Gallery: Boels-Dolmans Launch With Fairytale Presentation - Total Women's Cycling

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Gallery: Boels-Dolmans Launch With Fairytale Presentation

We’ve spent the last couple of days with the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team in Amsterdam, as they prepared for their official launch in front of fans, sponsors, friends and family.

We’ll be sharing interviews with riders over the coming days, and some sneaky behind the scenes videos – but for now here’s a glimpse into the day of the launch.

Team, staff and press kicked off the morning with a relaxed, low intensity yoga class, in which the yogi (teacher) was keen to point out that as athletes there might be a tendency to push through the limits of comfort – something that should be avoided in this case.

The team kick the day off with a low intensity yoga class, to stretch out muscles tired from their recent training camp
A sunny morning for the post breakfast session

After fresh smoothies and coffee, the entire entourage was bundled into a mini-bus that would convey us to Efteling – a magical amusement park world of its own and the same location that was used for the 2015 launch. Since the 2015 season produced a World Cup victory and a World Championship win for the team, this could hardly be a bad omen.

The fairytale Efteling park where the presentation was hosted
This year riders can choose between the women's specific Amira and the unisex/men's Venge, whilst riding the Shiv in time trials
The team bus tells the story of many member's ambitions for the year

Speed dating style media interviews were quickly in full swing as the riders waited at individual tables whilst journalists switched between hot-seats, before a communal grilling of the World Champion and number one star Lizzie Armitstead.

After a second place at the World Team Time Trial champs last season, the team are hoping to go one better this year aboard SRAM eTap fitted S-Works Shiv machines, with many riders also gunning for Olympic selection whilst USA rider Megan Guarnier and the UKs Lizzie Armitstead already have assured places on the start line.

Time for interviews - we chatted to Evelyn Stevens about how her background in finance gives her perspective
The press grill Lizzie about the Rainbow Jersey curse - she doesn't seem too worried it'll affect her as she focuses on training and racing
The favourite picture of Lizzie appears everywhere
The team is proud to host the rainbow jersey wearer

All of the riders expressed a genuine appreciation of the stable backing Boels-Dolmans provides them with, with keen sponsors continuing to back them since 2012 and eager support from Specialized, who have provided the girls with female specific Amira and unisex Venge bikes this year, as well as the Shiv Time Trial bikes.

The Venge, they say, isn’t fine tuned for women yet but is known for being so fast and aero that the sacrifice is worth it, and they hope one day to create a women’s version. Multiple riders sung the praises of the Amira, however – American champion Megan Guarnier said: “I can’t quite explain – it’s never like the bike is riding me, I’m always riding it and we work as a unit.”

They’ll also ride with the Women’s S-Works Evade Helmet or Women’s S-Works Prevail Helmet, and will be rocking the new Women’s S-Works6 Shoe which features a neat heel gripper and a super light and efficient one piece construction.

The Evade helmet in team colours on display
Lots of team bidons and magazines out as we get ready for the presentation

Following Interviews and media opportunities, the sponsors, fans, friends and family began to filter into the building in preparation for the official presentation, hosted by multiple Olympic and World Champion, AND ex-Hour Record holder, Leontien van Moorsel.

Sponsors from Boels Rental and Dolmans Landscaping chat to the hosts
Evelyn Stevens lets slip she's going to attempt The Hour record this year!
Megan Guarnier talks about her focus on the Olympics
Lizzie Armitstead arrives on stage with a team bike that's a little big...
... and promptly swaps it for her own World Champion edition before talking about her Rio and World Champs goals, plus September wedding
The World Champ bike in all its glory
The team together on stage

Full team roster: 

Lizzie Armitstead – Great Britain

Chantal Blaak – Netherlands

Karo-All Canuel – Canada

Demi de Jong – Netherlands

Amalie Dideriksen – Denmark

Megan Guarnier – USA

Nikki Harris – Great Britain

Romy Kasper – Germany

Christine Majerus – Luxembourg

Kasia Pawlowska – Poland

Evelyn Stevens – USA

Ellen van Dijk – Netherlands

Stay tuned for more detail and interviews…

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