Coryn Rivera blog: The team edition
As a smooth and entertaining transition from 2018 to 2019, I thought it would be fun to write about my Team Sunweb teammates from 2018, wish those well moving on, and introduce the new faces joining us in 2019. Behind every top result is a team that gets you there. All of the results the team achieved were due to the hard work and collaboration from different personalities and strengths. Each person’s strength bolstered the other’s weakness and together we were stronger and could accomplish more. Last year, was filled with many memories - the good, bad, sad, and funny. All of these moments make us who we are now and prepare us for the upcoming year.
Lucinda Brand - @lucinda_brand
First up is one of our main Dutchies “Luuc”, correctly pronounced ‘loose’, and she is one of our great captains. If you are observant, you will see that she wears rings on both her left and right ring-finger, even while racing. But I would like to make it clear that she is not married or taken at all. She is 100% single and ready to mingle. So, if there are any eligible bachelors out there who likes a chick that knows what she wants, is outgoing, and likes to keep herself busy…Lucinda is your girl! She occupies herself in the winters by racing cyclo-cross and is the 2018 and newly crowned 2019 Dutch National Champion and has had her best season ever with countless wins. Who doesn’t like a winner? She also enjoys snowboarding and going for motorcycle rides. Her highlight of the year was her breakthrough as a climber. She claims it started at the Giro Rosa, but I already saw it when we were racing together at Thüringen in June. There was a 6km climb on one of the stages and she just absolutely pinned it to the top and almost dropped the entire team. You could tell she was in the zone and loving it. To top it off, Lucinda claims that her spirit animal is a monkey. Maybe that is why she loves jumping around doing cyclo-cross and maybe climbing makes her feel like she is up in the trees like a monkey.
Leah Kirchmann - @leahkirchmann
My only North American teammate this year and team housemate in Sittard. She hails from Canada and loves baking and maple syrup. A serious foodie, the only time I ever experienced her in an upset-state was when the fridge temperature was too cold, and her veggies were frostbitten. We have a lot of funny stories of time spent together while at the team house. From BBQs in the summer time, to cleaning out the entire kitchen, to riding our TT bikes directly into a thunderstorm. The list goes on and we can always lean on each other while defending North American normality’s while in Europe. Our specialty together is cooking Mexican-night together at the house. We also have a special trade agreement that I wash her bike in exchange for freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. What a deal right? She joined the team a year before I did, and she helped inspire me to make the jump to a full-time European team with a lot of support from the team and having a very successful debut season in Europe. You can usually find her leading me out, about to send me into orbit, or going for sprints herself. We actually go way back in the day to racing in the USA against each other when I was on UnitedHealthcare and she was on Optum. Now we have joined forces and are kicking-butt in Europe. Her highlight of 2018 was her ITT at World Championships where she surprised the world with a very strong fourth-place finish. I believe it could have even been bronze if it wasn’t for a close run in with a car. Another highlight for her was being part of the Ladies Tour of Norway TTT team victory where her motivation came from going after the prize of 25kg of Norwegian salmon. Leah’s chosen spirit animal is a cat. Quiet, observant, and just doing her own thing.
Juliette Labous - @juliettelabous
Our young and studious Frenchie who also goes by, Juju. She reminds me a lot of how I was out of the junior category when I was going to college at Marian University while racing at the same time. Always busy, always on the computer, and using free time to read and study. Then once summer comes around, you are free at last to focus on racing and to enjoy the weather. What I’ve learned over the past two years that I’ve gotten to know her is that she works really hard - whether it’s her training, preparing for races or if it’s her studies or internship. It is really impressive and commendable, sometimes even hard to come by in the current generation. She received her university diploma last summer in mechanical engineering and mastering in production, so keep an eye on her making big steps now that she has even more time to focus on cycling. She also dabbles in some cyclo-cross in the winter to keep her skills and form on point. Her highlight of 2018 was being part of the winning TTT team at the Giro Rosa where the girls passed the pink jersey from one rider to another – sharing is caring! Juju gives herself the spirit animal of a tiger. RAWR!
Liane Lippert - @liane_lippert
My homegirl. She kind of has a lot of nicknames for example “Lilli”, “Lippy”, or “Homegirl”. But I always say, you don’t choose the nickname, the nickname chooses you. She is our German representative and most importantly, your current German National Champion. That’s for the elite women’s category – not juniors or U23. And she is only 20 years old at the moment – scary, right? I believe the future is bright for her. The steps she makes every year have been huge. From the first moment I met her, she barely spoke English and was super shy. Now she has broken out of her shell is always asking how I’m doing and telling me funny stories and always suggesting my next Netflix binge. She is way stronger than she thinks and also acquired the nicknames: “Monster Princess” or “The Beast”. You can usually find us in vehicles together answering ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to E-40’s “Choices” song getting pumped up for training, a race, or just dinner. We also love just being funny, laughing, and enjoying the moment and not being too serious about things. You can also find her taking selfies with the selfie-queen, Floortje. She had a difficult time choosing a highlight for 2018, but they are between winning the 2018 German National Title, winning overall GC at The Lotto Belgium Tour, or being part of the perfectly executed Ladies Tour of Norway TTT. Monster Princess owns the leopard as her spirit animal. Walking with style but ready to pounce when needed.
Floortje Mackaij - @floortjemackaij
This Dutchie goes by “Floor” for short. She is probably one of my favourite roomies at team camps and races because we laugh at just about anything, like funny Instagram memes, and can girl-talk forever and remind each other that our relationship with our significant other will be just fine. If I could describe her, I would say she is that girl at school who is super social and is friends with everyone. I swear she is friends with everyone in the peloton, even people she doesn’t know! Always smiling, happy, and looking for the positives, she is topped with curly and hairspray-engulfed hair. At the start of races, you will usually find her lined up early on the front row with her parents Ron and Mary somewhere nearby. Later we will see them along the course in their camper with their sweet Labrador, Saartje. Mr. Mackaij also reminds me of Will Ferrell. He is almost at every race she starts, so I’m sure you will see ‘Ron Burgundy’ around cheering for his daughter. Her highlight of 2018 was riding for the general classification at the Women’s Tour. She was a huge, huge part of our stage 2 win that put us in the leader’s jersey. I told her specifically what needed to be done and even though we let a slight gap open, she paced me perfectly on the last climb so that I could have enough energy for the sprint finish. The rest of the week she was a machine riding the front of the race, controlling and defending our jersey. Floor chose a dog as her spirit animal. She is a dog lover at heart, and clearly she wouldn’t mind being one either!
Pernille Mathiesen - @pernillemathiesen_
Julia Soek - @juliasoek
Ellen van Dijk - @emvandijk
Ruth Winder - @ruthwinder8
Susanne Andersen - @susanneandersen
Janneke Ensing - @jannekeensing
Pfeiffer Georgi - @pfeiffergeorgi
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