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Lorena Wiebes eyes green jersey at the Tour de France Femmes

Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) wins Ronde van Drenthe 2021
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) wins Ronde van Drenthe 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Cycling is seven months away from the rebirth of the Tour de France Femmes and Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) already has her eye on the coveted green jersey. 

A sprint sensation, with a future full of possibilities, Wiebes spoke to Cyclingnews about her revamped lead-out team, aims for the biggest races next season, and her future role at the dominant Dutch National Team.

“It was nice to see everyone again and we have a really good atmosphere within the team and we are motivated for next year. This year we had a good season and good lead-out, and riders for the GC, and a good all-round team. I think we did a really good job this season and we can continue this into next year with our new riders. They can also develop themselves and get support from the team. They are all talented and I’m looking forward to working with them. I also want to develop myself more as part of the whole team,” Wiebes said from the Team DSM launch on Thursday in the Netherlands.

The team saw departures from two stand-out performers in Coryn Labecki (née Rivera) and Susanne Andersen, along with Julia Soek and Wilma Olausson. Labecki and Andersen formed part of the Team DSM sprint and puncheur squad but Wiebes indicated that the arrival of Charlotte Kool and return of Pfeiffer Georgi meant the team will be stronger than ever, particularly in the sprints.

“I’m happy that Pfeiffer [Georgi] is still on our team next year because she was really important this year in the lead out. Susanne [Andersen] left but we have Charlotte [Kool] who is also talented in the sprints and a really good sprinter. I think we can work really well together to make our lead out even better than last year. I think we have a good sprint team with strong riders to bring me into good a position.”

When asked what her main targets are for the season, Wiebes said her calendar wasn’t confirmed yet but that she will focus on the Tour de France Femmes held from July 24-31. ASO announced the route will begin on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in conjunction with the final stage 21 of the men's Tour de France, and it will conclude atop the La Planche des Belles Filles.

"For now I don’t know my races yet but there will be a new race at the Tour de France and it would be nice to be there in France at the start of the Champs-Élysées," Wiebes said. 

"It will be a really special moment for women’s cycling. It would nice to win the green jersey. We have to find out what will work. We will also have riders for the GC. I think we have to see because it’s still a long time before the race but [the green jersey] would be a really nice goal." 

Next generation

ALKMAAR NETHERLANDS AUGUST 10 Chantal Blaak Netherlands Lucinda Brand of Netherlands Amy Pieters of Netherlands Ellen Van Dijk of Netherlands Demi Vollering of Netherlands Marianne Vos of Netherlands Lorena Wiebes of Netherlands Kirsten Wild of Netherlands Start Podium during the 25th UEC Road European Championships 2019 Elite Womens Road Race a 115km race from Alkmaar to Alkmaar EuroRoad19 on August 10 2019 in Alkmaar Netherlands Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Lorena Wiebes with the Dutch National Team at the European Championships in 2019 (Image credit: Getty Images)

There are several high-profile Dutch athletes set to retire from the sport which will create more opportunities for the next generation of talent that includes riders like Wiebes, Kool, Lonneke Uneken, Shirin van Anrooij and Demi Vollering, and others racing on the Women's WorldTour.

Anna van der Breggen recently retired and will move into a director's role at SD Worx in 2022, while Chantal van den Broek-Blaak is set to retire following the spring campaign. 

Track and road sprinter Kirsten Wild has also retired and Annemiek van Vleuten has previously indicated that she may not be racing by the time of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. 

"I think there are many talented riders in the Netherlands. It will be different, of course, but we will still have a strong team in the upcoming years. There will be other riders stepping up in the future," Wiebes said.

"I think it will be fine and I’m not worried about this because we have a juniors and an under-23 programme and they are supported by the federation. I made an early step up to the elites so I didn’t have a lot of time as an under-23 rider in the Dutch team but what I see now are riders who are supported and who will be stepping up. It will be good in the future."

Wiebes sees her role on the Dutch national team increasing over the next few years both at the next editions of the UCI Road World Championships and a target on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

"I hope to be there in Paris for the Olympic Games and I hope for the next few years, also, to be at the European Championships and World Championships. I think we learned lessons from what has happened in the passed at championships and that we will have a really good team that works for each other to achieve the goals that we want," Wiebes said.

"I hope, for next year, to be at the European Championships and the World Championships, but we don’t know the parcours yet, but I think that I am ready to step up and be there."

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.