Gran Fondo world champion Marie Dessart makes road début at Lotto Soudal
"This is a dream come true."
Three weeks ago the Lotto Soudal Ladies announced that four new elite riders would join the team in 2019. One of them is Danique Braam, a 23-year-old Dutch law student. The winner of the KNWU Club competition, who rode for Jan Van Arckel, is about to join a UCI team for the very first time. Both this season and in 2017, Braam finished on top 10 of the 7-Dorpenomloop Aalburg and Omloop van de IJsseldelta.
Danique Braam: “I feel that I’ve outgrown the club level and that the time has come to move to a UCI team. The past season I attacked in several UCI races and I set some good results. I now want to further develop myself and discover my limits. I mainly chose for Lotto Soudal because they are known for racing as a team and for helping each other. I love their offensive style of racing. I am an aggressive rider myself and attacking will be one of my main tasks next season.”
It’s my goal to be good in the spring races, during which I will have a supporting role.
“As a member of the Dutch national team I could already ride a few WorldTour races, but I hope to get some more experience on the highest level now I’m riding for Lotto Soudal. It’s a dream to one day ride the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Just like La Course or the Madrid Challenge, who are scheduled during the Tour and Vuelta, as the Grand Tours remain something special.”
“I want to physically become stronger next year. It’s my goal to be good in the spring races, during which I will have a supporting role, and I want to peak towards the Dutch Championship. I know that I’m good at riding flat races with echelons, but I want to discover what I’m further capable of in the Flemish races. Riding over cobbles isn’t a problem, but I mainly want to become better at tackling the hill sections and at the positioning on the narrow roads.”
Photo: Roger Vandenbosch