The Women’s WorldTour kicked off at the beginning of March with the Strade Bianche, and normal service resumed as the inimitable Anna van der Breggen soloed across the line, a familiar state of affairs after last season! Van der Breggen is just one of many Boels-Dolmans riders who have shown their colours at every race so far this season, but they’re not the only ones. Trek-Drops, a British team chock full of young talent, has also shown off their stripes in some of the biggest races. Here, we’re going to profile both teams, shining a light on their strengths and, of course, the equipment they couldn’t possibly ride without.
The Dutch-registered Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is one of the most successful teams across the whole of cycling, let alone the women’s peloton. They’ve passed the world champion’s jersey between them for the last three years and have topped the UCI team world ranking since 2016. Anna van der Breggen was their most profitable signing for 2017 as she was crowned Queen of the Ardennes with absolutely no competition, winning all three races of the inaugural women’s Ardennes week. Joining her in the line-up is a veritable who’s-who of talent which includes former world champion and current British national champion, Lizzie Deignan, and current world champion Chantal Blaak, to name but two.
This year, the women in orange are riding the Specialized Tarmac. It is traditionally a men’s frame but has recently been overhauled to accommodate women’s sizes too in a game-changing contradiction of convention. With the help of in-house data collection, Specialized concluded that to try to separate men’s and women’s geometry so proscriptively was actually a lost cause.
Broadening the range of sizes available for their winningest bikes, and varying handlebar and saddle choice, was all that was necessary to ensure that every rider has their needs answered.
The team with arguably the best-looking kit in the sport is full of youthful promise. The average age of the team (as of 1 January) was just 22, but they are far from being inexperienced. Though they’ve not climbed onto the top step yet this season, they have been there and thereabouts and have picked up a few best young rider prizes along the way. For 2018, they have added riders Molly Weaver and Tayler Wiles to inject some experience into the team’s race craft.
As the team name suggests, the squad are riding Trek bikes again this year, as they have done since their establishment in 2016. Wrapped in a striking shade of ‘Miami Green’, the team will be riding the famously super-light bikes from Trek and sporting shoes from in-house brand, Bontrager.
It’s only a matter of time before the pastel stripes of Trek-Drops join Boels-Dolmans on the scoreboard, and as we’re only at the end of March, there are still plenty of races to go around.