Lorena Wiebes starts her season at the UAE Tour full of ambition

Lorena Wiebes starts her season at the UAE Tour full of ambition

"We will know immediately where we stand"


Team SD Worx-Protime starts the season in the UAE Tour with Lorena Wiebes, Lotte Kopecky, Barbara Guarischi, Femke Markus & Femke Gerritse. The 2023 Best WorldTeam is aiming high again and wants to open the victory tally in the first race of the season. "I hope to win a stage again. This UAE Tour is the perfect test for our sprint train," said Lorena Wiebes.

Linked race UAE Tour 2024 - Linked cyclists Lotte Kopecky Lorena Wiebes Barbara Guarischi Femke Markus Femke Gerritse - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Danny Stam

What does the UAE Tour mean to you?
Lorena Wiebes: "This race is another good test for our lead-out. With Femke Gerritse we have another reinforcement for the sprint train. I think Femke was initially brought in as support for Demi Vollering in the Ardennes classics, but in training we noticed she is really fast. So I am very curious to see how she will do, without putting too much pressure of course. Anyway, compared to the last edition, our train is a lot stronger. I want to show that I am there again by taking a victory. In the general classification, we'll see where we end up with Lotte Kopecky perhaps."

How does the collaboration with Lotte Kopecky go in races? 
"That always goes smoothly. Lotte and I often raced together last season. The more you are at the start together, the more you understand each other and the more attuned you become to each other, to the point that you almost don't need words anymore even. Like with my victory in the third stage of the Tour de France Femmes where Lotte did a perfect lead-out for me. If we can do that again this season in the sprint races, it will be good. I'm also curious to see how Lotte will do in the stage to Jebel Hafeet."

Did you have a good winter?
"Yes, in training it went fine. We also worked fiercely on the sprint train and that went well. You saw that some of the girls learned very quickly and applied new things right away. I hope we can practice a lead-out the day before the race. Anyway, I am less nervous than last year. Then I came here as an unbeaten sprinter, while last season I was beaten a few times. For some reason I feel less pressure because of that. I know I did everything I could in my winter training, but it's always exciting to see how that then turns out in races."

How important is sprinting still for you now that you are increasingly making the transition to a more all-round rider?
"Sprinting remains incredibly important to me, especially towards the Olympics, which are a big goal for me. It's important to find a balance between getting better uphill on the one hand and continuing to sprint well on the other. That's another reason why the UAE tour is a good indicator to see how I'm doing."

Race schedule UAE Tour
Stage 1: Dubai Miracle Garden – Dubai Harbour 122 km
Stage 2 : Al Mirfa Bab Al Nojoum-Madinat Zayed 113 km
Stage 3: Al Ain Police Museum-Jebel Hafeet 128 km
Stage 4: Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum – Abu Dhabi Breakwater 105 km

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