HOUTHEM/VALKENBURG – After an outstanding cycling season in 2016, a new season awaits for team manager Danny Stam and the riders of the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team. The aspirations for the coming seasons are no less ambitious for the manager from North-Holland, as he said during the team presentation in Château St. Gerlach in Houthem, near Valkenburg. “We have always set ourselves the long-term goal of reaching the absolute pinnacle of women's cycling. This has been achieved, one step at a time, over the past years. The challenge ahead of us now is to stay there. We have the riders who can do this and are once again aiming for major goals, such as the WorldTour races and of course the women's team time trial at the World Championships. A new challenge this year is the Amstel Gold Race.”
With Lizzie Deignan, Women’s WorldTour winner Megan Guarnier, Chantal Blaak and the new world champion, Amalie Dideriksen, Stam has managed to hold on to the riders who have brought the greatest successes for the team. He is also extremely happy he can still rely on mainstays such as Kasia Pawlowska, Christine Majerus, Nikki Brammeier and Karol-Ann Canuel. After all, they also contributed greatly to the series of successes in 2016. Newcomers are Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen, Amy Pieters and Jip van den Bos. The fundamental goals will not change in 2017. It will be a challenge to emulate last year's successes and virtually impossible to surpass them. I don't think this is what we should be concentrating on. We have a team that can go for gold on any terrain and we will do everything we can to grab as many – and preferably at the important moments – of those victories as possible. With this in mind, our goal is to continue in the new season as we finished in 2016.”
Amalie Dideriksen topped off an already successful year by becoming World Road Cycling Champion in Doha (Qatar). This means that, for the second year running, the rainbow jersey is in the possession of Boels-Dolmans. Lizzie Deignan had already won the world title the previous year in Richmond. Dideriksen is conscious of the fact that she will be in the spotlights in 2017. “There will definitely be more riders watching me in comparison to my first two seasons of cycling with the women's elite, but I'm ready for it. I'm really looking forward to prove that it wasn't simply pure luck that I won gold in Qatar.” Megan Guarnier took home another major prize with overall victory in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. “I am confident that we can build further on the success of last year and I have complete faith in the qualities of Danny Stam to bring out the very best in me and the team. I hope this all leads to us winning the UCI Women’s WorldTour again as a team and keeping the leader's jersey in the Boels-Dolmans family.”
Newcomer Anna van der Breggen – with her status of Olympic and European cycling champion – is an important addition to the team. “What struck me most is that the 2016 Boels-Dolmans team had different riders who could take it all the way to the finish line. It was hard for the other teams to combat, but luckily I won't have this problem in 2017 and 2018.” Van der Breggen is looking forward to riding in the Boels-Dolmans jersey. “I don't have a problem with putting myself second to increase the chances of a team mate. It can sometimes give you just as much satisfaction when your work puts another rider in a winning position, which also fills me with pride. I'm very excited about the new races, such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, as well as the new finish of La Course by Le Tour on the Izoard.”
The Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team in 2017: Amy Pieters, Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak, Jip van den Bos (Netherlands), Lizzie Deignan, Nikki Brammeier (Great Britain), Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark), Megan Guarnier (USA), Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada), Kasia Pawlowska (Poland) and Christine Majerus (Luxembourg).