Nina Kessler, a seasoned professional from the Netherlands, will be joining the EF Education-Cannondale team for the 2024 season. Having raced professionally for 14 years, she offers the team not only her vast experience but also leadership skills. Originally, Kessler was known for her talent in tackling short, steep climbs and her sprinting ability. However, as time passed, she evolved into a ‘road captain’ – a leader who supports and guides her teammates during races.
Being a native of the Netherlands, it’s understandable that Kessler has a penchant for classic races and courses with sharp climbs. While she leans towards one-day races, she also has a taste for stage races. An interesting aspect of her career is her love for beach racing, which she likens to mountain biking on the sand with oversized tires and minimal tire pressure. As she transitioned away from track races, beach racing became her winter pastime. It quenches her competitive spirit, as evident from her title as the Dutch beach racing champion, and gives her a fun yet challenging environment to train in.
Away from the cycling world, there’s more depth to Kessler. In her younger years, she juggled her racing passion with academic pursuits, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in business economics. Post her academic achievements, she took up a role in accountancy, balancing it with her racing schedule for a few years. Yet, cycling seems to be in her DNA. With her parents involved in the sport and her siblings being ardent fans, Kessler’s life remains deeply intertwined with cycling.
“I really like helping my team and guiding my teammates, taking a lot of responsibilities, and doing lead outs. Get the team together as a road captain and guide them in the finals. Those kinds of things. I have to say that I’m really good at reading the race and helping my teammates. I do love hard races.
I think I’m pretty good at motivating the team and the riders. Especially because we will spend so much time together, you always have ups and downs, so you want to be sure you’re always giving your teammates confidence. If you have the support of your team and you do whatever you can, it’s always good. I want to give my teammates that confidence and the message to just chill and do what you can.
“In stage races, I tend to get better every day or just less tired than everyone else. I can handle it pretty well. I think that’s because I have some distance in these legs already from all the years!
I definitely have noticed that I’m still growing stronger. I make steps every year, like how my climbing is going better. I still have the feeling that I haven’t yet reached my top, top level. My goal is just to go deep in the finale of big races and then to play the game with the team. It doesn’t matter if it’s for me or for my teammates, I just want all of us to reach the best we can.”Nina Kessler
“Nina has lots of experience in different teams and different environments which is really helpful, especially for the young riders. She probably is not the rider who will win the most races but she is really important to the team to perform at a really high level because of her experience. She brings a lot to the race meetings but also in the peloton itself. In the race you need people with experience to make decisions and that is something Nina can do really well,”Esra Tromp, EF Education-Cannondale