Juliette Labous ready to guide the new Team DSM team in 2023


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Juliette Labous relishes the opportunity to guide the new DSM team through 2023.

The Dutch-registered side have undergone major changes ahead of next season with their top two players, Lorena Wiebes and Liane Lippert, heading to new pastures. Meanwhile, two of its most experienced runners are also leaving with Leah Kirchmann retiring and Floortje Mackaij heading to Movistar.

With a host of young riders coming to replace them, that leaves Labous, who was another of the team’s stars in 2022, one of the most experienced. At 24, she is also the second oldest on the team, just behind third-year professional Esmée Peperkamp.

“For sure there are big changes,” said Labous. BikeNews. “When you don’t have Lorena in the team, and also Floortje and Liane who go to Movistar, it’s for sure a whole new dynamic, but I think we’ll have a great team and a lot of young girls who are really strong.

“We still have Charlotte Kool as a very strong sprinter and I’m pretty sure she can win a lot of races too, so when she has her own chance. So I think that’s great, and for me I I’ll be a little more of a leader and I’ll have a little more responsibility, but I’m looking forward to it and I want to help the new girls too.

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After a shaky start to the year due to a bout of COVID-19 in the spring, Labous had a strong 2022. She finished fifth at Itzulia Basque Country before winning the overall title at the Vuelta a Burgos in May and finished just off the Women’s Tour de France podium with Zwift this summer.

Although the Tour was quite a big moment, it wasn’t his favorite time of the year. It had happened a few weeks earlier in Italy.

“The Giro win was so special because I won Burgos but didn’t win a stage. So I think the Giro win was something special because I didn’t win a race one day since my first year as an elite,” she said. “So it was quite special, especially because there I was aiming for the GC, and I had like a heat stroke two days before victory.

“I had to reset my mind and say, ‘Okay, what do I do now? Should I just complain, or should I just stay motivated and find a moment to win a stage and everything went perfectly that day.

be an example

Given her performance this year, Labous will be expected to move forward and lead the team in 2023. She knows it will be nearly impossible to match Wiebes’ win rate, but she is

“There’s maybe a little more pressure I would say, but when you’re a sprinter you can have, on paper, a few more wins,” she said. “I don’t think I will get as many wins as Lorena but I definitely want to get more wins. But, it’s harder when you’re a climber because you always have the rhythm the same girls are like for example Annemiek [van Vleuten] when she’s there, it’s hard to beat her when it’s a climbing race, but yes, I will do my best to bring victories to the team.

“I think maybe we’ll be a little less dominant than maybe we were this year, but we have to see how it goes and how everyone develops in the season, but I think I’m not not so worried.”

The loss of Lippert is a blow for Labous. The duo had developed a strong working relationship with Lippert supporting Labous in the mountains of the Tour de France Women.
“We had worked together since we were pro, we both joined the team in 2017 after juniors, so we had a really good relationship and we worked really well for each other,” Labous said. . “For sure it will be a big loss, but on the other hand, that’s also how it goes in life and especially in professional cycling so I have to deal with it, and the other girls will do their best to help me a lot.”

One of those riders likely to be alongside Labous next season will be 18-year-old neo-pro Eglantine Rayer. The French rider finished second in the junior road race at the world championships and won the European junior road race. She also proved her time trial skills with the French TT title and victory at the Chrono des Nations Juniors.

“She really has enormous talent, so I can’t wait to have her on the team,” Labous said. “I’m pretty sure she can be really quick with the top guys actually because she’s climbing quite a high level. I can’t wait to teach her things because she’s really young and she really wants to learn a lot.

“I know that I am a bit of her example, she told me. It sure puts pressure on me because then you have to be a good example and show the right way. It makes me want to work harder to set a good example for her and but she’s really good.


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