ProCyclingUK 2024 Logo Alternate

Barbieri’s move to DSM and leaving the track behind

Rachele Barbieri

Rachele Barbieri, recently returned from a vacation in the Maldives, has been in high spirits, with her social media laden with holiday photographs. Her transition into a new team, Team DSM-Firmenich, marks a fresh chapter post-holiday, a move that caught many by surprise, although it was suspected by a few within her former circle who maintained discretion. Barbieri recounted how the merger of her former team, Liv Racing-Teqfind with Jayco-AlUla, led to an unexpected offer from Team DSM. Despite a tough season, the opportunity presented a chance for personal growth within the new setting.

The offer was made swiftly, and while it was difficult to leave a team where she had forged strong relationships, she prioritised her own development. Role within Team DSMThe team was forthright about her role, envisioning her as the lead-out for sprinter Charlotte Kool, while also promising opportunities for Barbieri to shine. The contract is signed to 2026, indicating a significant investment in her potential. The highly organised nature of Team DSM and the unity displayed by the athletes were factors that appealed to her greatly.

At 26, Barbieri finds herself as one of the older members of the team, a fact that she finds unusual but also humbling. She is eager to learn from her younger, though experienced, teammates and recognises the opportunity for growth it represents. The team’s reputed rigidity did raise initial concerns for Barbieri, but she was reassured about the flexibility regarding training locations. With the classics season in mind, she was informed that having a base in the Netherlands would be pragmatic.

Barbieri expressed her resolve to prove that she can excel on the road just as she did on the track. Despite the uncertainties of the future and the changes in her professional life, she remains hopeful that her dedication will shine through in her new venture with Team DSM. Barbieri stressed the importance of honesty when discussing the new offer with her former team, a team which she believes treated her with utmost fairness. Her decision was not driven by financial motives but by the prospects of a new environment, and it was a choice that she believes was met with understanding from her previous team.

Choosing Road over Track

While the DSM team acknowledges her track background, they also mapped out a future focusing solely on road cycling, especially post-Olympics. This meant a tough decision for Barbieri, as she had to forsake the track – a discipline that had brought her significant success — to fully commit to the road.

Leaving the track was a poignant moment for Barbieri, who has many achievements to her name in that sphere. A lack of response from the track coach solidified her decision and though it often weighs on her mind, she is set on looking forward and harnessing her determination for success on the road.