Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling
Dutch cyclocross champion Puck Pieterse has announced a hiatus from the sport for the next few weeks. Pieterse, who recently competed in the World Cup at Waterloo, will be taking a break after an exhaustive mountain bike season during the summer months. She aims to return to competitive cyclocross action by the end of November.
Demi Vollering has won the Velo d’Or award for 2023 (with 171 points), ahead of Lotte Kopecky (139 points) and Annemiek van Vleuten (99 points).
Liv, the only comprehensive cycling brand in the world dedicated solely to women, will step up to become the title sponsor of Jayco – AlUla, which from 1 January 2024 will be named Liv AlUla Jayco. The new four-year deal is testament to Liv’s commitment to the development of the sport, which is also demonstrated by a new women’s development team that will launch in 2024. This team will assist in nurturing talent and provide a pathway to the WorldTour team.
A new women’s cycling team is set to join the British scene next year, and hopes to compete at the 2025 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Hess Cycling, founded by Swiss businessman Rolf Hess, has applied for a British Continental race license, which it expects to receive in the coming weeks. The roster will be announced soon, featuring multiple National Champions and riders set to race at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
U.S. climber Kristabel Doebel-Hickok has signed with Human Powered Health, returning to her former team where she raced from 2019 to 2021, and played an important role as a regular GC leader.
Human Powered Health has also strengthened its squad with the signing of Maëlle Grossetête and Romy Kasper. Grossetête, from Sallanches in France, joins the team after six years with FDJ – SUEZ. Competing at the top level of the sport since 2008, Kasper, from Germany, has raced both editions of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, every Paris-Roubaix Femmes, six editions of the Giro d’Italia Donne, 12 Tours of Flander and ten World Championships.
Spanish rider Alicia González will join Lifeplus-Wahoo after six years at Movistar. The climber and classics specialist will bring a wealth of experience to her new team.
Audrey Cordon-Ragot will continue to race with Human Powered Health next season after signing an extension with the team. Cordon-Ragot joined Human Powered Health in the spring of this year after quitting Team Zaaf.
Mountain biker Sophie van Berswordt will ride for Team Jumbo-Visma as a road racer from next year. She has signed a two-year contract and will be concentrating on the spring classics. She previously rode some races with the Watersley R&D Road Team.
Canadian all-rounder Olivia Baril, who is strong in the mountains and on flat roads, will ride for Movistar team next season.
Liv AlUla Jayco has confirmed the 16 riders for their 2024 squad, featuring 7 new riders. The youngest rider, at 21 years of age, is Ella Wyllie, while Marvi Garcia, at the age of 39, is the oldest, and brings significant experience to the Australian squad.
Team SD Worx and Specialized Bicycles have announced the extension of their partnership through 2028, solidifying a collaboration that has been built for almost ten years. This renewal reaffirms their commitment to supporting the growth of women’s cycling and continued success as the best team in the sport.
Sanne Cant, Alicia Franck, Marion Norbert Riberolle and Laura Verdonschot will represent Belgium at the CX European Championships in France from 3-5 November. Helene Clauzel, Perrine Clauzel, Amandine Fouquenet, Evita Muzic and Amandine Vidon will ride for France in the elite category.
The 2024 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift
The race route was officially presented in Paris on 25 October. The third edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will feature eight stages across seven days between August 12 and August 18. The date of the event has changed compared to previous years from late July to mid-August to accommodate the Olympic Games, which will be held from 26 July to 11 August in Paris.
This is the first time the race will start outside of France. The Grand Départ will be held in the Netherlands with host cities in Rotterdam, The Hague, Dordrecht and Valkenburg and then cross into Belgium, taking the riders to Liège and Bastogne, before reaching France on the fourth day of racing. The peloton will travel south toward the Alps for two back-to-back mountain stages that finish at Le Grand-Bornand and conclude on the famed Alpe d’Huez.
The 154 riders will navigate a total of 946.3km, which includes three flat stages, one individual time trial, two hilly stages, two mountain stages and a finish on the Alpe d’Huez, with its mythical 21 hairpins. It will be the first time since 1992 and 1993 that the women will race Alpe d’Huez.
The opening stages in the Netherlands look to be the only opportunities for the sprinters due to their flat terrain. Once in Belgium, the course features some Classics-style stages before heading to the climbing stages in France. The first stage is a summit finish to the Le Grand-Bornand, followed by the legendary Col du Glandon and Alpe d’Huez on stage eight, the grand finale of the week. The route of the 2024 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift has a bit of everything and promises an exciting edition.
Pan American Games – ITT: Kristen Faulkner (USA) ahead of Arlenis Sierra (Cuba) and Aranza Villalon Sanches (Chile)
Nacht van Woerden: Fem van Empel (NED) ahead of Manon Bakker (NED) and Zoe Bäckstedt (GBR)
We’re heading towards November, which marks the start of the preparation for the 2024 season. But before focusing on new goals, Franziska Koch looks back at the 2023 season. Check out her blog here!
This week in cycling history
The now 49-year-old German former sprinter celebrated her birthday on 28 October. Her older brothers Sven and Lars raced bikes, and whatever they did, Ina did too, which is how she got into racing. She competed between 2000 and 2013 and took over 200 wins in her career. The German powerhouse had a sprint that was hard to beat, but after suffering a serious accident, she retired in 2013. Unsure what she wanted to do after her career in racing, she worked at an animal shelter in Utah and did charity work in aid of mental health to gain some perspective on what was important to her. Following her recovery, she directed the junior men’s and women’s program of USA Cycling in Europe and later was appointed Director of Sports for the newly formed Trek-Segafredo women’s team in 2019. That year, Teutenberg also became USA Cycling’s Women’s Road Sports Director for the World Championships and Olympic Games. Currently she is the Head Sports Director for Lidl-Trek’s women’s team.
Dame Sarah Storey
Born on 26 October 1977, Storey is a British Paralympic cyclist and former swimmer. She competed as a swimmer at the Paralympic Games before switching to cycling in 2005. Among the most decorated athletes in Britain, she also holds numerous world records in both swimming and cycling. Following the 2012 Olympics, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 New Year’s Honours. She is the founder of Storey Racing, an all-women team.
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