The Lotto Belisol Ladies have a world champion in the team! Amy Cure took gold last Saturday in the points race at the World Championships in Cali, Colombia. A day earlier she had taken bronze in the individual pursuit and with the Australian team she had also won bronze in the team pursuit.
First senior world title
This is what I've been training for
Battle with Stephanie Pohl
Messages of support
Two bronze medals
World Championships track
Today the World Championships track begin in Cali, Colombia. Two Lotto Belisol Ladies have travelled to South-America: the Belgian Jolien D'hoore and the Australian Amy Cure.
Cali, in the southwest of Colombia, is situated at 1003 meters height. It's six hours earlier than in Belgium. Jolien D'hoore will take part in the team pursuit and the omnium, the races of the omnium are held this weekend. In December she took a bronze medal in this discipline in the World Cup in Aguascalientes. Also at the European Championship in Apeldoorn in October she became third. Amy Cure is part of the five member Australian selection for the team pursuit together with Ashlee Ankudinoff, Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins and Isabella King. The team pursuit is programmed tomorrow and is raced by four riders. In January Cure won two national titles. She took gold in the individual and in the team pursuit, this with the Tasmanian team. Friday she will participate in the individual pursuit in Cali.
Yesterday the Lotto Belisol Ladies announced that the team is reinforced with a 15th elite rider: Heidi Dalton. The South-African neo-pro, which turns 19 in March, already set some nice results this year. In the South-African championship time trial she became second, in the road race she won bronze. In 2013 she became national junior champion for the second year in a row, both in time trial and road race.
From the 11th until the 18th of February most of the Lotto Belisol Ladies went to Calpe for a training camp. In the meantime the team already had taken part in the first race of the season: the Tour of Qatar. Next up is the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday 1st of March. Team manager Dany Schoonbaert looks back on the training camp and talks about the goals for this season.
Successful training camp
Season started well
Riding a strong early season
Climbing on the UCI ranking
Friday 7th of February Lotto Belisol launches a Valentine action for its fans. Everybody gets the chance to show their love for the team or for one of its male or female riders in an original way.
Entries in the shape of photos, videos, text, poems,... are very welcome via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All original and loving contributions are sure to deserve their place on the Lotto Belisol Facebook page.
With the motto ‘Live Your Valentine Dream' - the Valentine version of the team motto ‘Live Your Dream' - the best entry will be rewarded with a VIP weekend for two in Paris. And not just any weekend! It's the final weekend of the Tour de France, when the Lotto Belisol team will ride down the Champs-Elysées.
Participating is possible until midnight 14th of February. The winner will be announced on February 15. He or she can go to Paris on the 26th & 27th of July for a romantic weekend, invited by Lotto Belisol.
Tomorrow the Lotto Belisol Ladies begin their season. A selection of six riders will attend the Tour of Qatar, a four days stage race in the Middle-East. It's the sixth edition for women. The start of the first stage will be given at the Museum of Islamic Art in capital Doha. After 35,5 km the riders will pass the finish a first time, then there is one big loop of 61,5 km. The second stage ends with four local laps of 13,5 km around arrival town Madinat Al Shamal.
The next day the stage starts in Katara, the cultural heart of Doha. Halfway there's a first passage in Al Khor, where the finish line is drawn. The last stage win will be decided on the Doha Corniche, the promenade along the coast. Five laps of 5,5 km have to be covered at the end.
The Lotto Belisol Ladies have departed yesterday. Belgian champion Liesbet De Vocht is one of them, just like Jolien D'hoore on whom the team can rely in the sprints. It's a nice field of participants in Qatar. Threefold overall winner Kirsten Wild stands at the start. Also Giorgia Bronzini, two time world champion, will play along for stage wins.
Selection Lotto Belisol Ladies: Jolien D'Hoore, Liesbet De Vocht, Marion Rousse, Isabelle Söderberg, Celine Van Severen and Anisha Vekemans.
Last Sunday Laura Verdonschot prolonged her national title at the ladies youth category at the Belgian Championship cyclo-cross in Waregem. Moreover, it was for the 17-year-old girl from Lommel the third time in a row she could put on the national jersey, after Hooglede in 2012 and Mol last year. Femke Van Den Driessche took the silver, Jara Noël could go home with the bronze medal.
Laura Verdonschot: "Winning a title is always fun. This is a reward for a good season. I'm happy I could give the Lotto Belisol Ladies this title, next winter I go to a cyclo-cross team. My start Sunday wasn't excellent, but I didn't panic and about halfway the first lap I took the lead. Then I crashed, but soon I could take back my position. In the last lap I crashed again, but I did win with one minute lead. I was in ninth position in the field of elite ladies and youth, our race finished a lap earlier. That was a good result and I'm satisfied with it."
"This title is one of the best. There was a huge number of fans. Lots of people were standing in front of the podium and that gave me goose bumps. Generally there were many people in the hippodrome. Our category started at eleven o'clock and then there were already a lot of people standing along the course. There was a nice atmosphere. Now I hope to be selected for the World Championship in Hoogerheide in the elite women category (There is no ladies youth category, LTB), I could learn a lot from that."
In the Ghelamco Arena, the stadium of first class football club KAA Ghent, the Lotto Belisol team presentation for 2014 took place. On this common event of the men's team, Lotto Belisol Ladies and U23 team the riders could show their new outfits to press and about 700 guests. The evening was built around the slogan live your dream.
The presentation was in hands of Belgian TV figure and dare-devil Tom Waes and Valerie Thys, former face of the Lotto draw. They asked the wishes and dreams of the podium guests. Team manager Marc Sergeant spoke of the ambitions for next season and talked about the reinforcement of the team thanks to nine newcomers. He said that the teambuilding and training camp in Mallorca already made it a close group.
Between the interviews short films were shown in which the riders were asked to tell their dream. That were obvious ones, like being on the Tour podium for Jurgen Van den Broeck, but Dennis Vanendert for example said he'd like to win Euro Millions. Newcomer Vegard Breen hopes to win the Norwegian national title and German champion André Greipel told he was already living the dream for nine years as a pro cyclist.
There was also attention for the two new partners, Soudal and IJsboerke, who were represented on the podium respectively by founder and president Vic Swerts and CEO Peter Janssen. Of course the main sponsors were present as well. Nicolas Thiel, general director of Belisol, showed he was happy that Tony Gallopin joined the team, because France is an important consumers' market for the producer of windows. Marc Frederix, marketing director of the National Lottery, had the honour to present the unique Lotto Belisol block-calendar that will soon be available in the e-shop.
Duos of riders were called on the podium as well. Climbers Jurgen Van den Broeck and Emma Pooley came to the front together, just like sprinters André Greipel and Jolien D'hoore. For the former Belgian champion all is on Rio 2016 now, where she likes to score on the track. Jürgen Roelandts, who keeps aiming for the Flemish spring races, was joined by U23-rider Tiesj Benoot who dreams of riding these races himself in the middle of a huge crowd. An evident duo was Tony Gallopin and his girlfriend Marion Rousse. They dream of becoming both French champion in the same year, she already took the title in 2012.
Considering the new slogan live your dream Lotto Belisol has decided to support a good cause that has a link with this: Make a Wish Belgium. This organization of volunteers, active in 36 countries, fulfills the dreams of children with a life threatening disease.
It's obvious the atmosphere in the team is excellent and that both riders and staff are looking forward to 2014; a new season in which they will pursue their dreams and hope to give the fans a fun time.
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."