Team dsm-firmenich Strengthens Squad

Team dsm-firmenich are delighted to reveal that four of their Women’s program have extended their contracts with the team; further building the core of the squad for the years to come. Francesca Barale and Esmée Peperkamp are set to race in the team’s colours into 2025. Becky Storrie continues for another year in 2024, while Elise Uijen pens a deal that sees her committed to the team until 2027.

Francesca Barale:

Still only in her second year as a professional rider, Barale joined the team in 2022 after a promising junior career, which saw her take back-to-back Italian championships in the road race, plus several other top results. Finding her feet in her opening campaign, she rode strongly in support of the team’s goals and impressed with a breakaway ride that was caught on the ramp to the finish at Binche-Chimay-Binche. This season, Barale has continued to develop, playing an important role in top results for the team at races such as La Vuelta Femenina and Giro d’Italia Donne, the latter of which she was part of the late support for GC finisher Juliette Labous. Alongside her strong riding on the bike, Barale is a very personable character with a tactical racing brain and brings value to the team with her analytical approach to cycling.

Barale said: “I really like the environment and the group that we have in the team, so it was an easy decision to continue here. I still want to and have a lot of room to develop and this is the best team that I can do it in. I’ve already grown a lot in the past two years and I want to do it in the next two as well. The way that the team works and operates is the way that I like to as well, so it is a good fit for me. I want to develop more on the climbs and hopefully improve my TT too, and I feel there is a lot of room to grow here with the team.”

Team dsm-firmenich head coach Rudi Kemna added, “Francesca is a talented young rider who has made some nice steps with us in her first two seasons with the team. She has shown her abilities on the climbs and has provided strong support for our GC finishers. Coming to every race or team camp that we have, she arrives with the right intentions and is someone that always gives her all for whatever her role might be. Off the bike, she also fits in well with our culture so we’re looking forward to the next steps.”

Esmée Peperkamp

Taking up the sport of cycling relatively late, Peperkamp has settled in well since joining the team and now finds herself in her third season as a pro. Often found working tirelessly at the front of the bunch to chase back the day’s breakaway and set up the team’s finisher on the flat, Peperkamp has also proven herself to be strong in hilly and mountainous terrain too. This was evident in 2022 with 11th on the GC at the Tour of Scandinavia while also working for the team. Her climbing prowess was put further into the spotlight at the UAE Tour this season where she took a battling fourth place atop Jebel Hafeet, which resulted in a strong eighth overall. Since then, she’s taken part in all three of the Grand Tours, supporting the team’s goals and GC finisher Juliette Labous to achieve impressive results such as second at the Giro d’Italia Donne, where Peperkamp herself finished 15th.

Peperkamp said: “I am really happy to stay in the team for another two years. I am grateful that I got the chance to ride all three Grand Tours this year and was part of some great results – GC with Juliette and day results with Charlotte and Megan. I also got my first chance to ride for a result in the queen stage of UAE, which was really nice. I am grateful for the trust from the team and it gives me a lot of confidence. I made some big steps and I also expect that in this environment I will make more big steps in the future. We have a really young team and we are already in the mix for the win in the biggest races, so I am looking forward to going for even better results in the future as a team, in sprints and GC. The team’s atmosphere is great and everyone gives 100 percent for each other. As a real team player, this team suits me the best.”

Team dsm-firmenich head coach Rudi Kemna said, “Esmée has really made progress year-on-year since she turned professional with us. She is a big natural talent, but is someone that has come to the sport late, so we will continue to work with her to improve the tactical and technical elements of racing at the highest level. We believe that Esmée can continue to improve and ride strongly as a GC support rider, but also make steps in the time trial and GC, where we believe she can play a role as finisher in the future.”

Becky Storrie

A former triathlete, Storrie made the switch full time to cycling in 2019 while in recovery from a diagnosis of chronic fatigue. Taking part in her first proper road race that year, she rose through the British domestic scene and combined her riding on the road with E-sports, before joining Team dsm-firmenich for the 2023 season. Making the transition from Continental level, Storrie has played a strong role in support of some good results and high moments for the team so far. Making her Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia Donne, Storrie was able to showcase her abilities on the climbs where she was part of a strong group, which animated the race and saw Juliette Labous take second place on GC – team dsm-firmenich’s first Grand Tour podium with their Women’s program.

Storrie said, “I’m super excited about my extension with the team. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to race as part of team dsm-firmenich in my first year at WorldTour level. This team has a reputation for developing riders into some of the best bike riders in the world. After this year I can see why and I believe there is no better place for me to continue to learn and grow as a rider.”

Team dsm-firmenich head coach Rudi Kemna said, “Becky has had a solid first year with us, showing her potential on the climbs and in support of our goals. Still relatively new to the sport, we want to continue to work closely with Becky and improve her on-bike technical skills and positioning, so that she can come into the more important moments as fresh as possible. Always with an attentive ear, Becky fits in well with our team ethos and embraces the advice from our experts, coaches and trainers; continuously wanting to improve herself and strive for more. This attitude is something we really appreciate as a team.

Elise Uijen

Joining team dsm-firmenich in 2022 off the back of a strong junior career in which she won both the Dutch and European time trial championships, like many young riders, Uijen found the big jump direct from juniors to the elite ranks tough. With the support of the team and those around her, she soon settled into life as a pro and had a strong second half of the season, where a combative ride saw her take the Queen of the Mountains jersey at Tour de Romandie. Starting 2023 with a bang, Elise took an incredible win on the final day at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana where she impressed in the breakaway over the climbs and won a sprint-a-deux ahead of a charging peloton. Her good form continued with a strong seventh place at Trofeo Alfredo Binda, her first WorldTour top ten, before going on to support the team to some top results and victories throughout the rest of the season so far.

Uijen said, “I am really looking forward and happy to continue the progress and fun with the team in the coming years. I feel at home here and I’m really enjoying myself and developing as a rider and a person. I think the team is the best place for me to improve into the best cyclist possible and I am excited for what’s next, so I’m looking forward to wearing the team’s jersey until 2027!”

Team dsm-firmenich head coach Rudi Kemna added, “Elise had a challenging first part to her opening year with us, but we managed to get through it together and we saw her make big steps not only on the bike but as a person too. A young talent, we think in the future that she has the abilities for the classics and has GC potential as well. Like always, we want to make steady progress and we will continue to support Elise in all aspects of her career, both on and off the bike, as she continues to make the transition to elite level racing.”

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