The UCI World Ranking last year was dominated by four riders from the same team, a remarkable achievement showcasing the extraordinary success of the Dutch SD Worx formation (renamed SD Worx – Protime this season). Following the leader Demi Vollering in the rankings were her teammates Lotte Kopecky, Marlen Reusser, and Lorena Wiebes.
Together, the ‘Big Four’ secured an impressive total of 36 victories in the Women’s WorldTour during the past season. Quite consistently, one of their teammates would also finish second and/or third. It was not uncommon for competition among SD Worx riders to come more from within the team rather than from other teams. An bizarre luxury for the DS-team, but perhaps also a potential challenge?
In any case, the team, led by directors Danny Stam, Anna van der Breggen, and Lars Boom, has not weakened for the upcoming season. Not at all: with the definitive breakthrough of Mischa Bredewold (winner of the Classic Lorient Agglomération and European road race champion) and Kata Blanka Vas (world champion on the road in the U23 category), the elite group within the Dutch team is growing. Meanwhile, promising young riders like Anna Shackley, Lonneke Uneken, and Marie Schreiber are making their presence felt, and former world champion Chantal van den Broek-Blaak is making her return to racing this month after giving birth to her first daughter, Noa.
Are we going to see the SD Worx ‘Big Four’ battling it out amongst the four of them again this spring? Where will we see them competing in the lead-up to Paris-Roubaix? Here’s an overview: