MtD Team wants to compete for the prizes again

MtD Team wants to compete for the prizes again
MtD Team wants to compete for the prizes again
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Tuesday April 2, 2024

WomenThe Making the Difference (MtD) team has surpassed itself in 2023 with no fewer than 23 victories and podium places compared to the already fantastic cycling year of 2022. Eline van Wijk accounted for the majority with 11 victories in the South Holland regional cyclo-cross competition. Vera Tieleman had a flourishing experience with a victory in the Wim Hendriks Trophy, a fourth place in Brussels-Opwijk, an eleventh place in the Volta Limburg Classic and a fifth place in the Ronde van Oud-Vossemeer, where teammate Merel Hofman reached the podium. season starts in 2024.

Text: Dan Rolandus

“The objective for this year is actually that we as a team maintain the level at which we competed last year,” team manager Peter de Vries points out, in addition to the individual victories, we take second place in the team classification of the ProMobility Ladies Cup 2023 , sixth place in the final ranking of the AGU Top Competition and sixth place in the final ranking of the Women Cycling Series (WCS). ”We like to win our races, that is always the aim, but this year we are competing more against the pros, so it is already an achievement if one of our riders can maintain themselves among the top twenty in a professional classic. We were very happy that we could ride the Tour of the Semois in the Ardennes. There, one of our riders (Marjet Groen, DR) finished twenty-fifth out of 120 riders in the general classification. That is simply excellent for our level between the riders of Visma’s, Cofidis, Lotto Dstny and UAE. What we care about is that the girls can compare themselves with that. Based on the team’s objective, we simply want to participate at the top again in the team rankings of the various competitions. This means that we have a broad team with rider potential who can do that. So we really want to be a team that performs at a high level across the board. We also try to teach our ladies to ride as a team. It doesn’t matter who wins or finishes on the podium. It’s about the collective. A team with only winners doesn’t work for us. This still needs to be developed by us. The professional organizations continue to look at a Schijndel or De Jonge Renner. Clubs with a history. I hope that they will gradually also look at our riders.”

Training team for ‘dropouts’

The MtD Women’s Elite Cycling Team was founded four years ago, before the corona. “We started about four years ago with the idea of ​​doing something different in cycling,” Peter de Vries continues. ”You see it in every sport. The younger, the faster the athletes are scouted, but just as quickly they drop them. Then they end up in an ‘up or out’ system, falling through the cracks. This often leads to young riders burning out far too early. We wanted something different. We told each other to start a training team for, say, 23-plus women. This is under the motto that you have a Roglic who only started cycling seriously at the age of 24, football player Annemiek van Vleuten at the age of 24 and hockey player Eva van Agt who only started cycling seriously in 2022. There are plenty of examples. We were really thinking about setting up a training team for women who are a bit older, have completed their studies or already have a job, but who still want to cycle seriously. See where their possibilities lie, what has been lost to them. The women can help determine whether they can earn a professional contract during their training. The idea of ​​giving these women a new chance also removes certain disappointments from the girls who did not make it. We have often had top athletes who actually no longer progress in another sport, such as a middle-distance runner, a rhythmic gymnast, athletes, skaters, a swimmer and also a rower. Those kinds of athletes, who we just want to give a chance to reach the top as cyclists. That was the idea and we have been successful at it so far.” De Vries says he does not simply include disappointed athletes in his team. ”We do have a selection procedure with test values. The big advantage of working with older athletes is that they are mentally stronger. If you are 23 years old, you have already seen and experienced something in life. By the way, it is true that we do provide mental guidance.”

Confirmation

The riders of the MtD Women’s Elite Cycling Team have surpassed the excellent year of 2022 in 2023 with an even better cycling year. “We have confirmed in 2023 with the team with which we have shot up in 2022,” Peter de Vries indicates that MtD is not a one-hit wonder in the peloton. ”We won the Two Days of Flemish Brabant in the Women Cycling Series, where we won both the individual classification (Babette Rosman, DR)) and the team classification. Vera Tieleman won the Tour of Twente and the Wageningen Wall in early July 2023. For the rest, many places of honor. Ultimately, we won eleven cyclo-cross races in the regional competition with cyclocross rider Eltina van Wijk. We had just over twenty wins last year.”

Peter de Vries is looking forward to the challenge in 2024 with great interest. Vera Tieleman has already made her calling card in Koewacht by winning the Wim Hendriks Trophy. The Nijmegen rider already started with places of honor in Brussels-Opwijk (fourth), the Tour of Oud-Vossemeer (fifth) and in the Volta Limburg Classic (eleventh). ”Just like last year, we are running a program that we want to run. We ride the races of the Women Cycling Series, the club competition and the Dutch and Belgian Top Competition. In the Top Competition we compete with riders from the WorldTour and Continental teams. In addition to the Top Competition, we also participate in a number of UCI 1.1 competitions. This platform offers a number of riders the opportunity to put themselves in the spotlight among professional teams. This year, Anna van Wersch has moved on to Lotto Dstny.”

ProMobility Ladies Tour

“We have created a competition of ten matches on club courses for our riders, but also for all other club teams, in order to be able to offer an interesting competition program, especially for club riders who do not belong to the top,” De Vries concludes. . ”That is the ProMobility Ladies Tour. So we actually ride a diverse program with our riders. We are really on the right track. In terms of our sporting programme, we are at the level we want to be. In addition, you must have the framework of guidance and the resources to properly shape the whole. We have been working for four years, but have only been involved for two years due to the corona. We also have a lot of support from the KNWU. They say that they regularly get people who want to move up. We also need organizations and organizers among professionals who want to do something with this. Very simple, we are only happy if we can allow one or two riders to move up at the end of each year and if we can get replenishment at the bottom.”

MtD Women’s Elite Cycling Team: Menger Hedera (Utrecht), Sandra Dekker (Lekkerkerk/Heerenveen), Merijn Mulder (Nijmegen), Mercedes Greinhardt (Amsterdam), Marjet Groen (Amsterdam), Linda Pulles (Eindhoven), Eltina van Wijk (Krimpen aan den IJssel), Vera Tieleman (Nijmegen), Emmy Pordon (Hoorn), Mercedes Greinhardt (Amsterdam), Fleur Kuijpers (Nijmegen), Babette Rosman (Amersfoort), Femke de Zee (Maastricht), Melissa Hofman (Pijnacker). Guidance: Peter de Vries (operational manager), Leen Merison (team leader), Henk Ceelen (assistant team leader) and Roos Hogeboom (supervisor/mental coach).

Photos: © Sportfoto.nl


The article is in Dutch

Tags: MtD Team compete prizes

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