Liv Thanks Long-time Partner RaboLiv for Years of Success, Lasting Friendships
Over the past five years, Liv has had the pleasure of supporting some of the best female cyclists in the world through the sponsorship of the Rabobank Liv cycling team. Although the team conclude sponsorship from Liv at the end of 2016, the partnership comes to a close amicably and with gratitude for a successful season.
Looking back, 2016 was full of celebration for the powerful RaboLiv team. Beginning with a bang right out of the gate, Thalita de Jong found success in cyclocross, winning World Championships in January. Now firmly focused on defending her title, de Jong continues to impress this season on her Liv Brava, powering her way to multiple podium finishes including her recent win at European Cyclocross Championships.
Polish champion Kasia Niewiadoma, Dutch powerhouse Lucinda Brand, Dutch champion Anouska Koster, and de Jong contributed to the podium count for RaboLiv in 2016, securing top-three finishes in several important races including: Strade Bianche, Italy; Gent-Wevelgem, Belgium; Ronde van Gelderland, the Netherlands; Festival Elsy Jacobs, Luxembourg; Giro del Trentino, Italy; Dutch and Polish National Championships; Giro Rosa, Italy; Tour of Norway; Holland Ladies Tour; Lotto Belgium Tour; and European Road Championships, France.
But the two big stories of 2016 were clear: Marianne Vos’ inspiring comeback and Anna van der Breggen’s meteoric rise to cycling stardom.
After spending much of the 2015 season off the bike due to an over-use injury, it seemed like the entire cycling industry was cheering for Vos’ recovery. In February, Vos announced she would indeed return to competition although the date of her comeback was still uncertain. On March 13, Vos made her first race appearance and finished 10th at Drentse Acht van Westerveld in the Netherlands. Just 16 days later, Vos took her first win of the season at the Pajot Hills Classic, a midweek race on the women’s UCI calendar.
“I’m very happy with this victory after a difficult period,” Vos said. “At least this shows that I’m back on the right track.”
Not just back on the right track, back on the winning track. Vos went on to win eight more stages and single day races and had 10 additional individual podium appearances. When it came to the Olympics, Vos withheld her pride as a former gold medalist and played the role of domestique to aid in victory for the Netherlands. Still, Vos managed a respectable 9th place finish after an arduous Olympic road race.
Anna van der Breggen, whose rise as a champion began in Vos’ absence during the 2015 season, found her place as the leader of RaboLiv in 2016. After early prominent wins at Salverda Omloop van Ijsseldelta in the Netherlands and a repeat victory at Fleche-Wallone in Belgium, van der Breggen played it cool – saving her energy for one big goal.
Olympic gold made her patience worthwhile. After battling a demanding road course in Rio, van der Breggen found herself in prime position as part of a chase group reeling in American Mara Abbott who was left solo after Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten’s devastating crash. Within the final meters, Abbott was caught and van der Breggen proved the strongest sprinter, riding to victory. Three days later, van der Breggen was again presented with Olympic hardware after securing bronze in the individual time trial event.
With her goal completed, van der Breggen didn’t stop there. Instead, she went on to win the European Road Championships road race and score a second place finish in the individual time trial.
Throughout 2016 and going back to 2012, the riders of the Rabobank Liv Women’s Cycling team have inspired countless female cyclists and welcomed women into the sport of cycling. The team has provided important feedback that helped Liv develop the first truly women’s-specific aerodynamic road bike, the Envie Advanced. The feedback from these key riders will continue to shape Liv’s bike design and engineering for years to come.
Liv wishes the riders of RaboLiv success and happiness as they continue their cycling careers.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016