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#Ride2Unite Podcast with Elise Vander Sande and Annelies Dom: “More Women Have to Get on the Bikes and Develop as Riders”

The #Ride2Unite podcast, hosted by Anna Glowinski, just hit the road again with another episode. This time, Anna met with two members of the Lotto Soudal Ladies cycling team – Elise Vander Sande and Annelies Dom. They discussed the launch and progress of their careers, the hardships and expectations, the insights from the women’s cycling scene, and more.

Annelies Dom (35) is the newly appointed sports director of UCI Women’s Continental Team

Lotto Soudal Ladies and a Belgian national road and track champion of 2018 with previous experience in track and road cycling spanning 10 years. At the Lotto Soudal Ladies team, she devises tactics for all team riders to get them ready for the races and tends to their training schedules. She quit active competitive cycling in November 2020 but plans to stay in the industry.

Belgian Elise Vander Sande (23), the podcast’s second guest and an up-and-coming young talent, started riding for Lotto Soudal Ladies earlier this year. Since she’s at the very outset of her career, it’s evident that she feels comfortable with relying on seasoned rider Annelies for advice, inspiration and guidance.

Since Annelies switched from a rider to the sports director of Lotto Soudal Ladies, Anna wanted to know what she thinks is the biggest change in perspective and approach. “When you’re in the car behind the bunch, you don’t have any control [over] what’s happening. I didn’t know but it brings a lot of emotions to the DS in the car because when you’re not riding good as a team, you feel responsible. You want to help in every way you can but it’s not that easy because you don’t have the power to control it. You can only inform the girls […] but when the race starts they’re more or less on their own” confided Annelies.

Even as a beginner rider, Elise nodded her head in agreement when Annelies talked about equality in pro cycling, as she also perceives differences in finances, media coverage and opportunities when it comes to men’s and women’s cycling. “There’s an evolution to be made,” she remarked.

What kind of bet made Annelies switch from road to track? Does Elise want to follow in her footsteps? What changes do they perceive in women’s cycling and which are still very much needed? Is a healthy work-life balance achievable in pro cycling? Listen to the newest episode of #Ride2Unite to find out!