Reigning Canadian time trial champion Karol-Ann Canuel will ride with Boels-Dolmans in 2016. Canuel joins the Dutch-registered squad from Velocio-SRAM where she was part of the team’s last two gold medals in the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships. The 27-year-old said she would not have considered a move from her current set-up to any other team.
“Boels-Dolmans was the only team I would have moved to from Ronny [Lauke’s] team,” Canuel said. “I’m excited to race again with Evie [Stevens] and Chantal [Blaak], who I raced with last year, and I’m super excited to be going back to Specialized.”
Canuel played an integral support role in her teammates’ general classification success this year. She was part of overall victories at Boels Rental Ladies Tour, Amgen Tour of California and Gracia Orlova. She finished second at Thüringen Rundfahrt, winning the final stage to jump up the overall classification. Canuel’s ability to support her teammates en route to victory as well as chase results of her own is a quality shared by her new Boels-Dolmans teammates.
“I see two main places where Canuel can make the team stronger,” said team manger Danny Stam. “She will add power to the team time trial, and she will also be important in stage races.”
Canuel has seen major improvements in her time trial over the last two years. Part of back-to-back gold medal riders in the team time trial at the Road World Championships, Canuel also finished in sixth place in the individual time trial at Worlds in 2014. She hopes to continue to improve in this area individually while contributing to Boels-Dolman’s success in the collective discipline.
“Before Velocio, I didn’t know I could time trial,” explained Canuel. “When we did camp in Sweden last year, the team quickly realised I’m strong in the time trial. They picked me for the team time trial, and they helped me believe in myself. I’ve seen the biggest improvements in my time trial over the last two years.”
“I’ve also learned a lot tactically,” Canuel added. “I think I’m better at reading races. Now I know what to do and how to do it. Boels-Dolmans is very strong tactically, and I’m excited to be a part of that and learn from the more experienced riders on the team.”
When Stam selects riders for Boels-Dolmans, their personal characteristics are equally important to their past success and future potential on the bike. He believes Canuel is well-suited to the team structure and culture.
“From our talks and my observations, I believe Karol-Ann will fit into the team easily,” said Stam. “She is a hard worker and a good teammate and a mix of confident and humble.”