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French all-rounder Juliette Labous has extended with Team DSM through 2023. The contract extension comes following her selection by the French Cycling Federation to the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

“I’m very happy to stay with the team. Ever since my first year here they have made me feel at home, allowed me to develop myself and they have always respected our long-term processes and goals. I’ve been able to develop step-by-step at my own pace. I like the organisation of the team, and everything is well structured; the cooperation we have between staff and riders, and the atmosphere we have between the girls is great,” Labous said in a team announcement.

“I want to keep improving my leadership skills, climbing, time trialling and aim for good GC results with the team in the future. As a person I am looking forward to continuing growing in self-confidence, and to set an example to the younger girls on the team. I always want to find the best way to reach my goals, and that’s why the keep challenging philosophy of the team fits me perfectly.”

Labous, 22, turned professional with the team in 2017, under the Team Sunweb banner, as a development rider. She has since become a valuable member of the team; a strong time triallist, climber and support rider.

Labous won the time trial title at the French Championships last year. This year, she finished second in the time trial behind compatriot Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo) and fourth in the road race after a five-rider sprint won by Evita Muzic (FDJ).

This season, Labous has also finished sixth place at both Brabantse Pijl and Flèche Wallonne, and she was 10th at Festival Elsy Jacobs. She has also stood on the podium in stages at the Giro d’Italia Donne where she has finished 11th overall, and she was eighth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“Ever since Juliette has joined the team; we’ve been really impressed with her commitment and way of working. She fits in well with the team’s vision and brings a lot of added value to us both on and off the bike. Our communication is always on a high level and we’re able to discuss things openly,” said director Rudi Kemna.

“On the bike, we’ve already made a lot of steps with her in terms of her development, such as her climbing and time trialing, and we want to continue to grow with her in the coming years. Juliette is still young so has a lot of room to develop and we want to continue her current trajectory, where we’re aiming to go to the top of the sport with her.”

The Fédération Française de Cyclisme announced on Twitter that Labous would be the sole representative of France in the women’s road events at the Olympic Games. The number of riders a nation is allocated is decided by their ranking, with France only qualifying for one spot in both the road race on July 25 and time trial on July 28.

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Kirsten Frattini
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