Lorena Wiebes, the winningest woman of the 2022 season, joined the ranks of top riders breaking into cyclocross in the off-season, taking on the Jaarmarktcross Niel on Friday as a nice change of pace.
The 23-year-old who will move from the DSM team to SD Worx in January has won 22 races this year, including an outright victory in the three-day RideLondon Classique race and two Tour de France stages. She said sporza that he wasn’t looking for the best results in cyclocross, but was using it for “good interval training.”
Many road racers have opted for cyclocross in the off-season throughout history, but in recent years it has become more fashionable after the successful ‘cross to road’ transitions of Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock. Even two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar rode some cyclocross last year.
“It’s technical, but also explosive. You have to be a bit ‘forceful’. It’s good to keep my technique.”
However, Wiebes was not a beginner in the race. “Cyclocross is not completely new to me. I raced a lot in cyclocross when I was young, that’s where it all started for me. After that, I only raced on the road. And also last year I took part in the cyclocross races in Kortrijk and Boom. .”
His performance at Niel did not match the dominance of the other Dutch cyclocross racers, but Wiebes put in a respectable run in 22nd place, 6:23 behind winner Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado.
“I’m already glad they didn’t take me out of the race,” Wiebes joked. The last rider to survive the lap was two minutes further back. “Fortunately, I was quick enough. I had fun.”
Plan to see the DSM team black jersey at a few more cyclocross races before the season is over.
“I would like to ride a few more crosses this year. Next season I will ride with a new team and right now I ride with my own team.”
His schedule is yet to be determined.
“It’s still a bit of a search. I would also like to race next week in Kortrijk. In any case, my new team doesn’t mind me doing a few crosses. This certainly can’t hurt with an eye on the road.”