The AG Insurance-NXTG Under-23 team has announced its composition for the next Tour de France Women with Zwift and is aiming for stage victories, breakaways and combativeness rewards.
The team will consist of six riders of six different nationalities: Ally Wollaston, Julia Borgström, Anya Louw, Ilsej Pluimers, Gaia Masetti and Lone Meertens. Maud Rijnbeek has been selected as reserve.
“Our biggest goal is to show ourselves and our sponsors and we will try to do that by going for the fighting spirit award, but we will also be aiming for stage wins,” sporting director Jolien D’Hoore said of the post. team ambitions. “By doing that we can also compete for the white shirt. As one of the younger teams there, it must be a goal to be in the mix for the white shirt.
As the team has never competed in the Giro d’Italia Donne, the Women’s Tour de France will be an important step in its development programme, but D’Hoore stressed that the team is also here to be competitive.
“Most of our riders have never competed in an eight-day stage race at this level of difficulty and competition, so this will be an important step in their development. However, part of sportsmanship is having ambitions and daring to pursue them.
Without a pure climber on their roster, the team is primarily targeting breakaways and sprints in the flatter first half of the week with several options to contest quick finishes. However, the team appointed Borgström as GC leader, with a move to the white jersey not an impossibility for the Swedish all-rounder.
“Julia is one of the most experienced runners on the team,” D’Hoore said. “It’s her third year with us and she’s a versatile rider who does well in climbing races. She can play a part in every step so she can be our first rider in the GC.
New Zealander Wollaston, who has already won the Morbihan GP and a Lotto Belgium Tour stage this season, is perhaps their best sprinter, although Masetti will also be an option on the toughest days.
Australian Louw, 21, has earned a place in the Tour roster after only signing for the team in early July. The team’s oldest rider is Meertens, 24, who brings his Giro racing experience with Lotto Soudal in 2021.
The team is currently in France, where they carried out the reconnaissance of stages 2, 3 and 4 of the race.
“Everyone is in great shape and the atmosphere within the team is really amazing,” said D’Hoore. “The riders are relaxed and really looking forward to being at the start of the Tour de France.”
The Tour de France Women will be the biggest race yet for the ambitious development team, which hopes to join the WorldTour in 2023 with the support of AG Insurance and the men’s team QuickStep-AlphaVinyl.
“We really didn’t expect four months ago to be in the Tour de France [Femmes]said QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere. “The goal is of course in the future to continue to develop this team, and we have the first meeting on July 18 to see if we can be a WorldTour team next year.