Lorena Wiebes, renowned as the world’s fastest sprinter, shared her broader aspirations beyond sprinting in a conversation with WielerFlits after the Jaarmarktcross in Niel. Despite being a 24-year-old top sprinter, Wiebes is determined to expand her skills. She makes it a point to participate in cyclo-cross races during the winter, choosing Niel’s challenging course this time around. She humorously noted that she might opt for a less technically demanding cross next time after experiencing a fall and a derailleur issue in her last round at Niel.
For Wiebes, cyclo-cross is more than just competition; it’s a return to her roots, as it was her initial foray into cycling. She enjoys the discipline variety, participating in events like the European and World Championships in gravel and regularly appearing at the Dutch National Track Championships. This mix, she believes, keeps her competitively sharp.
In terms of road cycling, her primary focus, Wiebes transitioned to the SD Worx team early in 2023, after her stint with Team DSM. She acknowledges winning fewer races than the previous year but sees this as part of her growth as a cyclist. She considers her second-place finish in the Simac Ladies Tour, where she kept pace with prominent riders on the Cauberg, a significant development.
Despite fewer victories, Wiebes still triumphed in mass sprints, including at the Tour de France Femmes, the Giro Donne, and the Ronde van Drenthe. She observes that her performance improves in more challenging races, which require more than just sprinting ability. This realization has motivated her to focus on improving her overall cycling capabilities.
Looking ahead to 2024, Wiebes is eager to continue evolving in tougher races. Key goals include the Paris Olympics, for which she plans to reconnoitre the route with the Dutch cycling federation, and the Tour de France Femmes, starting in the Netherlands. She is optimistic about balancing these two significant objectives, given their proximity on the calendar.