Megan Gaurnier and company look ahead to the 2017 with optimism

Megan Gaurnier and company look ahead to the 2017 with optimism

The Boels-Dolman team are all set for the 2017 season as Megan Guarnier, Lizzie Deignan, and Amalie Dideriksen all outline their goals.

Michael Stokoe

Boels-Dolman will be hoping for another superb year on the bikes as Megan Guarnier, Lizzie Deignan, and Amalie Dideriksen all outlined their plans for 2017 at their team presentation.

The whole team was present along with Boels-Dolman’s newest signing Anna Van Der Breggen, and with the new season vastly approaching the likes of Deignan, Gaurnier and Dideriksen seem to be set for the start of the new season.

Last year was impressive for Boels – they won 40 races, and in Gaurnier they had the rider that won the overall women’s WorldTour and also took overall victories in the Tour of California and the Giro D’Italia. As well as that they won the women’s team time-trial in Doha last October at the World Championships, so it was a good 2016 for Boels, and they will be hoping to continue that with another impressive showing this year.

Guarnier looks to continue her rise

The 31-year-old American is a top rider, one of the best in the female peloton, and she showed her colours last season by taking some mightily impressive wins.

This year it’s all about continuing her good form and seeing if she can replicate that: “I think this year is about trying to continue the success of last year. It’s difficult but I think that we have the team to do it.”

There is no doubting that Boels has one of the strongest teams with the peloton, and signing in the close season for Van Der Breggen was an indication that they will be once again riding on all cylinders in 2017.

Guarnier spoke about the quality of her teammates, saying: “I think the strength in our team is that we have so many riders who can win that jersey or win any race. We really have those cards to play and we can play that game.”

Quality is ebbing out of the Boels team this season, the likes Nikki Brammeier, Karol-Ann Canuel, Christine Majerus, Katarzyna Pawlowska, Amy Pieters, Jip van den Bos, Van Der Breggen, and  Chantal Blaak are the riders that will be supporting the likes of Gaurnier, Dideriksen, and Deignan. But they are also riders that can win races in their own right.

After a tumultuous 2016 on and off the bike, Deignan is aiming for the stars once again

It wasn’t all smooth riding for British rider Deignan last season; the beginning was superb. In the Rainbow Jersey she won four of her first six races, which included victories at Strade Bianche, and most impressively at the Tour of Flanders.

But before the Rio Olympics where she was targeting Gold in the road race, news broke that she had missed three anti-doping tests. One was removed from the records after the CAS ruled in her favour. But it was an episode which caused a lot of controversy and certainly affected her performances in the run up to Rio.

But this year, she is aiming for the Ardennes week, which has been newly added to the WorldTour this season. And the 28-year-old is also targeting the Rainbow Jersey once again in Bergen.

“The rainbow jersey gave me wings [last year]. I felt incredibly strong and was part such a strong team, to top it will be difficult but we will try to,” said Deignan.

“The dream is probably the Ardennes week. It’s exciting for women’s cycling that we have those three races,” continued Deignan as she looks to start 2017 on the right foot.

Teen sensation Dideriksen aiming to juggle school work and racing in 2017

Winning the Rainbow Jersey is one of the biggest honours in professional cycling, and some don’t get to achieve that feat till later on in their career. But 20-year-old Dideriksen shocked the cycling world in Doha last year as she impressively rode to victory in the women’s race.

Dideriksen has a huge future in the sport; she had a hugely successful junior career, and then moving up into the professional ranks she has shown she can mix it with the best. The Dane also rides on the track, so she is well adverse to all types of cycling.

Being 20 means that Dideriksen is still studying, and trying to juggle school work with time in the professional ranks is not easy. But speaking at the team presentation she hopes to have a good spring, saying: “I’m probably not going to have as many wins as she’s had. I’ve still only got three wins as a senior, including this one. I think that I will be happy if I can take a win or two.