With eight victories, including three WorldTour classics, Team SD Worx did excellent in the spring. Sports manager Danny Stam looks back with great satisfaction to the first months in SD Worx’s new purple-red colours. “We have been able to continue the good results of the previous years. These results were above expectations, ”says Stam.
Sixteen podium places, of which eight were victories by seven different riders. These are decent scores to debut in the women’s peloton. “Spring was extremely important for us, because half of the time we started with a new team. Then it is important that you immediately have the right atmosphere in the team. During our training camps in Spain, you immediately saw that the group was working well together and there we made the foundation for this good start of the season. ”
Which victory stands out for you?
“Then you quickly look back to the victory that is most fresh in your memory. In Liège-Bastogne-Liège, we performed very well as a team. Precisely after a number of races in which we had somewhat failed as a team despite decent results, I thought it was nice to see how we drove like a block again in the last Ardennes race. That shows the resilience of the team. We had started the spring with a fantastic functioning team in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and we also closed it in Liège with a team where everyone stood out above themselves. ”
What’s your opinion about the development of young talents in the team?
“I have seen very positive things for the future. Lonneke Uneken wins the queen stage of the Healthy Aging Tour in a beautiful way, showing that she has taken another step. Then she had some bad luck and was ill for a while. Now you have to continue on the right path. Both Anna Shackley and Niamh Fisher-Black showed that they are close to hooking up with the better ones. That is only a matter of time. They can learn a lot in a team with so many great riders. The disadvantage may be that they have to ride in service of the older girls, so you do not immediately see their progress in their own results. For example, both could have finished in the top 10 in one of the hill classics if they could have raced purely for their own chances. For the long term, this is the best investment in their career. ”
Perhaps most striking was Demi Vollering who closed a series of beautiful races with the victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“Demi has indeed taken an enormous step and made the connection with the world’s top. It’s great how she manages to win the race after a number of mistakes in the previous races in Liège. Such a classic victory will only increase her confidence in the future. But perhaps most importantly, in all the races she started this year, she has managed to claim a leading role. This bodes well for the future.”
The altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada worked out well for both Anna van der Breggen and Demi Vollering.
“We already had good experiences from the past with Anna. For Demi it has also worked out very well. Towards the Giro d’Italia and the Olympic Games, we will organize an altitude training camp in Tignes, France. Still, I don’t want to canonize the altitude camps. It is also possible that Demi simply has this talent in her and that she does not need that extra stimulus. The future will learn.”
What have you learned from last spring?
“That the level of women’s cycling has risen again in width. In an Olympic year you will soon see that everyone perform better because everyone is fighting for a place in the Olympic selections. I also noticed that there are more teams that fight for the victories, but you can also see that those teams have all become stronger in width. ”
What are the most important goals for Team SD Worx in 2021 after this successful spring?
“A number of important competitions in Spain are scheduled for May. Then we will prepare for the Giro. Although this year’s Giro is mainly dominated by the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Our team contains eight or maybe nine riders who will compete at the Olympic Games. That is their main goal for them which will leave a big mark on our team in the coming months. After Tokyo, the European Championships in Trentino, World Championships in Belgium and Paris-Roubaix are on the programme. That means that there are also some great challenges in the autumn. ”
Photo Credits: Getty Sport