Ladies Lotto Dstny Ladies Team announces composition for 2024

The continental development squad has finalized its selection for next season.
General 10 October 2023

The Lotto Dstny Ladies Team ended the 2023 season only last week at Binche-Chimay-Binche, but is already fully focused on preparing the upcoming season. The continental developing squad has finalized its selection for the 2024 season. Just like this year, the Lotto Dstny Ladies Team will consist of 15 riders, with again a strong focus on developing young talents. The squad will also welcome six new riders (Maureen Arens, Dina Boels, Thalita De Jong, Audrey De Keersmaeker, Alberte Greve and Anna Van Wersch). Just like last year, Grace Verbeke and Dirk Onghena will form the sports directors duo.

Sports manager Kurt Van de Wouwer reflects on the past season of the Lotto Dstny Ladies and already looks ahead to 2024. “Two years ago, we took another direction with our women’s team. With a very young squad, completed with also several experienced riders, the main focus was on developing and supporting our talents. This year, we continued to build on that strategy and it’s safe to say this is paying off. The riders all took some steps forward and we’ve managed to get some solid results, which is really nice to see. Sports directors Grace Verbeke and Dirk Onghena have played an important role in this, acted as a nice duo and did a great job.”

“Next season, the goal is to further build on the existing foundations and to take some more steps, through a racing program that will be extended a little. Several new talents have been added to the team, as well as more experienced riders, and we’d like to give them all the possibilities to further develop themselves”, concludes Van de Wouwer.

Dirk Onghena has been part of the Lotto Dstny Ladies project since the end of 2021 and looks back with satisfaction on his second season as a sports director.

Dirk Onghena: “Since joining this project, several nice steps were taken and I’m looking back on a successful season, in which Grace Verbeke and myself formed a good duo of sports directors. During a nice racing program, we’ve tried to teach the riders as much as possible, going from things like positioning to gaining tactical insight. We’ve noticed a nice evolution and that showed through the results we’ve set throughout the season. Of course, we also need to be realistic. We’re not able to get big results on WorldTour level yet but being competitive at UCI 1.1 level is already a nice step forward. I’m thinking of the 2nd place of Julie Hendrickx in Ekeren, several nice results and a victory for Katrijn De Clercq and the impressive performance of Fauve Bastiaenssen amongst several world-class riders at Dwars door het Hageland.”

Also Grace Verbeke is happy about her first season at the Lotto Dstny Ladies. “I’ve managed to integrate the team really well and felt at home quite fast thanks to the guidance of Dirk Onghena. Personally, I find it really important to create a nice atmosphere amongst the group and give the girls the confidence to get the best possible result, together. I think we managed to create that, because they all would go through fire for each other. There was a good team spirit but that was also converted in nice performances. I’m really motivated to fully support the team also next year. We’ve done some reinforcements and multiple riders are ready for the next step.”

Composition Lotto Dstny Ladies 2024: Wilma Aintila (19), Maureen Arens (20), Fauve Bastiaenssen (25), Dina Boels (18), Katrijn De Clercq (21), Thalita De Jong (29), Audrey De Keersmaeker (24), Mieke Docx (27), Esmée Gielkens (22), Alberte Greve (18), Julie Hendrickx (20), Julie Nicolaes (19), Quinty Van de Guchte (24), Anna Van Wersch (22) and Sterre Vervloet (19).

Images: Brecht Steenhouwer.