Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Kirsten Wild and Lisa Brennauer will lead the black and orange team to the Healthy Ageing Tour on Wednesday for the five-day race in the very north of the Netherlands. Both riders have great experience in the race, which is characterised by the type of windy conditions that typify that part of the country, with Wild having taken ten stage victories and Brennauer having won the 2015 edition overall.
“I hope there will be some wind, and maybe some rain!” Wild laughed.
“It’s not that I really like it, but that it suits me,” she said of the racing conditions. “It’s always a bit hectic, and chaos and stress. In the end I’m good at it, so maybe I like it…”
Wild finished eleventh in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, winning the bunch sprint at the head of the first chasing peloton, in only her third race since winning three World Championships on the Apeldoorn track. Brennauer took eighth place, having stayed right at the front for most of the race and making all the decisive moves.
“I think we will be a really good team,” Wild said of her German teammate. "I think Lisa could go for the general. I would like to go for stages, and I think if we go really well we can play a really nice game together. Because I think we are both really good in the echelons and the fast action. I think it’s really interesting.
“I’m a bit worried about the time trial though, as I didn’t work on it… at all!” she added with a laugh. "But we’ll see how it goes.”
The race begins with an 8km time trial in Heerenveen, Friesland, followed by four flat road stages on the way to the “World Cycling City” of Groningen. As well as winning in 2015, Brennauer has taken third overall in the last two editions of the race and feels confident after her Flanders performance.
“I like it and I’ve been doing good results there in the past,” she said. "I like the race and I’m looking forward to it. It’s always a big, big battle for positioning - the Tour of Flanders was good training for this as well!
“I’m excited for the week in Holland, and also excited to see what we can do there as a team.”
In support of Wild and Brennauer will be Japanese Champion Eri Yonamine, whose tireless work in Flanders helped set up the results of her teammates. Italian former track World Champion returns to the peloton after an early spring break, along with British sisters Lucy and Grace Garner.
Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for the Healthy Ageing Tour
Rachele Barbieri (Italy), Lisa Brennauer (Germany), Grace Garner (Great Britain), Lucy Garner (Great Britain), Kirsten Wild (Netherlands), Eri Yonamine (Japan)
photo Wagner Araujo
photo Jay Adeff