Lorena Wiebes aims to colour debut for Team SD Worx with stage win in UAE Tour

Lorena Wiebes aims to colour debut for Team SD Worx with stage win in UAE Tour

"I want to get rid of that zero right away"


Team SD Worx kicks off the 2023 season in the UAE Tour (9-12 FEB). Lorena Wiebes will defend Team SD Worx colours in the United Arab Emirates for the first time, as will Femke Markus and Barbara Guarischi. Also featuring Lonneke Uneken, the sprint train will roll out for the first time in the flat stages. Niamh Fisher-Black and Anna Shackley will get a change in the climbing stage. "I'm at the start to win," said motivated Lorena Wiebes.

Linked race UAE Tour - Linked cyclists Lorena Wiebes - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Danny Stam

Team SD Worx is ready for 2023, newcomer Lorena Wiebes knows. "We trained very hard last winter. The adjustment has been faster than I expected. The atmosphere within the team is super. It feels very familiar. I think I'm ready for the start of the season. Although it is always exciting to see how the others are doing. But I made the most of it in my winter training sessions."

The 2022 victory queen starts the new season in Abu Dhabi hungrily. "It may be a preparation race for the real classics, but I am at the start to win. We want to get rid of that zero right away." Wiebes is happy that there are three sprint opportunities on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. "It's nice that we immediately get three chances to test out the sprint train. If something goes wrong, we can adjust immediately."

"I have a lot of confidence in my sprint train," Wiebes continued. "Every single one of them are fast girls. It immediately feels very familiar. From minute one I had the feeling that I can fully trust Barbara Guarischi as lead-out. That confidence to blindly follow your lead-out's wheel is primordial for a good result. Barbara is a barrel of experience. She too loves the speed and chaos that come with a bunch sprint. She is an expert at positioning, so she will be fine."

Wiebes is not afraid of the pressure that comes with her status as the sprint star to be beaten. "Most of the pressure I put on myself anyway. I actually like it, because it gives me the motivation to squeeze out that last percent. When your team works a whole day for you, you have to finish it. In the UAE Tour, there are three chances. In the first two stages there will be head wind, so the speed will be a little slower."

If the first win is in, then the first pressure is off too. I have every confidence in my sprint train and am eager to start the season!

Lorena Wiebes

"This season I expect to win less, but then I am aiming for the bigger races. I also see areas for improvement compared to last year. I had made a goal of Gent-Wevelgem and Brugge-De Panne, but fell short due to circumstances. So it's about time I cross the line first there in 2023."

But first, the UAE Tour awaits. "I'm not going to be satisfied until we get rid of the zero. Once you get that first win, the rest goes more smoothly because the initial pressure is off. Ideally, I would like to win all three sprint stages and then help Anna Shackley and Niamh Fisher-Black in the climber's stage. I am eager to get started," Wiebes concludes with a smile.

Our line-up for the UAE Tour

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