Liv Racing has travelled to Italy for the first Women’s WorldTour race of the season. The team will start in the Strade Bianche on Saturday with a selection consisting of Sabrina Stultiens, Pauliena Rooijakkers, Jeanne Korevaar, Sofia Bertizzolo, Soraya Paladin and Lotte Kopecky.
“Everyone has seen in the Omloop and Le Samyn that we are in good shape. Soraya Paladin is really in top form, Lotte Kopecky took an amazing victory on Tuesday. The good start of the season gives the team extra confidence for the Strade Bianche”, says Sofia Bertizzolo, who will compete Saturday on home soil. “I expect that we can also count on Pauliena Rooijakkers. The climbs of the Strade Bianche are right up her alley, they suit a rider like her.”
Bertizzolo is counting again on a strong team performance. “If we work as a team, we can go a long way. The first two races of the season have proved that. The Strade Bianche has several key points where you must be positioned at the front, especially on unpaved sections. Jeanne Korevaar and Sabrina Stultiens have a nose for those kinds of moments. They are always committed and will also do a great deal for the team in the Strade Bianche.”
Bertizzolo will step aside in favour of the team. “The Strade Bianche is always a very tough, challenging race. Perhaps the toughest one of the entire season. Last year we rode it in 40 degrees, the year before it was snowing”, she recalls. “I do not have many ambitions for a high ranking myself; I especially want to pilot Pauliena, Soraya and Lotte as well and as fresh as possible to the final of the race. By doing so, I hope that we can once again achieve an incredible team performance.”
Continuing the direction
“We would like to continue in the direction that we have started in the Strade Bianche. I am referring mainly to the way in which we race as a team”, says sports director Lars Boom.
“We have a slightly different selection on Saturday. Pauliena Rooijakkers rides her first race of the season. I know she’s keen to perform well at the Strade Bianche which fits her like a glove. We are going to support her, so that she can use her qualities as best as possible. In addition to Pauliena, we have a few more aces up our sleeve: Soraya Paladin, Jeanne Korevaar and maybe even Lotte Kopecky. As a team, we want to create the best possible starting position for ourselves.”
Photo credits: Liv Racing