Marlen Reusser, the twenty-nine year old who came second to Annemiek van Vleuten at the Tokyo Olympic time trial, and second to Anna van der Breggem at the 2020 World Championships time trial, has signed with SD Worx for 2022 and 2023. She says she “didn’t hesitate for long” to make the signing.
Danny Stam, sports director of SD Worx, described Reusser as a rider with “enormous potential”, and emphasized the importance of the team environment for developing her race insight.
“Tactically, she can still learn a lot from us. Racing will become very different for her when she is still surrounded by a few teammates in the finals. I think she can be of great value to the team in the classics.”
“She has the advantage with her good time trial that she is able to set up a solo in a final. Certainly with a few team members behind her, she will soon take advantage of their powerful support.”
On her new team, Reusser said: “Team SD Worx has proven itself to be the best team in recent years. The team is professional and always has a good race plan. They are also strong in general. I didn’t hesitate for long when the team came up with an offer.”
Reusser began competing at the age of 25, meaning she only has four years of competition experience so far. She started with the WCC Team in 2019, before joining Équipe Paula Ka in 2020, which folded that year due to funding issues. She moved to Alé BTC Ljubljana, with whom she recently placed fourth in the general classification of the 2021 Ladies’ Tour of Norway. She also notably came 7th in the 2020 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and 9th in the 2021 Tour of Flanders.
On her time trial specialism, she said: “The time trial is the easiest way to demonstrate your talent because you have to perform on it in a straight-forward way. A road competition is more complex, involving positioning, tactics and teamwork.”
She said that she was looking forward to working with the experienced team, and that she felt she had a high ceiling to reach. “For example, when I look back at how easily I resigned myself to missing the decisive breakaway of eight riders in the last Tour of Flanders because I was not at the good position while I still had good legs. I really realize that with more race insight and a good team around me, I can also compete with the best in the classics.”
She said: “I can still learn a lot and make a lot of progress in the road competitions. Over the last two years, I have shown that I have the ability to fight against other top cyclists.”