Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling
German ITT champion Mieke Kröger has been released early from her team, Human Powered Health, in order to retire from road cycling at the end of the year. With the help of a new trainer, she will now concentrate on preparations for the track and ITT events at the Paris Olympics.
Lotte Kopecky has recently been honoured for her win at the Road World Championships with a mural, from the city of Roselare. “These are very busy times at the moment, but for me it is quite an honour to be on this wall. The fact that, as a still active rider, I am already on this wall among all the great athletes of the past makes it extra special for me.” Kopecky is in good company with the murals of legends Rik Van Looy, Freddy Maertens, Benoni Beheyt and Yvonne Reynders among the riders also depicted.
The Czech rider Nicola Noskova, German Hannah Ludwig, Dutch Kirstie van Haaften and experienced Australian rider Sarah Roy will join Team Cofidis next season.
Welsh rider Eluned King will continue to ride for Lifeplus-Wahoo next year.
The 22-year-old Swiss rider Ronja Blöchlinger dominated this year’s XCC (short track cross-country) World Cup season in the U23 category, winning all eight events throughout the year plus the short track at the European Championships and the final XCO event in Mont-Sainte-Anne. Next year Blöchlinger will be stepping up to the elite field with Liv Racing.
The 2024 season opener, the Tour Down Under, has announced that defending champion Grace Brown of FDJ-SUEZ and three-time overall winner Amanda Spratt (Lidl-Trek) will return to Australia in January to race in Adelaide.
PostNL will become the equal main sponsor of the Dutch cycling team dsm-firmenich through to 2026. PostNL is the largest mail and parcel delivery company in the Netherlands, and also operates in the area of parcel delivery in Belgium. The jersey for the newly named Team dsm-firmenich PostNL will be revealed on 8 January 24.
A UCI Women’s squad from Uzbekistan, Tashkent City Women’s Pro Cycling Team, is looking set to be invited to all Women’s WorldTour races in 2024. The merger between Liv Racing TeqFind and Jayco-AlUla and the folding of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB has effectively pushed the Uzbek team up to 17th and into the third of the three wildcard spots normally reserved for the top three Continental teams in the world ranking. However, several rival teams have lobbied with the UCI over the validity of some of their points-scoring results since the summer.
Starting in January with the esports championships on Zwift, USA Cycling has announced its 2024 line-up of national championship events that will be held for all disciplines and in nine different states. The full line-up includes 18 different championships events across the road, mountain track, cyclocross, gravel, BMX and esports cycling disciplines as well as the junior, collegiate, elite, para and masters levels.
The UCI has announced new calendars and initiated a reflection on the participation of athletes in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and other events on the discipline’s UCI international calendar. This is to ensure a balance between various major cyclo-cross races and the participation of riders in these competitions.
Ghent Six Days
Points race: Lotte Kopecky (BEL) ahead of Victoire Berteau (FRA) and Marit Raaijmakers (NED)
Check out Abi Smith’s review of her 2023 season in her exclusive blog for Voxwomen – from injury, recovery and returning to her best, to riding for a new team next year. Read it here!
This week in cycling history
Multiple national track and road champion Petra Rossner was born on 14 November 1966 and was active in competition between 1987 and 2004. Starting out as a runner, she switched to cycling and won world and Olympic titles on the track. The sprinter also took stage wins at the women’s Tour de France and the Giro among other successes on the road. She was honoured on several occasions as one of the country’s most successful riders. After her retirement she started coaching, led a women’s road cycling team and was involved in the development of girls’ and young women’s cycling in Germany.
Celebrating her birthday on 14 November, the now 38-year-old multiple US national champion became the first US cyclist to win the Giro Donne in 2010, a feat she repeated again in 2013. A competitive swimmer as a youth, Abbott started cycling while getting an economics degree. After her retirement, she worked as a yoga instructor and journalist for newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and sits now on the City of Boulder’s environmental board. After wrangling with an eating disorder in the past, she is also writing about nutrition and helping athletes looking after their physical and mental health. Into local farming and growing produce, Abbott describes herself as an apple connoisseur.
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