Liv Racing has welcomed its seventh new rider for 2022. From January 1 Silke Smulders will wear the jersey of the Dutch UCI WorldTeam, which will then continue under the name Liv Racing Xstra. With Giorgia Bronzini and Wim Stroetinga, the team also announced a new sports management team.
Smulders (20) is considered a great cycling talent in the Netherlands. This season she finished third in the youth classification of the Simac Ladies Tour and fifth in the youth classification of the Giro d’Italia Donne. These achievements were one of the reasons why Liv Racing’s sports management picked her up.
“Together with the team management I talked about my personal goals and the ambitions of the team. That conversation was very pleasant and relaxed. It reinforced the positive feeling I always had as an outsider with this team. Liv Racing looks modern and professional to the outside world. In addition, the offensive way of racing often appeals to the imagination. I am happy that I can be part of that from next season”, Smulders says.
“Last season I rode for the first time at the highest level. In the difficult races with gradients, I have always performed pretty well. I was often in the front group and now I want to slowly learn to ride finals. In addition, the spring classics should suit me in theory – I haven’t ridden them much so far. With this transfer to Liv Racing Xstra, a renewed training approach and the tactical insight and experience of Giorgia Bronzini and Wim Stroetinga I should be able to take the next step in my career.”
New and familiar faces
Liv Racing has already been reinforced by six other riders: Eva Buurman, Amber van der Hulst, Quinty Ton (Netherlands), Katia Ragusa, Rachele Barbieri (Italy) and Tereza Neumanova (Czech Republic). Six riders who were already part of the team in 2021 will also wear the purple Cuore outfit in 2022. They are: Jeanne Korevaar, Sabrina Stultiens (Netherlands), Ayesha McGowan (United States), Alison Jackson (Canada), Marta Jaskulska (Poland) and Valerie Demey (Belgium).
Photo credits: Cor Vos