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‘Big potential’ is an understatement when it comes to 20-year-old Dutch woman Shirin van Anrooij who has recently inked a three-year extension with Women’s WorldTeam Trek-Segafredo and corresponding cyclo-cross squad Baloise-Trek Lions through 2025.

The multi-discipline road and cyclo-cross talent is just barely out of the junior ranks and has become one of the top talents on the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup this winter and the Women’s WorldTour during the Spring Classics.

“We’re really happy to keep Shirin in the Team for another three years. When we signed her out of the junior ranks, we knew that she had a big potential. Last year she still struggled a lot after a hard winter with a bad crash and surgery, but this year we have seen her make the progression we were hoping for – and then some. It’s fun to see the development of a young rider as they move from strength to strength,” said Trek-Segafredo director Ina Teutenberg.

“We’re hoping we can build her up to be a really strong contender for the Ardennes Classics and stage races. She’s still super young with lots of years to learn and grow stronger, and I’m stoked to be part of that journey with her.”

The former junior cyclo-cross world champion was 18 years old when she was offered a chance join the Trek-Segafredo training camp in the winter of 2020 before singing a contract to race with the team as a trainee in August of that year. She had later signed a two-year contract through end off 2022. 

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At the time, she told Cycling News that she hoped to become a future contender in races like the Spring Classics and the Giro d’Italia. 

After a strong cyclo-cross season where she was 7th in the UCI ranking and 2nd in the under-23 race at the World Championships, Van Anrooij has live up to her own expectations during the spring road campaign often riding in support of her team long into the final of some for the biggest one-day race on the Women’s WorldTour.

“I’ve made huge steps since joining this Team. The last two months of racing the classics for the first time ever went so much better than expected. I had learned a lot as a stagiaire already, but then I had a setback with my crash in Tabor. At the beginning of last year’s season, I struggled a lot, both mentally and physically, but the Team kept believing in me and helped me gain confidence again,” said Van Anrooij, referencing the deep laceration to her arm reportedly caused by a disc brake in a crash at the World Cup in Tabor in November of 2020.

“The thing about this team that I enjoy the most is that it’s really unique to feel like you’re part of one big family. I’ve also enjoyed the way we race; we have a plan and really go all out for this plan. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but we do it as a team, which makes it special.”

Van Anrooij said she also enjoys splitting her season with a focus on cyclo-cross with Baloise-Trek Lions and the road season with Trek-Segafredo, in the same way as her teammate and compatriot Lucinda Brand.

“In this team, I have the possibility to make the combination together with Baloise-Trek Lions, which is an important factor for me. I really enjoy combining both disciplines, and I think it makes me a better cyclist,” she said.

“I still have so much to learn, and I feel like this environment gives me the opportunity to develop further as a rider. I’m surrounded by so many strong riders, directors and coaches with all this experience. Everyone around me is really trying to teach me as much as possible.”

Together, Trek-Segafredo and Van Anrooij, will use the next three seasons to build on the strengths that she has already shown as part of the team in both road and cyclo-cross.

“I hope we will discover my strengths more and more in the upcoming years and to really work towards particular races and become a better rider. I believe the team has a good view of which races suit me well and can teach me to race a bit more with my head instead of only my legs. I’d like to focus a lot on climbing and time trials to see what I’m capable of in stage racing.”

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