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After 14 years in the professional women’s peloton, Jolien D’hoore is reportedly planning to hang up her wheels at the end of the 2021 season. D’hoore announced her retirement plans in an interview with Cyclingnews while maintaining that she is looking forward to a final season with her SD Worx teammates.
“I just want to have fun and make the best out of every race together with my team,” D’hoore told Cyclingnews. “I’m proud to be part of Team SD Worx so I’ll give it my all in every opportunity I get.”
D’hoore is not the first SD Worx rider to announce retirement plans at the end of 2021. Anna van der Breggen will also cease racing after this season with the intention of moving into management on the SD Worx team.
In 2021 D’hoore is targeting the big one-day races that fit in the same box as races she has won in the past. “Hopefully, I can start at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad through to Paris-Roubaix,” D’hoore said. “It’s hard to pick a race to target because we have a strong team and we need to see what each of our goals are, but my personal goals would be at the flatter races like De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem. I would be happy if I could have a win at one of those races.”
D’hoore is shifting her focus to the track events for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, specifically the Madison where she partners with current Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky. D’hoore won the world title in the Madison in 2017.
The final race of D’hoore’s career is likely to be the Road World Championships on home soil. “It’s a big focus for me to race the World Championships in Belgium,” D’hoore said. “The course is hard, similar to Amstel, so I don’t expect a bunch sprint or even small group. It will be a hard race and I just want to enjoy it and see how it goes – no pressure.”
Regardless of the outcome of the Worlds, it will be a wonderful send-off for what has been an amazing career for D’hoore.
The multi-time Belgian road champion and winner of many, many races, D’hoore has been on a handful of notable teams throughout her career. She started her career in 2008 with Topsport Vlaanderen. While riding for the Belgian team she won her first national title. In 2013 she spent two seasons with Lotto Belisol Ladies before signing with Wiggle Honda in 2015, where she remained until 2017.
D’hoore spent 2018 on Mitchelton-Scott where she won Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, the first stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, two stages of the Giro Rosa, and stood on 10 UCI podiums.
In her first season with her current team, D’hoore fit seamlessly into the team’s winning ways. D’hoore’s first win with Boels-Dolmans was the first stage of Emakumeen Bira. She went on to win the first and third stages of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. As for many other riders, 2020 was a year light on racing for D’hoore but she still pulled off a spectacular win at Gent-Wevelgem.
As for what is next for D’hoore, she isn’t quite there yet. “I don’t want to count down every race I’m doing this season,” D’hoore told Cyclingnews. The Belgian rider already has a Bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy from University of Gent.