Team SD Worx have confirmed that Lorena Wiebes will join the Dutch team from rivals Team DSM for 2023. The announcement comes after reports of the transfer first emerged during last week’s Tour de France Femmes.
"She will be gone, and that's something that we have to deal with,” Team DSM Directeur Sportif Albert Timmer admitted.
With 17 victories so far this season, Wiebes is arguably the best sprinter in the women’s peloton. She had a contract with Team DSM until 2024 but a get-out clause in her contract with Team DSM allowed her to change teams if she received a better offer. Team DSM and Team SD Worx reached an agreement on the transfer after consultation with the UCI.
The 23-year old sprinter from the Mijdrecht in the Netherlands has signed a three-year contract (2023-2025) with SD Worx.
"For years I have dreamed of being part of the world's best UCI women's team with several world-class riders who I can pull myself up by," Wiebes said.
"In principle I would have liked to stay with my current team but I got an offer from Team SD Worx with a lot of opportunities. I look back with pride on an instructive and very successful time with Team DSM. I will try to make it a successful remaining term of this season."
SD Worx has one of the strongest rosters in the women’s WorldTour peloton, with Vollering finishing second in the Tour de France Femmes and winning the queen of the mountains competition. However they lacked a world-class sprinter. Wiebes fills that gap.
She won the opening stage of the Tour de France Femmes in Paris to pull on the first leader’s yellow jersey and also won stage 5. She held the green jersey for several days before abandoning the race during stage 7 after crashing hard the day before.
"Lorena is a pure sprint star. When it comes to pure speed, she is by far the best," Sports Manager Danny Stam said.
"The large number of victories this season says something about her qualities. Although we mainly focus on the tougher races and as a team like to make the race, it is also nice when you have a big chance in the sprint. With Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes we have three world-class riders for the coming years who each excel in their own field.
"With Wiebes we go for the real bunch sprints, while Kopecky is played off in the somewhat tougher races. I also see in Wiebes the talent to develop further. The strength of our team has always been that we have several top riders at the start. In addition, there are more and more races on the calendar in women's cycling. That also means that we will be riding a double programme more often and will have to invest in that."
Team Manager Erwin Janssen said the team's objective for the coming years is to remain number one in the UCI ranking.
"In the flat sprints our current team lacks speed. We want to compete for victory in all areas. We now have three world-class riders complemented by experienced riders and some of the biggest talents in the peloton," Janssen said.
“Financially, the three top riders are on the same level in our team. Vollering, Kopecky and Wiebes have all consciously chosen the sporting line we have set out with our team."
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