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After a successful cyclocross season with Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal, Leonie Bentveld decided to broaden her horizons by also competing in road races with AG Insurance - Soudal.

Following a wonderful cyclocross season last winter, I chose to push my limits further by participating in road races. I believe that road racing can help me build even better fitness, which is essential for my overall performance. I immediately felt a strong connection with the AG Insurance - Soudal team, where I was warmly welcomed, a factor that greatly motivates me. This new adventure offers me the chance to enhance my stamina and simultaneously test my tactical skills. I am very curious about my capabilities on the road and look forward to starting my road racing season. My first interaction with the team was immediately positive, and I felt at home right away, which motivates me even more for what lies ahead.

Cyclocross and road racing are truly different worlds. In road racing, tactics play a larger role and it is more of a team sport, whereas cyclocross often focuses on technique and the correct choice of equipment. The efforts required also differ significantly; a cyclocross race usually involves an intense effort for about 50 minutes, while a road race lasts much longer and varies in intensity.

After my last cyclocross race in Oostmalle at the end of February, I took a three-week break. Then I went to Spain to train intensively for six weeks to prepare for the new season. I returned home on April 25, and within a week and a half, I was racing again. I also plan to start a specific preparation for the cyclocross season in September, where I will focus again on my technique and adapting to my cyclocross bikes.

This road season, I especially hope to learn a lot. I have relatively little experience with road races, so everything still feels new and exciting. I am really looking forward to competing in events like the Antwerp Port Epic and Dwars door het Hageland, which should suit me well given my background in cyclocross. I have increased the intensity of my training early in the season, which I hope will give me an edge in the upcoming races.

After my rest period, I ramped up my training schedule earlier than usual because I am starting the racing season earlier than in previous years. Both the duration and intensity of my workouts have increased. Recent test results are promising and show that I have made significant progress. I hope that this progress will also be evident during the upcoming road races.

Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of making cycling my life, and it's incredible to realize that this dream is now my reality. I thoroughly enjoy training and seize every opportunity to improve myself, both on the road and in the field. I started cycling at the age of seven after a local Dikke Banden Race in our village. I enjoyed it so much that I joined the local cycling club, and at the age of twelve, I began cyclocross. All of this has brought me to where I am now, and I am excited about what the future holds.