Wiebes and SD Worx-Protime hungry for revenge in Roubaix with 'A kick in the butt', to the tune of Jan Smith Cycling

Wiebes and SD Worx-Protime hungry for revenge in Roubaix with 'A kick in the butt', to the tune of Jan Smith

Wiebes and SD Worx-Protime hungry for revenge in Roubaix with 'A kick in the butt', to the tune of Jan Smith

Lorena Wiebes made it a perfect four out of four wins at the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, clinching the prestigious sprint on Churchill Lane in Schoten once again and extending her undefeated run in this classic sprint race. After the race, she opened up to IDLProCycling.com and other media outlets about her victory in a heartfelt conversation.

Four in a row, you might think Wiebes enjoys that game. Having set a similar streak in the Tour of Drenthe in March, it was more of the same a few weeks later at the Scheldeprijs. "It's already the second time this year, so that's a fun coincidence," she joked, alluding to the board game.

The competition in Schoten on April 3 was stiff, featuring not just Wiebes but also sprint powerhouses Charlotte Kool (dsm-firmenich PostNL) and Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek). Missing out on the sprint showdown at the Classic Brugge-De Panne earlier only fueled Wiebes's motivation. "With Kool, Balsamo, and Chiara Consonni all lining up, it made for an exciting race for the spectators."

The Scheldeprijs has been criticized in the past for having a dangerous finish, but in Wednesday's women's race, there were notably many falls in the back of the pack. "With these weather conditions, we know it's smarter to stay towards the front," the winner explained. "That's what we had agreed upon: as soon as we hit the local lap, we would be at the front. Only Lonneke Uneken was involved in one of the crashes, but she, like the rest of the ladies, did an excellent job in the end."

European champion Mischa Bredewold also did impressive turns at the front around Schoten. "Of course, that's very nice. Last year, Marlen Reusser was also there (she broke her jaw last Sunday in the Tour of Flanders, ed.), so back then, I had both Marlen and Mischa. But I have to thank not just Mischa and Lonneke but also Femke Markus, Elena Cecchini, and Marie Schreiber. Thanks to them, I was safely at the front."

Wiebes on her Jan Smit victory gesture

Without Barbara Guarischi and Lotte Kopecky, two riders who often lead her out, Wiebes had to navigate the flat race on her own. "The night before the race, I told the girls they needed to position me well for the last kilometer, either on Kool or Balsamo's wheel. It worked out, although there was a bit more pushing and shoving than usual since I had to find my own way. But I had the space to sprint, and that was the most important thing, although everything still had to fall into place.

"All three of us started the sprint simultaneously, and I think it was a fair sprint in the end. I saw Balsamo take off on the left, and that's when I launched my sprint," Wiebes explained, not yet thinking about having a street named after her in Schoten. "I'd have to come back one more time to match Marcel Kittel's record. In the women's races, the chaos isn't too bad; sprinting can always be dangerous. I really enjoy being able to show here that I'm a good pure sprinter."

Read more below the video.

Wiebes's victory gesture was also notable. After showing four fingers—clearly referring to her four victories—a kind of bird gesture followed. The reason? "We have something with Jan Smit as a team; this was 'Vogelvrij' (Free as a bird, ec.). In Drenthe, I did 'Mijn Gitaar' (My Guitar), and now I have to think of the next one," she laughed in the TV interview afterward.

At the press conference, we naturally wanted to know more. "Our mechanic is a big fan of singer Jan Smit, so we're trying to get him to our team party at the end of the season. Floortje Mackaij (Movistar rider, ed.) is also a big fan of Jan Smit, and that's how I became one too. But she told me after Drenthe that next time I should do 'Vogelvrij.' Maybe I need to ask her what the next one should be," Wiebes said with a big smile. "At the truck, where the mechanics work, Jan Smit is playing nine times out of ten, so by now, I can sing along to all his songs.

Wiebes and SD Worx-Protime aim for revenge in Roubaix

So, we might expect 'Cupido' or 'Leef nu het Kan' (Live now, while you can) at Paris-Roubaix on Saturday, as that's the next big target for Wiebes and SD Worx-Protime. What's the team's secret (Jan) smith for that race in Northern France? "This victory boosts our confidence, but we've also shown again that we can position well as a group. That's very important in Roubaix too."

Despite the bumps in the road at Dwars door Vlaanderen (and the controversy surrounding Demi Vollering's departure) and a tough Tour of Flanders for Lotte Kopecky, there were some issues that festered within the previously successful SD Worx-Protime. "But we don't notice that on the bus; the vibe is still good," Wiebes asserts. "We have a lot of fun together. In Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders, we weren't sharp at the moments we needed to be, but those races happen."

"All in all, that just motivates us more for Paris-Roubaix," continues Wiebes, always the eloquent speaker. "We're give each other a kick in the butt and we go all out," she expresses her eagerness for the Hell of the North, where SD Worx-Protime has yet to claim victory in the three editions the women have raced, summarizing her win at the Scheldeprijs in one catchy sentence.

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