'We ask ourselves how this is possible' – SD Worx dominate rankings, surpass 2022 win tally
The 2022 season could hardly be called anything other than a successful one for SD Worx, who did after all once again claim the top team spot on the Women’s WorldTour rankings. However, in 2023 the Dutch squad have hit a whole new level; already by mid-May they have equalled their win tally of last year.
As a result, the squad are not only dominating the teams category of the rankings, which they have done every year but one since the Women’s WorldTour started in 2016, but also the individual rankings.
Following a 1-2 GC finish from Demi Vollering and Marlen Reusser at Itzulia Women, the top 3 spots on the Women's WorldTour belong to Vollering, Lotte Kopecky and Reusser, with teammate Lorena Wiebes also in sixth place.
"Everyone gets a piece of the pie with us. That our riders go through fire for each other like this is one of the keys to success," said sports manager Danny Stam in a statement. "But on such a successful first months of the 2023 season, we had not dared to dream beforehand either."
The team won every one of the three stages of Itzulia Women between Vollering and Reusser, taking the win total for the squad to 20 this year already – more than double that of any other team – with 15 of those being Women’s WorldTour victories.
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"I simply have no words for that," said Stam. "We ask ourselves how this is possible and how long we can continue like this. Everyone is at level. Although you can't always control that yourself. With us too, some riders are now suffering a bit from injury, but our winners are spared from it for now.”
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) has been the rider who has so often taken the spotlight away from SD Worx in recent years, winning the Women’s WorldTour leader's jersey competition in 2022, 2021 and 2018, but she hasn’t had the same level of top-step success this season and is now sitting in fourth place.
The Movistar rider, or perhaps one of the powerful Trek-Segafredo trio – Elisa Longo Borghini, 2020 series winner Lizzie Deignan and new arrival Gaia Realini – could have the opportunity to challenge this dominance as the season progresses.
Still, SD Worx have given themselves a powerful head start and the immediate outlook is likely to bring even a further strengthening of the SD Worx rankings domination. At Vuelta a Burgos Feminas, the next Women’s WorldTour race on the agenda, Vollering and Reusser are both lining up, while Wiebes is also joining the fray again.
"In Burgos we want to get involved in the sprints with her," said Stam. "There are also two arrivals uphill, including one explosive climb and one long climb. Our aim is to grab another stage and to see how far we get in the general classification."
Van Vleuten, Longo Borghini, Realini, Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM) are all sitting the race out so the only non SD Worx rider from the top-10 of the rankings is Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ). The Italian sits in 10th place on 912.14 points compared with Vollering’s 2893.86, so even with a perfect run couldn’t come close to challenging SD Worx for that top spot.
In fact, with such a powerful beginning to the season for Vollering – who is even 1,500 points ahead of even her teammates in second and third position – it looks increasingly likely that SD Worx will break their five-year purple jersey drought at the end of 2023.
The last rider from the team to top the individual leaderboard at the end of the Women's WorldTour season was Anna van der Breggen in 2017.