2022 Season Summary
What to say about the 2022 season other than the obvious about Annemiek van Vleuten? The Dutch rider stated her aim of winning the Ceratizit Challenge, Giro Donne and Tour de France Femmes and she pulled it off. The added bonus of an unexpected World Championships was the icing on the cake of a fine season. The team was fully committed behind her and whilst Paula Patino picked up no wins from 50 race days, she played a key role when Van Vleuten struggled mid-race at the Tour de France Femmes.
Behind her, Emma Norsgaard and Arlenis Sierra were able to finish races off well with wins. Norsgaard took 3 and Sierra took 5 wins. Guarischi was a useful pinball in the sprints and Sarah Gigante took an emotional first victory in Europe too. Sheyla Gutierrez won twice at Tour de l’Ardeche to round out a tough season where she began to find her feet again after a brutal crash at Morbihan at the close of the 2021 season.
2022 World Ranking: 5th
2022 WorldTour Ranking: 5th
2023 Transfers In
- Liane Lippert
- Floortje Mackaij
2023 Transfers Out
- Barbara Guarischi
Riders to Watch in 2023
Obviously, Annemiek is going to be one to watch. How well she gels with the newbies Lippert and Mackaij is going to be interesting. A Van Vleuten-less race that contains Lippert, Mackaij and Norsgaard is quite the triple threat as well. There may be more opportunities in sprints for Norsgaard as well this season, I’m not convinced that SD Worx will become a sprint-heavy team in the way that Team DSM was for Wiebes. The same applies for any one-day races that Arlenis Sierra finds herself at the business end of.
I’d love to see Katrine Aalerud back to some of the form from previous years. It might be tough with Lippert around now as the Dane will find herself working for her when Van Vleuten isn’t around now. Sheyla Gutierrez is another rider who should do better in 2023 now that she looks back to her best. It should be a slow start to the season for Sarah Gigante but I’m expecting more big things from the Aussie when Spain month arrives in May.
Movistar has pulled off something of a coup in getting the Team DSM pairing of Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij. The team knows Van Vleuten is retiring at the end of 2023 and they haven’t waited to see who is available at that point to make some moves. Lippert isn’t a like-for-like replacement but not many can be. Instead, they get a rider who is impressing more and more as a proper GC rider and surely has an Ardennes race or two to add to her palmares soon. Floortje Mackaij had definitely been marginalised at Team DSM ever since they signed Lorena Wiebes. Her previous attacking style had been reduced to mainly marshalling moves for Wiebes as the team’s best shot at victory was using their sprinter. I for one missed her ranging attacks that saw her take wins in that way. Her climbing continues to get better but she should be spoken of as a genuine favourite for the likes of Paris Roubaix once again.