National Titles For AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step

The championships week continues with more titles and medals for AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step. Fee Knaven was the fastest of the junior-women category and Maud Rijnbeek surprised herself with the U23 time trial title in the Netherlands.

“This was only my first time trial of the season. I didn’t think for a minute I could race for gold here,” Maud reacted with a smile. “We had been doing aero-tests on the track and my position was great. I just wanted to do everything right today and then I would see. I couldn’t believe I won until I was on that podium with the jersey on.”

Maud wasn’t the only AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step rider on the podium. Ilse Pluimers joined her for a silver medal having finished seven seconds behind Maud. They both beat the 2022 champion Shirin van Anrooij. Maureen Arens (11th), Mirre Knaven (14th) and Yuli van der Molen (15th) also competed on the 42-kilometre-long course.

“It was the longest time trial I have ever done,” Maud said. “The course was great but it was almost an hour long. Jolien coached me perfectly. On the start ramp I noticed my watt meter broke down so I just had to go by how I felt and by what Jolien said about my lines and position. I also have to thank my trainer Martijn for the great preparation. The support of the whole team made this possible. Icing on the cake was that Ilse joins me on the podium. We have been riding against each other since we were eight years old so being here together was so fantastic.”

The national anthem sounded for Maud and also for Fee Knaven. The junior-women raced 15,6 kilometres in Elspeet. Fee achieved an impressive average speed of almost 45 kilometres an hour. Fee is 16 years young and only a first-year junior. She was the second youngest in the entire field.

“I liked the course,” the newly-crowned champion said. “There weren’t many turns and we had some slight elevation. I prepared by training on my time trial bike and got some excellent coaching by Martijn. I think I maybe started a bit too fast but, in the end, it worked out fine. I am happy I felt this good because earlier this week the heat really got to me. I am really happy to win this Dutch title and wear this jersey a whole year because I am only a first-year junior.”

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