Team DSM bolster Women’s program with Charlotte Kool, Léa Curinier and Francesca Barale


Team DSM bolster their Women’s program in 2022 with the signing of three exciting talents: Charlotte Kool, Léa Curinier and Francesca Barale. Kool joins the team until at least the end of 2022, while Curinier and Barale will race in the team’s distinctive two striped jersey through 2023.

Table of Contents

Charlotte Kool (NED)

At 22 years old, Charlotte Kool has steadily progressed through the cycling ranks, improving as a rider year-on-year. As a junior, Kool finished second in the 2016 Dutch national road race behind future teammate Lorena Wiebes, going on to find her feet in the elite peloton in the following years. With a good turn of speed, Kool has taken strong second place finishes at MerXem Classic in 2019 and Grote Prijs Euromat in 2020, before taking her first race victory at the Baloise Ladies Tour this season. With her punchy qualities, Kool will fit into the Women’s program sprint group well, where she will look to gain experience and play a role in the lead out as the team continues to hunt wins.

Kool said: “I am super excited to join Team DSM next year. I want to further develop myself as a rider and I am convinced that Team DSM is the best environment to do so. Both the team and I want to get the best out of each other in a professional environment, so I am sure we’ll be a great match. I hope to further strengthen the team and be a real addition to the lead out train.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Charlotte came on our radar as a junior and impressed during her time as an U23 rider where she had some really good results, while this year she won a stage at the Baloise Ladies Tour, beating some very fast sprinters. Charlotte will join our sprint group, where she will help in the lead out train, which is an area where we think she will bring a lot of value to the team. Still young, she’s progressing in a good way and with the help of our experts we think that can continue, and we want to develop her into one of the strongest lead out riders in the world. She has a really good base from her previous team, NXTG Racing, they have done a great job to bring her to this level.”

Léa Curinier (FRA)

After strong performances in the junior ranks, including victory in the 2019 French time trial alongside a hatful of other good results, Curinier made the step up to the professional peloton in 2020. Finding her feet in her first season, 2021 has seen Curinier continue her development as a rider, growing in her abilities as a climber and puncheur. That skillset was put on display at the Thüringen Ladies Tour where Curinier was up there and fighting for good results each stage and claiming a strong second place in the best young rider’s competition. Looking ahead, Curinier will continue her general development with the team over the next two years.

Curinier said: “I am very happy to join Team DSM for the next two seasons; this is a great opportunity for me. I chose the team because their development project is very interesting, and it is something excites me. Watching from inside the peloton, you can see all of the riders on the team evolving every year, and it is a very professional and organised outfit. The team is the best place for me to learn, develop and continue to discover myself as a cyclist.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna continued: “Lea has developed well from her time as a junior, where she took some very strong results; including an impressive third place at Trofeo Binda. This year she’s shown in harder races like the Thüringen Ladies Tour, that she is a rider that can cope with climbs and follow some very strong riders. We believe that she is somewhere between a puncheur and a climber, so the Ardennes are something that could suit her well in the future. Also, Lea has some very good technical skills on the bike as well which helps with her positioning in the bunch. We see a lot of progress potential with Lea, and with our way of working that we have within the team and the help from all of our experts, we think there is a lot to gain.”

Francesca Barale (ITA)

18-year-old Barale will make the step up to the WorldTour with the team next season after two very successful seasons as a junior. 2020 saw her take third place in the Italian national championships time trial before going on to dominate the road race, taking home the famous tricolour. Going on to win several regional races in Italy, Barale has continued her progression and development this season with fourth place at Trofeo Binda, second overall at the tough Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie, and claiming the national time trial crown. A talented climber who’s skilled on the bike, the ambitious Barale will look to develop overall in her first year’s with the team and get used to the racing rhythm in the professional ranks.

Barale said: “I am very proud to join Team DSM for at least the next two years. I have always dreamed of becoming a professional cyclist and making that big step in such a good team is amazing. I believe it is the perfect environment for my personal growth as an athlete, and someone that wants to reach the highest level of the sport. I can’t wait to begin this new challenging experience with Team DSM.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Francesca is in her final year as a junior and has proven to be a very good climber at that level, where she’s coming off of some impressive performances this year at Trofeo Binda and Gévaudan. Furthermore, to be Italian road race champion in her first year as a junior in 2020, in a country like Italy where cycling is a religion, is very impressive too. Ambitious, driven, and smart; we had some good conversations with Francesca about her future development and where she sees herself. At this moment her climbing is her biggest talent, but we’ll aim to work on her general development too, building on the very good work from her previous team. With our way of working and alongside the help of experts in aerodynamics and pacing plans, then we’ll also aim to improve her TT with the potential of becoming a GC rider in the future.”