Team DSM have added three new riders to their Women’s program for 2023 as Eleonora Ciabocco, Maeve Plouffe and Eglantine Rayer all sign with the team through the 2024 season.
Hailing from Italy, Eleanora Ciabocco had a short but successful opening season in the junior ranks in 2021, competing in a handful of national and international races alongside some regional junior Italian races. Out of the five international races she competed in she finished in the top ten of all of them: starting off with fifth at Trofeo Binda Juniors, third in the Italian time trial, second in the European road race and ninth at the World Championship road race. Her crowning glory was a brilliant late attack to claim the Italian race win, a title she would go on to expertly defend recently in 2022 with another brilliant ride.
Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna said: “In the junior ranks Eleonora has shown herself to be quite a complete rider; she can climb well but also packs a good punch too. She’s taken back-to-back Italian road race titles which is really impressive, as that is normally one of the toughest races at that level. Furthermore, Eleonora has a really good mindset for a cyclist; always wanting to improve, but she’s also able to read a race well and play the game of cycling well, which is impressive for someone so young. We’re looking forward to working with her.”
Born in Adelaide in Australia, Maeve Plouffe has spent most of her career so far on the boards, competing against the very best in the world of track cycling. Plouffe’s power and speed has helped her to become a seven times Australia champion in the madison, team pursuit, omnium, and road time trial, which she has followed up in 2022 with victory in the individual pursuit at the track world cup in Milton – setting a very impressive time. Tasting success not just on the track, Plouffe has impressed on the road too with the aforementioned time trial win as a junior in 2017. This season has seen her show her sprinting prowess with stage wins at the Santos Festival of Cycling and Tour of Gippsland, before she won the Warrnambool Cycling Classic race in New Zealand. Returning to Belgium for a stint of racing after her track success, she powered to a win and has picked up three further top tens in races too.
Plouffe said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic to be joining Team DSM for 2023. Pursuing a career on the road has long been an ambition of mine, and I can think of no better team to develop with than Team DSM. After seeing some success over the last few years on the track, I’m eager to apply myself to the new challenge of racing on the road. I’ve always admired their Women’s program as the most dialled sprint lead out train in the women’s WorldTour. As a budding lead out rider and sprinter, the opportunity to be a part of this lead out therefore feels like a natural fit for my background and is definitely a career-defining opportunity. I’m feeling incredibly motivated and I can’t wait to put in the work over the Australian summer so that I’m ready to race in my new colours in 2023.”
Diminutive in stature but not in nature, young Frenchwoman Eglantine Rayer has impressed many in her two years in the junior ranks. Bursting onto the scene, she claimed a well-earned third place in her opening race at Trofeo Binda before going on to complete the double at the French national championships, winning both the time trial and road race. Rounding out her season, which she only ever finished outside the top ten in a stage or race once, she claimed a fine bronze medal at the European road race. The start of her 2022 campaign saw more solid results but she really kicked up the level with a stage win, the GC and mountain classification title at Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie; before second in the European time trial and an incredible win at the same championships road race. Arguably however, her best performance might be the second place at Alpes Gresivaudan Classic where she came second in a mountain-top sprint finish against a field of strong elite riders; hinting at her potential future climbing ability.
Rayer is excited to join the World Tour DSM: “Team DSM have followed me since my junior years, which I think has created a bond of trust between us. I can’t wait to turn professional and take part in my first WorldTour races and give it my all for the team in their jersey. I love the atmosphere within the team, and I can’t wait to meet everyone properly. By joining Team DSM, I hope to be able to achieve and experience the greatest emotions in sport.”