Ladies Mette Jensen Egtoft fulfils childhood dream at Lotto Dstny Ladies

The Danish talks about her time with the Lotto Dstny Ladies.
General 02 June 2023

At the age of 19, Danish rider Mette Jensen Egtoft (22) first travelled to Belgium to pursue her cycling dream. Via a number of club teams, she joined the Lotto Dstny Ladies this season, where she already rode a very extensive programme and had a taste of top classics such as the Tour of Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liège: "I am learning so much thanks to the team. I have ridden some races I could only have dreamed of before."

Mette Jensen Egtoft initially came in contact with cycling as a spectator: "My older brother and sister both cycled. If I was going to watch them anyway, I might as well get on the bike myself. Above all, I found it a fun way to see my friends every week and spend a lot of time outside."

As women's cycling is still in its early stages in Denmark, Egtoft says, she quickly found herself with Belgian and Dutch club teams: "Cycling is alive and well in Denmark, but for now mainly for boys and men. For ladies it is more difficult to find races or teams. When I rode in the juniors, I already raced a few races in Belgium and that's how I came into contact with the club teams here. So that's why I eventually moved to Belgium, here women's cycling is already much more advanced."

The Danish finally joined the Lotto Dstny Ladies this year: "It's really quite an honour to be able to ride here. As a child I was always a big fan of Lars Bak (who rode with Lotto Belisol and Lotto Soudal from 2013 to 2018), so that's the reason I followed this team for a long time."

"The professional framework, the nice programme and the atmosphere among the riders ensure that everyone can fully focus on developing. We can learn so much from Dirk Onghena and Grace Verbeke. For example, Grace has ridden and won the big races herself, so she knows perfectly what we need to become the best version of ourselves," the rider said.

Egtoft finds it difficult to pinpoint the biggest lessons she has already learned this season: "I have learned so much, choosing just one thing is almost impossible. If I have to indicate one insight that I have gained this year, it is to really ride as a team. The collective performance is more important than the individual. Going forward, I especially want to further develop my climbing skills."

The 22-year-old rider looks back on a successful spring: "Due to a knee injury, I was on the sidelines watching races last spring. I had an overuse injury that persisted due to additional inflammation of my joints. Then I dreamed of being at the start of those races. That has now been achieved and I am extremely happy about that."

"My absolute highlight was the Tour of Flanders. Not because I rode a particular result there, but because of the experience. That's such an iconic race and you don't forget the atmosphere there. Katrijn's (De Clercq) 6th place in Mouscron was also a great moment. We as a team have been able to come close to a podium finish a few times now, I hope we get someone on the podium this season."

Officially, Egtoft lives in Denmark, where she occasionally works as an interim teacher at a school, but most of the year she spends in Belgium: "The team provides a home in Belgium for the foreign rider. So here I live for several months a year together with Wilma (Aintila), Kristýna (Burlová) and Marla (Sigmund). This is very nice, because we can talk to each other there, cook together and train together. It's nice to have a home base away from home."

Images: Facepeeters.

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