Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is excited to confirm Karol-Ann Canuel as the sixth returning rider for the 2017 season. The Canadian, who moved to the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team at the start of the season, has signed a two-year deal with the Dutch-registered squad.
“You are always nervous when you switch teams, but I think it was good for me,” said Canuel. “I felt really welcome very quickly, and I love racing with all my teammates. For me, it was an easy decision to stay. The staff, the riders and the equipment all combine to make it the perfect place for me to perform at my best. This two-year contract gives me even more confidence, so I can just get down to business with the hard training and racing.”
The 28-year-old has played a critical role in several of Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team’s biggest wins of the season. She recently was part of the team’s winning team time trial in Vårgårda, Sweden, a discipline in which she has twice been world champion. Canuel played the role of domestique extraordinaire, supporting Megan Guarnier, Evie Stevens and Lizzie Armitstead to wins at Giro Rosa, Philly Cycling Classic, Amgen Tour of California, Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Strade Bianche.
“Karol-Ann is the perfect teammate,” said team manager Danny Stam. “When she is on her bike, she can totally commit to whatever the job is.”
Megan Guarnier, who won Giro Rosa, Philly and Tour of California, echoed Stam’s sentiments: “The way she can hurt herself is incredible. She can dig so deep. It is something really special.”
Canuel calls the Philly Cycling Classic one of her proudest moments of the season. Part of a four-rider squad facing teams of six, Canuel rode on the front much of the day.
“I felt really, really good in Philly,” she said. “We had a small team compared to the others, but the way we rode made up for the lack of teammates. In the end, the team won, and it was a really great feeling.”
“Being a part of a team that has been strong the whole year has been really fun,” Canuel added. “The wins keep the energy high and provide a lot of motivation.”
With seven weeks remaining in the 2016 season, Canuel has one major objective remaining. She has her sights set on contributing to Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team’s first team time trial world title.
“The team time trial in Doha is a huge goal for the team and also for me,” said Canuel. There is nothing like standing on the podium with your teammates, and the team time trial is the only race where the whole team is recognised together. I have been part of the winning team for the last two years. I hope to continue that.”
Looking ahead to 2017 and 2018, Stam hopes to see Canuel embrace more personal opportunities. He is committed to helping her unlock the potential she will need take the step up from domestique to protected rider.
“I believe Karol-Ann is underestimated,” Stam said. “I hope that she can turn into a winner in this team. She has an unbelievable physical reach, and it is up to us to get that out of her.”