Team 2022 preview: Trek-Segafredo Women

Which?

  • General manager: Luca Guercilena
  • Squad size: 14
  • Middle age: 28

Trek-Segafredo has been around since 2011 as a men’s WorldTour team, first as Leopard-Trek and before the American bicycle maker became the main sponsor in 2014 and 2015. Italian coffee company Segafredo has joined the main co-sponsor in 2016 and the organization added a high-level women’s team in 2019.

Their main signing was Olympic silver medalist Lizzie Deignan, returning from maternity leave, time trial world champion Ellen van Dijk, Italian Elisa Longo Borghini and American Ruth Winder.

They also hired Ina Teutenberg to lead the team in their first season. She led Trek-Segafredo to sixth place in the UCI ranking in 2019 and in no time they were the best team in the world.

In 2020, Trek-Segafredo was part of the first cohort of Women’s WorldTeams when the UCI created the designation, and, having also added former world champion Giorgia Bronzini as DS, they established themselves at the top of the COVID-19 Short Season Ranking.

Winder kicked off the season with a Tour Down Under victory, and Deignan marked his authority on the WorldTour, winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Course by Le Tour, the GP de Plouay and leading the overall standings. The team also won the opening team time trial of the Giro Rosa, a stage and a third place overall with Elisa Longo Borghini, and finished the season at the top of the WorldTour and UCI world rankings.

They were the closest challengers to the dominant SD Worx squad in 2021, ending the season with 20 wins – including Deignan’s spectacular solo at Paris-Roubaix – and second for the Dutch team in the WorldTour and the world rankings. .

Starting in their third season, Trek-Segafredo lost Winder and Trixi Worrack to retirement but signed on UCI Road World Champion Elisa Balsamo who, at 23, was just starting to make her mark as a sprinter and avid racer. one day race, and Leah Thomas – a more than capable replacement for Worrack’s road experience and intelligence. Bronzini has moved to the management of Liv Racing.

After keeping the majority of the squad together, look for Trek-Segafredo to continue challenging the other top teams – SD Worx and Movistar – in 2022.

How they performed in 2021

ROUBAIX FRANCE 02 OCTOBER LR Marianne Vos from the Netherlands and Jumbo Visma Team in second place Elisabeth DeignanArmitstead from United Kingdom and Team Trek Segafredo and Elisa Longo Borghini from Italy and Team Trek Segafredo in third place pose on the podium during the podium ceremony after the 1st ParisRoubaix 2021 Womens Elite a 1164 km race from Denain to Roubaix ParisRoubaixFemmes ParisRoubaix on October 02, 2021 in Roubaix France Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Lizzie Deignan on the Paris-Roubaix podium (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Trek-Segafredo started the season on a good note, with Van Dijk winning the Healthy Aging Tour and the Stage 2 time trial, but they missed Deignan in the early classics. She had to ignore the Strade Bianche because of a cold and after being sick again, she did not defend her Liège-Bastogne-Liège title.

Thankfully, Paris-Roubaix were postponed from their April slot until later in the season, when a healthy Deignan would completely dominate an extraordinarily muddy start for the women at l’Enfer du Nord.

While Deignan had some difficulties in the spring, the rest of the team got away with Longo Borghini who took second place at the Strade Bianche, won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and podiums at the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne- Cork. Winder also scored a nice victory at Brabantse Pijl.

They got back on track in May, with cyclo-cross world champion Lucinda Brand stepping up a gear in the Thüringen Ladies Tour, winning two stages and the overall standings. Deignan returned to her form in the Tour de Suisse and while she admittedly botched the sprint on the first leg of the two-day race, she gained enough time bonus the next day to win the overall standings.

The team missed the winning shot at La Course but made up for it by winning the opening team time trial at Giro Donne. While SD Worx completely crushed the rest of the Giro, Trek-Segafredo won the mountain classification with Brand and Deignan was fourth behind the SD Worx podium.

Chloe Hosking contracted COVID-19 in March and returned to victory at the Ladies Tour of Norway in August.

Longo Borghini came back from his bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics to win the GP at Plouay, Winder, Brand and Hosking won stages of the Tour de l’Ardèche and Van Dijk won both the European Championship on road and his second World title in the time trial.

The team’s crowning achievement came in the postponed inaugural edition of the Women’s Paris-Roubaix when Deignan attacked past the first cobblestone sector and claimed the solo victory in some of the most dangerous conditions imaginable, with several sectors covered in ‘a thick layer of slippery mud. . Deignan resisted a fervent pursuit from Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), while Longo Borghini escaped to fill the final podium. It was one of the most inspired rides of the season.

Key pilots

Lizzie Deignan: After her performance at Paris-Roubaix last season, the Briton will have a big goal behind her back for the second edition in April. However, she may not even be the team leader for this race.

Deignan is always a threat when it comes to one day races, and she will no doubt want to reclaim her title in Liège. She is also a former Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders winner, so as long as Deignan enters the spring classics in good health, she will be a contender.

Later in the year, expect the 33-year-old to set her sights on the Women’s Tour and Tour de France Women with Zwift.

Ellen van dijk: The time trial world champion is the main engine of the team and a key strategic player when it comes to supporting his teammates. At 34, she is one of the most experienced riders on the team, and she is also a proven winner in the cobbled classics, having twice won the Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders.

Paris-Roubaix didn’t make her way in 2021 and she ended the season with a concussion from a fall there. She will be ready to take revenge during the 2022 edition.

Elisa Longo Borghini: The two-time Italian champion has shown in 2021 that she is at a high point in her career and riding her national colors will be a huge motivation for her Home Opening Classics at Strade Bianche and Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

As well as supporting the team and playing foil for Van Dijk and Deignan in the Belgian classics, Longo Borghini is a good climber who will likely lead the team at the Giro d’Italia before perhaps supporting Deignan in the Tour de France. .

Elisa balsamo: The 23-year-old surprised the world by beating Vos to win the Rainbow Groups in Flanders, but it was no coincidence. Balsamo was European Under-23 Champion in 2020 and Junior World Champion in 2016.

She claimed her first pro victory in 2018 after her 20th birthday at the Omloop van Borsele and won stages in the Tour of California, Ceratizit Challenge, Baloise Ladies Tour and, as world champion, the Women’s Tour.

Without focusing mid-season on track racing with the Italian national team, Balsamo will undoubtedly increase their winning tally thanks to the powerful support from Van Dijk and Longo Borghini at De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem. She is only beginning to show her true abilities on the road.

Strengths

Trek-Segafredo has a rider for every scenario and, now that Anna van der Breggen has stepped off the bike and in the SD Worx team car, a slightly better chance for more wins in 2022.

They have Deignan and Longo Borghini for the day races and more hilly stage races, Van Dijk, Balsamo and Chloe Hosking for the flattest, and a host of chancers for the stages and long distance attacks.

The addition of Leah Thomas will help make up for the loss of Winder and Worrack, while Balsamo will be the key to overthrowing dominant sprinters like Vos, Demi Vollering (SD Worx) and Lorena Wiebes (DSM). They will gain motivation by supporting the World Champions and the European Road Champion, but their all for one, one for all attitude – and a super domestic in Audrey Cordon-Ragot is their greatest asset.

Trek-Segafredo has also contributed to the training of promising young riders: Shirin van Anrooij has shown in cyclo-cross tied with the best elite riders at 19 and was the best young rider in the Tour de Féminin this season. . Elynor Backstedt was a promising junior who won the Gent-Wevelgem and Omloop Borsele junior women’s races 2019, but a spiral fracture of the tibia in 2020 has had the Briton in a cast and recovery throughout the season. The team kept the pressure on them in 2021, but took second place behind Van Dijk in the 4.4km prologue of the Lotto Belgium Tour, demonstrating their talent.

Former Under-23 champion Letizia Paternoster and former world champion Amalie Dideriksen are also expected to benefit from the shift in their track schedule at the end of the year.

Weaknesses

The team has excellent equipment, great support from the wider team organization, great leadership in the team car and enormous talent on the team. road, with proven champions like Deignan, Longo Borghini, Van Dijk and now Balsamo.

As for the longer climbs, however, their leaders have yet to match Annemiek van Vleuten and Van der Breggen. With La Planche des Belles Filles closing the Tour de France Women, they will be under pressure to abandon Van Vleuten in the opening stages, which is notoriously difficult to do.

Balsamo is an incredible rider but has yet to show the consistency of riders like Vollering and Wiebes which could be a potential weakness.

Verdict

Trek-Segafredo have put together a very good squad for 2022 and as long as everyone stays healthy they have the potential to fight for the top of the rankings.

Although Van Vleuten has proven to be the best climber in the world, between Deignan, Longo Borghini, Balsamo and Van Dijk they have the firepower for any of the classics and a solid tactical position for stage races.

There has been a change in the Women’s WorldTour, with SD Worx catching Olympic medalists Marlen Reusser and Lotte Kopecky, Jumbo-Visma picking up Coryn Labecki and BikeExchange-Jayco hiring plenty of reinforcements, but Trek-Segafredo kept his best runners and has added Suite. Nothing prevents them from being the best team at the WorldTour in 2022.


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