Lorena Wiebes is the fastest pure sprinter in the Women’s WorldTour, charging to 23 wins last year, and she would be the first to say that she heavily relies on a team of fastwomen and their impeccable lead-out skills inside the final kilometres to deliver her to every victory.
Wiebes’ sensational speed aligned perfectly with SD Worx’s manager Danny Stam’s decision to build a sprint team for the first time in the powerful Dutch team’s history. In what was the biggest transfer of the season, Wiebes ended her tenure at Team DSM and will embark on fresh start with a new lead-out crew win in 2023.
“We’ve never had a real sprinter in this team, and I think if you see our team in 2023, we are now ready for every single race that comes up. There aren’t many [pure] sprinters in the women’s peloton, so bringing in someone like Lorena makes a big difference. There are riders who are good in sprints, but really winning bunch sprints is always difficult, and with this group, we are ready for this challenge,” Stam said.
The top team in the world for six of the last seven seasons, SD Worx prides itself on consistently performing and developing up-and-coming talent, and they just got stronger. The well-rounded roster includes the likes of Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky and Marlen Reusser, and now Wiebes.
“We are a team that wants to race, make hard races, and now we have an extra weapon. There are a lot of races now that we know will be bunch sprints, and that makes it easier, but in the different races, when it’s really hard, we have that extra weapon. It doesn’t change our tactics too much, but it makes our lives a little bit easier.”
SD Worx have formed a lead-out train dedicated to Wiebes, who will wear the European Champion’s jersey, with new signings Barbara Guarischi, along with Elena Cecchini, Lonneke Uneken and Christine Majerus. The team will race for the first time together at the upcoming UAE Tour Women from February 9-12.
“We’ve practised our lead-out at the camp. I have a lot of trust in the riders. We will have a really strong lead-out. Barbara is super experienced in sprinting also. I already feel that I can trust her, and I think at the UAE Tour, we will really find out how it works, and we’re really motivated,” Wiebes said.
“We’ve practised different orders in our lead-out. During the season, we can have different orders, partly because we have many strong riders who have the engine to be in a lead-out. For now, I…
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