Fenix-Deceuninck 2023 Roster Preview

Sanne Cant

2022 Season Summary

It felt like a real season of two halves for the then Plantur-Pura team. A solid start saw Julie de WIlde take 2nd at Dwars door Vlaanderen and Christina Schweinberger 3rd at Gracia Orlová but it wasn’t until June where the team really started firing on all cylinders. That’s linked to the Belgian non-WWT calendar races kicking in from then to the end of the season. We know from the season-long relegation battle on the men’s side of the sport how overpowered 1.1 races are when it comes to points and Plantur-Pura made full use of them to secure the final Women’s WorldTour spot available for 2023. They were around 800 points behind Ceratizit WNt in June/July but their late-season charge too them easily into the WWT spot. There was a noticeable shift away from giving a road home for cyclocross specialists to becoming a legit road team.

The combination of Julie de Wilde, Marthe Truyen, Yara Kastelijn, Christina Schweinberger and Julie van de Velde picked up the bulk of those points. There was plenty of hype of De Wilde coming out of juniors and in 2022 she began to really deliver on that promise with wins at Konvert Kortrijk Koerse and Grisette GP de Wallonie. Truyen didn’t pick up a win but was a very consistent top-10 finisher in 1.1 races, helping to pick up the points. It’s similar for Yara Kastelijn, who was one of the team’s best threats in WWT races, including 13th in GC at the Tour de France Femmes and 7th at the Tour de Romandie. She’s the team’s best climber but supported by Julie van de Velde who was 6th in GC at the Tour of Scandinavia. Finally, Christina Schweinberger did a similar job to De Wilde. Winning both her nat champs and a Gracia Orlová stage, it was her consistent high placings in 1.1 races like Dwars door het Hageland and Binche-Chimay-Binche that made her the 3rd highest scorer on the team.

2022 World Ranking: 12th
2022 WorldTour Ranking: 15th

2023 Transfers In

  • Evy Kuijpers
  • Maria Martins
  • Greta Marturano
  • Carina Schrempf
  • Petra Stiasny
  • Cecilia van Zuthem
  • Sophie Wright

2023 Transfers Out

  • Manon Bakker
  • Imogen Cotter
  • Kiona Crabbe
  • Justine Ghekiere
  • Anna Kay
  • Marion Norbert RIberolle
  • Laura Süßemilch
  • Aniek van Alphen

Star Riders

Riders to Watch in 2023

Julie de Wilde is going to be huge this season. We’ve already started to see what she can do and 2023 promises to be the year the Belgian could win her first Women’s WorldTour race. She’s a strong sprinter but there is more to her profile than that, she could be useful in the classics period too and any one-day race. Yara Kastelijn and Julie van de Velde are going to chip in with solid results on all of the uphill races, with Kastelijn particularly strong in the Ardennes classics. Petra Stiasny has the possibility of becoming the team’s major GC threat if she can show that the Tour de Romandie result last season wasn’t a one-off.

Greta Marturano has shown that she can be a threat in short stage races and Marthe Truyen is going to be useful again in those rolling one-day Belgian races. With the team needing points to ensure they stay in the Women’s WorldTour next season, expect Fenix-Deceuninck to lean heavily on the Belgian one-day race calendar again. Christina Schweinberger will be similar to Truyen in picking up plenty of consistent results in those races. For a wildcard rider, Carina Schrempf will be one to watch with interest. Her limit is so far unknown.

Transfer Thoughts

There’s a noticeable clearout of cyclocross riders now that the team is in the Women’s WorldTour. Many still race for Roodhooft teams in CX so it’s more of a case of reassigning them closer to their season goals. They can be brought back later on in the season if needs be. Justine Ghekiere is a bit of a disappointing loss though, she should’ve won Grisette GP de Wallonie this year but for going the wrong way on the final corner.

The riders that have come in are strong though. Petra Stiasny stands out after her end-of-year Tour of Romandie display where she finished 5th on the climb to Thyon 2000 and mixed it with the stars of the WWT. Sophie Wright and Greta Marturano add attacking options, with Wright always happy to go into the break and Marturano finishing 4th in GC at CIC-Tour Féminin Pyrénées. Evy Kuijpers adds a tonne of road experience and will be a useful road captain for the team who can chip in with the odd result. Cecilia van Zuthem was 8th at Konvert Kontrijk Koerse and 7th on a Lotto Belgium Stage. Only 19, she will hope to see improvements in the 2023 season as she develops. Carina Schrempf is a proper wildcard though. She’s a runner who has turned to cycling after multiple Austrian national running titles. Schrempf won the mountains and sprints jersey at Gracia Orlová on her way to 8th in GC. Chuck in a load more of her top-10 results and you she can see how she turns out to be another great cyclist from another sport.

Kim de Baat
Kim de Baat

2023 Full Roster

  • Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado
  • Sanne Cant
  • Millie Couzens
  • Kim de Baat
  • Julie de Wilde
  • Yara Kastelijn
  • Evy Kuijpers
  • Maria Martins
  • Greta Marturano
  • Puck PIeterse
  • Carina Schrempf
  • Christina Schweinberger
  • Petra Stiasny
  • Marthe Truyen
  • Julie van de Velde
  • Inge van der Heijden
  • Cecilia van Zuthem
  • Annemarie Worst
  • Sophie Wright