SD Worx teammates Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) and Lorena Wiebes (Netherlands) will line up for their respective nations, aiming for repeat victories in the elite women’s individual time trial on September 20 and the road race on September 23 at the UEC Road European Championships in the Netherlands.
The five-day event kicks off with the individual time trials on Tuesday, where Reusser lines up as a two-time defending champion. The elite women will complete one lap of a 29.5km circuit that starts at Wildlands Adventure Zoo and through Emmen.
“Of course, it would be nice if I can make it a hat-trick by taking that European title for the third year in a row. That would mean the world to me. But first and foremost, I want to find the joy back in the time trial,” Reusser said.
“It is not the prettiest course, because part of it takes place on the motorway. But it is where you can develop your ability as a pure time trialist. I will be happy if I can find peace with the discipline and get a good result. Because my form is still super, though.”
Reusser’s hopes of winning the world title in the elite women’s individual time trial at the Glasgow Worlds in August ended mid-race after she eased up, stopped her ride, and sat down in the grass at the side of the road.
A time trial specialist, Reusser has earned the silver medal twice at the World Championships in 2020 and 2021 but stated after the time trial in Glasgow that she was simply exhausted and needed a break from the busy racing season. “I’m not a machine,” she said.
Reusser has had a successful season where she has won Gent-Wevelgem, and overall titles at Itzulia Women and Tour de Suisse. She also won the closing time trial at the Tour de France Femmes, where she played a crucial role in her teammate Demi Vollering’s overall victory. She also helped Switzerland win the Mixed Team Time Trial Relay world title in Glasgow.
“I needed a break,” she said. “It was weird what happened [at Glasgow Worlds]. I didn’t see it coming, but I learned a lot from it.
After taking a few weeks away from racing, Reusser returned at the GP de Plouay and Tour de Romandie, where she finished third overall behind title winner Vollering and runner-up Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).
Reusser will be up against Dutch champion Riejanne Markus (Netherlands), Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) and Worlds bronze medallist Christina Schweinberger (Austria).
Wiebes will be up against a strong field in the elite women’s road race that will be held along a 131.1km course from Meppel to Col du VAM. The route includes a 62km circuit and five laps (13.7km each) of a Col du VAM circuit.
Also finishing off a successful season, Wiebes has won 12 races, including stages at UAE Tour, Vuelta a Burgos, Giro Donne, Tour de France Femmes, Tour of Scandinavia and Simac Ladies Tour. She also won Ronde van Drenthe.
“It was a great year in this beautiful jersey. I am looking forward to defending it. It is extra special that the European Championship takes place in my own country and that my family and friends can come and encourage me. This jersey gave me a lot of motivation on training,” Wiebes said.
“I have been looking forward to the European Championship in the Netherlands. I find a course there that should suit me. It is somewhat similar to the Ronde van Drenthe. The new Dak van Drenthe hopefully adds something extra to the race. The finish should suit me normally, so I hope I can extend my title as European champion.”
Wiebes will line up with the powerful Dutch team that also includes Vollering, while other strong contenders are Kopecky (Belgium), Emma Norsgaard (Denmark), Liane Lippert (Germany), Anna Henderson (Great Britain) and Elisa Balsamo (Italy).