Gran Fondo world champion Marie Dessart makes road début at Lotto Soudal


Marie Dessart, world champion Grand Fondo in the category 35 – 39 years, will be making her road début next season as rider of the Lotto Soudal Ladies team. The almost 38-year-old Belgian former triathlete is excited to start this new challenge!

Marie Dessart: “It’s thanks to Ludivine Henrion that I got in contact with the Lotto Soudal Ladies team. This is a wonderful opportunity to still get at my age. This is a dream come true. The past two to three years, I set some good results in amateur races, but I thought it was too late to ever ride for an elite team. But suddenly it has become a reality. I am looking forward to measuring myself against the other women and to find out what I’m worth. No doubt that the competition will be huge.”

“Before I started cycling, I was a triathlete and I participated in several Iron Mans. I was very good at cycling, but during the running my opponents passed me by. That’s the reason I decided to focus on cycling more than five years ago.”

I’m stepping into the unknown and it will be one giant discovery.

Marie Dessart​​​​​​​: “I love the mountains and that’s why I love riding Gran Fondo’s. I love the physical effort on a long climb and I also have the body of a climber. And you get to ride through beautiful landscapes. The mountains are my favourite surroundings to race and train.”

“Lotto Soudal hasn’t engaged me to ride flat races; I will ride hilly races and climb races of one or more days. It will be a big change for me. I will now be part of a professional team with professional staff. I am curious to see which influence that will have. I’m stepping into the unknown and it will be one giant discovery. I want to prove that I’m worth the confidence that Lotto Soudal has shown in me. I hope to make progress all year long. It will be an adventure that will require a different way of life. I will be working half-time instead of full-time for example. I really want to get the maximum out of my dream.”


Photos: Geoffrey Meuli Photography & Images