Lorena Wiebes, the most successful woman of the 2022 season, has joined the ranks of the top female cyclocross riders in the off-season and will ride the Jaarmarktcross Niel on Friday as a welcome change.
The 23-year-old, who will join SD Worx from the DSM team in January, has won 22 races this year, including a clean victory in the three-day, two-stage Tour de France RideLondon Classique race. she said sporza that he wasn’t looking for the best results in cyclocross, but was using it for “good interval training.”
Many road racers throughout history have embraced cyclocross in the off-season, but it has gained popularity in recent years following the successful cross-to-road transitions of Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock. Even two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar took part in cyclocross last year.
“It’s technical but also explosive. You have to be a bit ‘sticky’. It’s good to keep my technique.”
However, Wiebes was not an absolute beginner in the race. “Cyclocross is not new to me. When I was a teenager I raced a lot in cyclocross, that’s when it all started for me. After that, I just rode on the road. And last year I also took part in the cyclocross races in Kortrijk and Boom.”
His performance at Niel did not match the dominance of the other Dutch cyclocross racers, but Wiebes put in a respectable run in 22nd place, 6:23 behind winner Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado.
“I’m glad they didn’t take me out of the race,” Wiebes joked. The last driver to survive the lap was a further two minutes behind. “Luckily I was quick enough. I had fun.”
Plan to see the DSM team black jersey at a few more cyclocross races before the season is over.
“I would like to ride a few more crosses this year. Next season I will race with a new team and right now I will race with my own team.”
His schedule has yet to be determined.
“You still have to look for it. I would also like to drive in Kortrijk next week. In any case, my new team doesn’t mind me making some crosses. With a street view, that certainly doesn’t hurt.”