills. I’m not a sprinter but I have a decent sprint. I hope to develop into a proper classics rider.”

In Mirre, Esra sees a lot of potential. “I am really impressed by the way Mirre is racing. She has a strong sprint, but also races with heart and dares to race aggressively, something that fits our DNA, but not only by the way she is racing. She has a positive and upbeat personality, is highly focused, and has a great learning mindset!”

Though Mirre grew up in an athletic family – her father is Servais Knaven, winner of the 2001 edition of Paris-Roubaix, and her mother, Natascha den Ouden, is a three-time cyclocross Dutch national champion – gymnastics was the first sport she grew to love alongside her three sisters. When her oldest sister decided one day to trade in the gymnastics costume for a cycling kit, Mirre, then about seven years old, and her other siblings followed suit. Her parents simply encouraged the sisters to follow their curiosities and passions, rarely bringing up their own racing careers. Mirre and her sisters started riding on the road, before they all took up cyclocross and mountain biking.

“We all quit mountain biking because we were too scared at one point,” she admitted. “I still enjoy cyclocross, but I do less and less of it every year. It takes a lot of energy for just one race and I’d rather be training in Spain in the winter!”

Beyond training and racing, Mirre spends her free time working towards her degree in digital design and playing music.

“I like to play piano, I play guitar, and I play the drums,” she said. “If I weren’t a cyclist, I think I would pursue music professionally. I started playing drums when I was nine and then when Covid started, I began playing the piano and I taught myself a bit. I actually like the piano the most. About two years ago, I also started playing guitar.”

The same desire to learn and inner drive that Mirre applies to music, she also extends to cycling.

“Last year, I made a really big step mentally in learning how to not give up. And with my win at Gracia Orlová this year, I made another step. I was scared before the stage, but I did it and I took the win. That gave me a real boost and makes me excited to see what else I can do!”

Mirre’s new team also can’t wait to see what she can achieve and her teammates are thrilled she is going to be doing it in pink!

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