Fresh from her fourth place in the Olympic Games time trial, a result which could have resulted in a medal had she not lost time with a near-crash, Ellen van Dijk has signed a two year deal with Team Liv-Plantur.
The Dutchwoman is one of the world’s best time trialists and has notched up 28 professional wins. She has been part of the powerful Boels-Dolmans team for the past three seasons, but has decided to head to pastures new in 2017.
She hinted that the chance of greater personal freedom is a factor in her decision.
“I am very excited about my move to Team Liv-Plantur,” she said on Friday. “It’s the opportunity I was looking for, since the team has, and shows, great ambition to grow. I want to contribute to that growth and to develop myself accordingly with the chances I will have.
“The team is attractive in its professional way of working and solid structure. We will have a great mix of talent and experienced riders and this is a great motivation for me to join.”
Van Dijk’s victories thus far are impressive. She has won a stage of the Giro Rosa, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the 2013 Boels Ladies Tour, the 2011 Ladies Tour of Qatar, plus two overall wins in both the Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour and Energiewacht Tour.
The 29 year old has also taken gold medals in world championships, winning the time trial in Florence in 2013 and the scratch race in Manchester 2008.
She will join Dutchwomen Floortje Mackaij, Sabrina Stultiens, Lucinda Brand and Canada’s Leah Kirchmann, as well as the team’s other riders. The team has said that it wants to become one of the top squads in the women’s WorldTour.
“Ellen is an absolutely world-class rider and we are proud to sign her,” said team coach Hans Timmermans. “In our talks it was immediately clear that we were a good match. She wants to be important to a team and for us teamwork comes above everything else.
“In Ellen we have an excellent TT specialist and Classics rider which makes our team a lot stronger. She values our philosophy and expertise that we have in the team. We think this will be the recipe for success, and [help us] grow towards being one of the leading teams in women’s cycling.”