The 28-year-old Mareille Meijering has been snapped up by Movistar for 2 seasons after leaving the floundering Zaaf Cycling team. The Dutch rider becomes the 16th member of the Spanish team and will add valuable climbing support to the ambitions of Liane Lippert and Annemiek van Vleuten this season. Taking a sabbatical from her role as an economics lecturer at Utrecht University, this year is the first season where Meijering has focused solely on cycling despite a tough time at Zaaf, the decision has paid off with security at Movistar.
Mareille Meijering turned heard in lower-level UCI races last season and it was no surprise when a Continental team with high ambitions signed her up for this season. She finished 10th at Vuelta CV Feminas and also 10th in GC at the UAE Tour Women too coming into the Spring Classics. The well-known issues at Zaaf saw her decide to leave that team in the exodus that followed Audrey Cordon-Ragot’s departure. She was prepared to ride for her club team but Movistar quickly stepped into signing her up for the Women’s WorldTour.
“It’s been a very fast rollercoaster for me! If you would have told me half a year ago that I would join the team, I would not have believed it. Last year, it was really just an adventure to race WorldTour events next to being a full-time teacher. This year I could focus a lot more on training, racing and especially resting, by not having to work full-time anymore, and it made a huge difference already. I’m looking forward to see how much more progress I can make when I can fully focus on cycling.
I’ve been cycling on an amateur level for quite a long time, but I don’t have a lot of experience in the WWT peloton. I still have a lot to learn in that and that’s also what I hope to do in the remainder of this season and next year; learn from the best, work with the best (riders and staff), develop myself and make progress both physically and tactically to be able to reach the top in the future. I think this team provides a very good environment to do that.”Mareille Meijering
“Despite Mareille having started her full-time commitment to cycling relatively late, she’s got a ‘full life’ of experience in racing on her shoulders, from her racing in the Netherlands, and she’s got all skills and experience needed. She’s yet to know almost all big races, but her progression over the last year and a half fully focused on bike racing makes us hope she’ll become a great rider.
Her initial goal should be to learn as much as possible and become a great support to our leaders – she’s also one who defends herself really well in all terrains, she’s good on the bike, has a lot of racecraft -which is so important in the classics-, and we want to offer her all the means and the right atmosphere so she can grow.
We don’t know yet how far she will reach, but she’s got loads of potential – she’s already improving the overall level of our team and she’s got clear ideas in mind. She’ll reach far in a top team. She’ll have to take great sacrifices with this new challenge, but she’s ready for it and is super motivated to give it her all from day one.”Sebastian Unzue, Movistar team manager