Jolien D'hoore has won the women's omnium at the Lotto Six Days Flanders-Ghent. The race was spread over three days. The riders started on Friday and yesterday was the final. All six disciplines were dominated by D'hoore. She was the best each time: in the flying lap, the points race, the elimination, the pursuit, the scratch and 500 meter time trial. Amy Pieters and Gilke Croket completed the top three.
Thursday Jolien leaves for Mexico with the national team for the second World Cup from 5th until 7th of December in Aguascalientes. Today she looks back on her victory in ‘t Kuipke.
Jolien D'hoore: "It was fun for us to attend at the Six Days. We were with nine participants. Next year we can start again and that's good news. It's very important for us women that we can show us here. At the track we mainly race abroad. The people read our names in the newspaper, but can't put a face on it and now they got the chance to see us. I find the spectators got to know me better the past few days and started to cheer for me. That's nice. I know ‘t Kuipke very well, I've been riding on that track since I was an aspirant and trained there every day at that time. For me it's a home track. And when you ride for a home crowd, you can always do something more."
The composition of the Lotto Belisol Ladies Team 2014 is complete. The pro team will consist of fourteen riders. Jolien D'hoore, Marion Rousse and Celine Van Severen keep defending the team's colours. That means there are eleven new names. With Emma Pooley one welcomes a top cyclist who already has an impressive record. She will become the main leader for the Giro Rosa and Flèche Wallonne. Liesbet De Vocht is also a woman with experience and on top of that she is the Belgian champion on the road and in time trial. The Belgian Lieselot Decroix comes to the Lotto Belisol Ladies as well, just like Chantal Hoffmann from Luxemburg.
Sara Verhaest, who becomes 18 in December, sets the step from the youth team to the pro squad. The youth team of the Lotto Belisol Ladies has seven girls next season. Still the Flemish champions Fenna Vanhoutte and Jesse Vandenbulcke. Laura Verdonschot, Belgian champion cyclo-cross, stays with the team as well.
Here you find an overview of all riders from the pro team and youth team of the Lotto Belisol Ladies for 2014.
Pro team Lotto Belisol Ladies 2014
Youth team Lotto Belisol Ladies 2014
With Emma Pooley the Lotto Belisol Ladies can welcome a top cyclist in the team next year. The 31-year-old British rider is a talented climber and time trialist. She has many victories on her record, among it the overall classification of La Grande Boucle Féminine in 2009. Besides that she has also won the Tour de l'Ardèche twice and this year she was the best in the Tour Languedoc Roussillon. She has ended in the top five of the Giro already four times, in 2011 and 2012 she became second. Since her pro début in 2006 she has also won several one day races like the Flèche Wallonne in 2010. She has also crossed the finish line first in the GP Ouest France - Plouay and the Trofeo Binda, which she has both won on two occasions.
In 2010 Pooley became world champion time trial in Geelong. In the same year she was British champion on the road and in time trial, in that discipline she defended her title. This British lady is Olympic vice champion, in 2008 she won silver in the chrono race in Beijing. Last year she finished sixth in the Olympic time trial in London. She says she likes to continue racing until 2016, when the Summer Olympic Games of the XXXIst Olympiad will take place in Rio. Emma Pooley is a very busy woman, because apart from cycling she also participates in triathlons and in October she won the Lausanne Marathon. At the moment she's finishing her studies for a PhD in geotechnical engineering.
Emma Pooley: "Next season my focus will be on the Giro Rosa and the Flèche Wallonne, that will be the most important races for me. I'll see with the team what other races I will take part in, but those two are my main goals. It depends a bit on the course of the Giro, but if I participate in a race I try to win it, that doesn't automatically mean I can win it but that's what I aim for. You should always aim for your best and then you'll see where you end up. I'll probably be also happy with a podium place, but I have never won the Giro and of course I would like to be the best one day. And in the Flèche Wallonne I'll try for a second victory."
"I'd like to share my experience with the other girls in the team. I really enjoyed it this year, riding in a team with younger cyclists and playing the role of a director on the road sometimes. That was also good for me, because it made me think more while racing and it gave me extra confidence. I like that role, but I think the Lotto Belisol Ladies is different from my team this year. They already got experienced riders, even young riders who I know like Amy Cure or some of the Belgian youngsters there're very smart already and don't need someone to tell them the tactics necessarily. There a lot of races where they'll be better than me. But if I can pass on my experience in some races I'd be really happy to do this. In the team I'll meet Isabelle Beckers again, with whom I enjoyed riding this season."
"In the further future I'd like to aim for Rio 2016, but that depends partly on the course as well. If it suits me I will definitely aim for the time trial. My plan is to race until 2016 if I can. In December I will finish my studies. It has been a really hard year combining it with cycling. Now there's lots of pressure with the final exams coming up, but next year I focus on sport full-time. I find I really enjoy combining different sports. Sometimes you need to focus on one discipline to get the best from it, but I love other sports as well and next season I'll try to combine road racing and triathlon again. I think it's good for my head to have that challenge. I've agreed this with the team and we will plan it carefully, so it doesn't damage my commitment to the Lotto Belisol Ladies."
2007: Weiach, Rund um Schönaich, Stage 3 Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen
The Lotto Belisol Ladies collected twelve victories this season. Among it the two national titles of the South-African Ashleigh Moolman and her win in the Boels Rental Hills Classic. Ann-Sophie Duyck gave the team three victories as well, each time in a time trial. The 20-year-old Steffi Lodewyks was the best in Le Bizet and Muizen. Jolien D'hoore was responsible for the other four first spots. At the moment the East-Flemish rider is active on the track where she took bronze at the European Championship omnium and became fourth in the World Cup in Manchester.
Also on the road she set some other nice results. D'hoore was for example second in Waregem and fourth in Ghent-Wevelgem. With Celine Van Severen the Lotto Belisol Ladies had the third in the GC of the Lotto Cycling Cup and the winner of the youth jersey. Marijn de Vries gave the team a top ten place in the World Cup of Drenthe, while Ashleigh Moolman brilliantly became third in the Flèche Wallonne.
The youth team of the Lotto Belisol Ladies took thirteen victories. Fenna Vanhoutte became Flemish champion at the novices, her teammate Jesse Vandenbulcke was the best junior. In the cyclocross Laura Verdonschot became Belgian national champion. Manager Dany Schoonbaert looks back on the season and sheds his light on some transfers.
Dany Schoonbaert, manager Lotto Belisol Ladies: "I think it was a successful year, we did get on the podium of a World Cup thanks to the third place of Ashleigh Moolman in the Flèche Wallonne. Jolien D'hoore won a 1.1.-race, that's the level just under the World Cup, so Dwars door de Westhoek was a nice victory for the team. With Moolman, Carlee Taylor and Celine Van Severen three of our riders were present at the World Championship road race."
"Of course not all went well and it definitely could be better, but generally we played along everywhere. In the Giro we liked to have ended up higher in GC. Moolman became 8th, after her 10th place last year, what was of course a very good result. The performances of Celine Van Severen can be rated high. She is only 20 years old and has to become stronger, but she's working well on her progression. I expect she'll set a step forward next season and then she might win a race or get a nice podium place. Her selection for the World Championship, on such a young age, meant a lot to her. It's good she has had this experience."
"The signing of Emma Pooley is a very good cause for the team. With her we can play a role in all big, tough races. We aim for a podium place in the Flèche Wallonne and Giro. The team has attracted her especially for these races. That Liesbet De Vocht joins the team is also important to assist the young and less experienced riders, especially during a race because there is no communication system between riders and car. It's important to have someone in the peloton who can be road captain and take some initiative. In the long run Rio 2016 is definitely a goal, we want to have riders both on the road and the track. Thanks to Amy Cure we have next to Jolien D'hoore another rider for the track. Next year we definitely want to work towards the World Championship team time trial, with Emma we now have an extra motor."
With Isabelle Beckers the Lotto Belisol Ladies welcome a sportive 30-year-old woman from Limburg who has her full focus on cycling since this season. When she was nine she started athletics. She was mainly active in cross-country racing and for a while also in the 400 meters and 800 meters. In 2011 she participated for the first time in a triathlon, that way she discovered her strength on the bike. This year she made her début in a cycling team at the Swiss Bigla Girls Cycling Team, which she combined with her job as medical sales representative. Just like last year she won silver at the Provincial Championship time trial in 2013. She was the best in the time trial Arcen Chronotrofee Limburg. Next season she will reinforce the Lotto Belisol Ladies. We let you get acquainted with her.
Isabelle Beckers: "In 2011 I signed up for a contest of the Flemish TV station VT4. They were searching for participants for a show where people were trained in three months time for the Iron Man of Antwerp, a half triathlon. The year before I had bought a racing bicycle and that way I didn't have to give up running. It was a unique opportunity because we got professional guidance. After a tough selection I was chosen to take part. Bert Ackaert of Energy Lab advised me afterwards to go for cycling because of the three disciplines that suited me best."
"I rode my first race in 2012, that was the Flemish Championship. I also participated in the Provincial Championship time trial of Limburg, where I became second. This season I got the chance to ride for a professional team and to take part in international races. I learned a lot thanks to the experienced riders in the team, like Emma Pooley. I had hardly raced before, my goal was to get experience this year. The first half of the season was hard, it was harder than a triathlon. First I had to learn to finish races. In the beginning I was often riding in the back of the peloton. In the second half of the year I made the switch and I could maintain myself more in the front of the peloton and set some nice results. In Wenduine I was racing for a podium place, but I crashed. That's also part of the job."
"Time trial is my strongest point. That matches the triathlon, because it's very individual. I'm very strong when it's flat and I can go full. Short hills suit me as well, everything that needs power. I'm pretty good in the sprint. I'm looking forward to the races of the Lotto Cycling Cup, that are big races. Next to that I also like to ride the test time trials and the Belgian Championship. The World Championship team time trial is a dream, just like the Tour of Flanders. I want to grab all the opportunities I get and want to show what I've got. The fact that I started cycling so late isn't bad, otherwise I might have had enough at 30. I know what I want and this is my only chance, so I'm very motivated."
Earlier this week the Lotto Belisol Ladies proudly announced that Amy Cure will ride for the team next season. The young Tasmanian, she becomes 21 on the last day of the year, has shown a lot on the track. She won silver in February at the World Championship individual pursuit and with the Australian team in the team pursuit. In 2010 she became junior world champion in the individual pursuit after setting a world record in the qualifications. She then also took gold in the team pursuit, with a world record in the final, and the scratch. In that last discipline she got the rainbow jersey the year before as well.
The past few years Amy rode for Jayco - AIS and in August she became a stagiaire at ORICA - AIS. This year she also set some great performances on the road. She won two stages in the Czech Tour de Féminin O Cenu Ceského Švýcarska and became the overall winner. The points and youth jersey were hers as well. In the Trophée d'Or she was the best in stage five. We talked to this young woman about her transfer to the Lotto Belisol Ladies.
Amy Cure: "The team's programme really fits in with mine. It's the best team out there for me. I'm looking forward to be a part of it and to meet all the girls. My partner is Belgian, so I'll be in the country for a big part of the season. I have already built-up a really good network here in Belgium."
"This year has been a good year for me in combining both the track and the road. I'm really enjoying both disciplines The Lotto Belisol Ladies give me the opportunities to keep combining the two. On the track I prefer the endurance numbers, events like the team and individual pursuit. The Olympics in Rio are my main focus at the moment on the track, but I'm also looking forward to the Commonwealth Games next year."
"I like flat races, but I don't mind some of the road races with a few little hills on the course. This year I quite surprised myself in the hills, so I'm looking forward to all the different kinds of races. It will be my first year with a professional road contract, so I want to give that a good hit-out and set some nice results."
Portrait photo: ©bronwyn febey photography
Jolien D'hoore has won bronze in the omnium at the European Championship track racing in Apeldoorn. She finished with a total of eighteen points, three more than the numbers one and two. The fourth in the classification, the Française Laurie Berthon, followed at twenty points of D'hoore. The gold was for the British Laura Trott, the Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild had to be satisfied with the second place. Considering the same amount of points it were the times in the time trial numbers that decided about the victory.
Saturday Jolien D'hoore was the best in two parts, the points race and elimination. She became fifth in the flying lap and at the end of the day she was second in GC. Yesterday the 23-year-old Flemish rider got the fourth place in the individual pursuit and stood third in the classification. Then she finished second in the scratch and fifth in the time trial of 500 meters.
Friday Jolien D'hoore had become fourth with the Belgian squad in the team pursuit. She rode together with Evelyn Arys, Else Belmans and Kelly Druyts.
Jolien D'hoore: "I'm very happy with my bronze medal. In the past I already won some medals on a European Championship, but this is the most important to me because it's my first at the elite. Also the fact that it is in the omnium makes it special. It's a race over two days and that doesn't lie. When I took off to Apeldoorn I thought about top five, but didn't think podium was possible. The points race, elimination and scratch all went perfect for me. The time numbers, so the flying lap, the pursuit and the 500 meters can be better. I hadn't trained for it specifically, so that could be expected."
"I have definitely put a step forward in comparison to last year. I could mingle in the battle with Olympian champion Laura Trott and Kirsten Wild. With the three of us we had a big advantage on the rest of the field. The next goal is the World Cup in Manchester in two weeks. The competition is bigger there, but I aim for top five again, everything higher than place five would be great. The fourth place with the team pursuit wasn't expected. We can definitely make progress and would like to go to the Olympics in Rio."
Kim Schoonbaert has ended her cycling career. She has immediately started a new job and works in a child care centre. The 27-year-old woman from Vlaams-Brabant was a pro cyclist for eight seasons. Last year she became Flemish champion in Nederhasselt. Kim looks back on her career and explains her decision to quit racing. She also talks about her plans for the future and gives her view on the attention for women's cycling.
Kim Schoonbaert: "In my mind I already had decided this would be my last season for quite a while. I was very motivated to start, the preparation in South-Africa and Israel gave me a good feeling. But then I got problems with my teeth, the consequence of a crash in the past. That has had an influence on me. I decided to quit because each year there is some kind of bad luck, last year I had a fracture of the scaphoid. That way you have to start from scratch each time and you can't continue to do that. In top sport nothing may go wrong and that was too often the case for me."
"I have also had many fun moments in my career and don't regret I raced. Thanks to cycling I have learnt a lot and have been in many places in the world, like Australia and Qatar. As a junior I rode the World Championship and I became Belgian track champion. This year I had a great time in South-Africa, where I got a fourth place. Finishing the Giro Rosa this season meant a lot to me. In 2012 I became Flemish champion, definitely a big moment. That was an amazing reward after I had fought hard to come back after the fracture of the scaphoid I had incurred in the Tour of Flanders."
"Now I have found a new job. Before I decided to fully go for cycling, I already worked in a child care centre for a while. During my cycling career I followed a teacher's course, with my future in mind. It's time to start the next part of my life. That's a also a reason why I decided to quit. The moment has come to live together and have children. The setbacks have made it easier to make the decision. I'll definitely continue sporting, I've been cycling since I was twelve, so I still want to sport. Cycling won't disappear from my life."
"There's still much work to bring women's cycling to the attention of the public, although there is a positive evolution. In a show like Vive le vélo on Spoza female cyclists are invited, also the review of the Tour of Flanders was nicely done. On the social media it lives as well. Women's cycling has more attention. But it has to be much better, that will happen step for step. What I really found a pity was that the Flèche Wallonne for women wasn't broadcasted live. It was an exciting final and the cameras were there on the Mur de Huy and on that moment the men's race was steady. If all WorldTour teams would have a ladies team, that would help women's cycling as well. It's very positive that races like the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Tour of Flanders and Flèche Wallonne have editions for women and that should be the case more."
Past Saturday Carlee Taylor rode a striking World Championship, working for leader Tiffany Cromwell. Soon Taylor is about to go back to her home country Australia, she says to be looking forward to meet her family and friends again. During the season she stays in Europe, in Girona. We talked to Carlee about her first Worlds at the elite and about past season.
Carlee Taylor: "I'm happy with how I raced last Saturday. In the Australian team we were all working for Tiffany Cromwell. I gave 100 percent. At the end of the day we rode well as a team. We raced and didn't wait for bigger teams to make the move and made sure that we were in every break. I probably was a little bit excited and anxious to do my job well. I did a lot of work earlier on in the race, more than perhaps I should have and it ultimately cost me a bit. I did a lot of work in the front and covered attacks. My legs felt good and I was just happy that I could do my job."
"The first lap you think ‘it's not too bad', but lap after lap it definitely got harder and harder. It was a battle of attrition. Each lap there were less riders in the peloton. That showed there was no moment for recovery on the course, it was either up or down and otherwise there was a technical part with corners. You really had to play your cards later on in the race and the strongest rider did win. Marianne Vos is a phenomenal athlete and she deserved the victory. On Sunday I was luckily enough to be in the team bus to watch the men's race and not outside. The conditions were just horrible and I was kind of glad that we raced the day before. Because the course had recently been resurfaced the road was smooth. The guys that entered the bus said it was like being on an ice ring. It didn't look fun out there (laughs)."
"It was my first elite world championship. I had represented Australia before, in the juniors category. It's always a big thing to represent your country for the first time and it was definitely a proud moment putting on the green and gold jersey. I'm glad I came with a good form and showed I deserved to be there. It was definitely a special race. To finish the season with your fellow Australians and girls that you've trained with and grown up with is an extra special feeling."
"I've been Ashleigh Moolman's right hand in a lot of races this year, but I've also grown as a rider and got better throughout the season. The Flèche Wallonne is definitely one of the standouts. We raced as a team there and we helped Ashleigh for getting that podium place. But actually I enjoyed the whole year in general. There has been a really good atmosphere in the team and we all get along really well. The girls have become family, they make it a lot easier to be away from home for so long. We get so well on off the bike and that reflected during the races."
"After a holiday in Greece I'm heading back to Australia for a couple of months. It's kind of sad to leave Europe, but I'm happy to go home. During the season I stay in Girona, where there are a lot of other female cyclists. That's nice, because we can do a bit of retail therapy together or catch up for a coffee. That helps to minimize the feeling of missing home, because it gives you a distraction. I'm also at university where I study health science and majoring in psychology, so that keeps me occupied as well."