Team Visma | Lease a Bike aims to keep momentum at Strade Bianche Donne

Team Visma | Lease a Bike aims to keep momentum at Strade Bianche Donne

A week after a successful opening weekend, Team Visma | Lease a Bike has arrived in Italy. The tenth edition of the Strade Bianche Donne takes place this Saturday. After Marianne Vos' victory in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the riders of the yellow and black team are confident going into the race in Tuscany.

Lieke Nooijen knows. She was part of the winning team on Saturday and will also represent the team next weekend when the 'white roads' are conquered. Although the opening race in Flanders cannot be compared to the Italian gravel race, Nooijen believes her squad can achieve an excellent result again. "We have an excellent team. Everyone is in good shape and in the mood to race", she says.

With Vos and Riejanne Markus, Team Visma | Lease a Bike has two women who can play an essential role in the final. Nooijen hopes to be valuable to her teammates for as long as possible. "It would be nice to be in the early breakaway. I like aggressive racing, especially on a course like this. There are a lot of climbs and forty kilometres of dirt roads. That makes it a challenging race."

Although the new route is only one kilometre longer than last year's, there are twelve gravel sections instead of eight. "The Strade Bianche is one of the most special races on the calendar. When I saw it was on my programme I was excited", said Nooijen, who already participated in the race once in 2021. "It's an incredible race; I especially like the hectic part before the first gravel sections."

"I like aggressive racing, especially on a course like this"

Lieke Nooijen

The first few months with Team Visma | Lease a Bike have gone well for Nooijen. In addition to her personal progress, she has already witnessed three victories by one of her teammates. Nienke Veenhoven and Rosita Reijnhout won in Australia and Vos was the best in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. "It's great to be part of this. I hope it will inspire everyone to work hard."

Nooijen says she is in her place with her new team. "I really enjoy it and get on well with everyone. Compared to last year, I have noticed that I have progressed both physically and mentally. I am really happy about that. The form is there, and I must ensure I can build on it in the coming weeks."

Just like last week, Nooijen will be able to ride with Vos. According to the youngster, working with her is a gift. "Getting tips from someone with so much cycling experience is outstanding. Marianne and I often race together, so a good relationship is nice. I really hope to race with her for a long time."

The Visma | Lease a Bike squad for Strade Bianche Donne includes Eva van Agt, Margaux Vigie, Sophie von Berswordt-Wallrabe and Nooijen, Vos and Markus.

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