Lifeplus-Wahoo has enthusiastically announced the acquisition of 28-year-old American cyclist Heidi Franz for the upcoming 2024 season. Franz, entering her seventh year as a professional, experienced a tumultuous 2023 season, marked by affiliations with three different teams due to circumstances beyond her control.
Originally destined to join French team B&B Hotels last year, that venture fell through before it could even begin. Subsequently, she signed with the controversial ZAAF team, which also folded by the end of April. Despite these setbacks, Franz managed to secure a place with DNA Pro Cycling and earned spots on her USA National Team, turning heads with her performances at events such as the Festival Elsy Jacobs and Egmont Cycling Race.
Team Manager Tom Varney was effusive in his praise for the American cyclist. “It’s Heidi’s remarkable resilience that drew her to our team,” Varney noted. “Having witnessed her bounce back from adversity twice in just five months and still secure solid results is something to be admired.” He went on to assert that Franz is in the form of her life and expressed confidence that within the Lifeplus-Wahoo framework, she could develop into a consistent, reliable rider.
Franz herself was upbeat about joining Lifeplus-Wahoo, commending the team’s culture. “This team offers a unique path for development at the sport’s highest level, within a supportive and enjoyable environment,” she said. She further highlighted that, although an experienced competitor, she still has considerable room for development. Franz identified herself as an ‘all-rounder’ with a ‘sneaky kick,’ traits she feels will be assets in her new team.
On the subject of team dynamics, Franz was particularly passionate. “The most rewarding aspect of bike racing for me is developing cohesion among teammates and then testing it in races throughout the season,” she said. She added that the thrill of achieving collective goals and celebrating them as a team is unparalleled.