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SD Worx wins another team ranking: ‘To prove it again and again is a huge challenge’

Team manager calls Tour de France Femmes a 'game-changer' for women's road racing.

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SD Worx continued its domination of the WorldTour, winning the top league ranking for the sixth time in 2022 during the past seven seasons.

Despite increased competition and deeper investment among rivals, the Dutch-based team came out on top of the women’s rankings yet again.

The team won 20 times across the season, anchored by a strong spring campaign as well as winning finish at the Tour de Romandie.

“This is something we can be proud of. We had another good season and several nice wins,” said sport director Danny Stam. “Women’s cycling has been developing in recent years. The calendar is getting fuller and the level is higher and higher. There are more teams with strong performances across the board.

“It gives me a good feeling when I see how often we can still make a mark on a race. Of course, you also have a few down periods,” he said in a team interview. “If you are a few percent less, you will be immediately beaten. Only when everything is right you compete for wins. However, it would also not be good if you win everything all year.”

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Annemiek van Vleuten was a one-person wrecking crew at Movistar, but SD Worx rode with consistently across its block of riders.

Consistently scoring points and hitting podiums helped the team earn the top ranking again.

“It’s not just those 20 wins, but also 47 podium finishes,” he said. “I am definitely proud of that. It shows that for years we have managed to be the best team in the most important race series. To prove it again and again is a huge challenge.

“Especially when you see in recent years that the competition is getting bigger and bigger. Many WorldTour teams have joined, setting up a women’s team in addition to a men’s team. They all build a team around two to three top female riders,” Stam said. “Nowadays, you see that even in women’s cycling the talents are committed much earlier. To then win the WorldTour for so many years in a different composition, I think is a great achievement.”

‘Tour de France Femmes is a game-changer’

Annemiek van Vleuten won the inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift
Demi Vollering was second in the inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Stam also said the Tour de France Femmes marked a before and after in women’s racing.

The team finished second overall with Demi Vollering, and lauded ASO for the addition even if pointing out the company was slower to embrace women’s racing.

“The Tour de France Femmes is a game-changer for women’s cycling. This is next-level,” he said. “Organizer Amaury Sport Organization is not the fastest to introduce women’s cycling, but when they go for it, something is immediately in place. We saw that last year with Paris-Roubaix and now certainly with the Tour de France Femmes.

“It is abundantly clear that this stage race will be a very important moment in the season. A peak moment that we will be living towards. Of course the spring with the monuments retains its value, but the importance of the Tour de France Femmes is already very high after just one edition.”

The team will be earning even more points in 2023 with the arrival of sprinter ace Lorena Wiebes.