Despite indicating that she would retire on the velodrome at the first-ever edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, veteran road captain Trixi Worrack is enjoying a final flourish of racing with a place on Trek-Segafredo’s roster for The Women’s Tour.
The 40-year-old was set to retire last weekend at the finish of the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes but with Trek-Segafredo short of riders due to crashes and injuries, Worrack was handed a late call up for the Women’s Tour, where she is racing alongside Lizzie Deignan and Chloe Hosking. With several riders, including Elisa Longo Borghini on the treatment table after abandoning the race on stage 1, Worrack may also race Drenthe later in the month.
“Well, I’m here because of Ellen van Dijk [out with concussion] but also because when I did an interview saying Roubaix was my final race, it was back in August and quite early. So that’s why I’m here. It’s late in the season and we’re a bit short of riders. It was always 50-50 about Paris-Roubaix as the last race but last week I knew I was coming here because we also have Elynor [Backstedt] out with a broken collarbone,” she told Cyclingnews.
For now, Worrack isn’t putting an exact date on her retirement and she appears to be enjoying the freedom that comes with simply racing her bike, rather than fixating on a precise point in the calendar.
“We’ll see where I finish because we still have Drenthe coming and we need to see who is sick and who is not sick. These are my last races and I think it’s good like that. I still enjoy racing and I have nothing to lose. We have a good team, and we’ve got good teamwork. It’s good not knowing my final day of racing, it’s less pressure.”
On stage 1 to Banbury, the German helped set up a sprint for Hosking, with the Australian finishing second behind winner Marta Bastianelli (Alè BTC Ljubljana). Trek-Segafredo will have to continue in the race without Longo Borghini who failed to finish but the American squad is determined to win a stage and then address their GC hopes after the time trial.
“It’s not as hilly as previous editions but we’ll see with the time trial and we’ll decide them. First, we’ll try and win a stage, and then we’ll go from there.”
Teutenberg pays tribute
Trek-Segafredo’s directeur sportif Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, who raced with Worrack at both Team Specialized-lululemon and on the German national team, echoed her rider’s assessment of the race and Trek’s ambitions.
“We want to get a stage win. We were pretty close today. It didn’t work out,” Teutenberg told Cyclingnews at the finish.
“The other girls are tired from Roubaix and it’s really hard mentally because a lot of them did Worlds. The Women’s Tour is always great and it’s good to come but it’s been a long season. Right now, we’re shooting for a stage win. Morale is good but we saw today that Elisa’s body gave up and she’s done for the week. She’s a tough cookie but she’s in pain. We’ll see how many we get to the finish.”
Teutenberg, who retired back in 2013, also paid tribute to Worrack’s longevity and role within the team, stating that while the squad was decked with experienced riders they would ultimately miss Worrack’s calming influence and presence within the squad.
“We started to ride together in 2000 when we were on the national team. She won a lot of big races and then she took on the road captain and leader role for the latter part of her career. That’s a normal process as she knows all the races and how they go,” Teutenberg said.
“She won big races, from stages races to one-day races. She has done some really big things and won medals at Worlds. She has been a really good all-rounder and in the latter stages she’s been a captain and a helper.
“We have riders like Chloe [Hosking] and Audrey Cordon Ragot who are experienced and like to take leadership. We have good back-ups. Her presence is hard to replace but for road captains we do have other people. She brings calmness though. She’s really calm and quiet and that’s good for the team.”
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