SD Worx-Protime: We want to keep Demi Vollering but not for a blank cheque

Team boss Danny Stam only has three riders officially signed for 2025, but is hoping to hold onto star riders

Clock15:20, Wednesday 7th February 2024
Demi Vollering has ridden for SD Worx since the start of 2021

© Sirotti Stefano

Demi Vollering has ridden for SD Worx since the start of 2021

SD Worx-Protime have just three riders under official contract for 2025, but sports director Danny Stam has told GCN that the true number could be larger and that the management are keen to extend deals with Demi Vollering and Lotte Kopecky. Both riders are out of contract for next year, with Vollering recently linked to a one million Euro deal with UAE Team ADQ in the Dutch press.

The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift winner is arguably the best rider in the women’s peloton and can negotiate with teams for 2025 but Stam is determined to keep his main star, even if SD Worx cannot keep up with the lofty salary speculation.

“I don’t know. I’m not her manager, I’m her sports director, I read the same story but I don’t know. It’s a lot of money,” Stam told GCN when asked about the UAE links with Vollering.

Read more: Specialized extend SD Worx partnership until 2028

“She’s one of the best riders at the moment, so of course we want to keep her but not for a million Euros. It’s a lot of money and if someone can pay that amount it’s good but of course, we want to keep Demi but not for a blank cheque. It’s obvious that we want to continue with the key riders in our team and if they’re happy then we have a chance. If they’re not happy then they can leave. That’s how the world is going and we have our own budget. We need to see what fits in our budget. We want to keep our best riders but not against any price.”

According to Procyclingstats’ records and confirmed by Stam, only three riders have publicly reported contracts with the Dutch team for 2025. They are Femke Gerritse, Marie Schreiber and sprinter Lorena Wiebes. That leaves 13 riders on the current roster up for renewal. Stam hinted that more riders may have already agreed terms but he wouldn’t concede any of the names, only suggesting that the squad building for next season remained a work in progress.

Read more: Rising star: Marie Schreiber is climbing the cyclo-cross ladder with SD Worx

“Normally most of the contracts will finish in 2024 because it’s an Olympic cycle and we always start looking at that point to the future. There might be more with contracts but I can’t tell you that. You can’t sit still in this period and we’re busy with the riders but for the current situation, it’s like this with these three riders,” he said.

“Things are changing and three years ago you could look in August but nowadays if you look in August then you’re far too late. We also are busy with contracts for riders and normally there’s a rule that you can only do it in June but I think everyone is doing it earlier and earlier.”

SD Worx-Protime begin their season at the UAE Tour Women which runs February 8-11. Vollering is not on the start list but Wiebes will be the rider to beat on the sprint stages as Kopecky spearheads a possible GC challenge. The UAE Tour Women was one of the few WorldTour races Stam’s team didn’t win in 2023 with Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Longo Borghini topping the standings twelve months ago.

Read more: Preview: UAE Tour Women

This time around, Stam’s team will be aiming for success but he tried to play down any notion of pressure surrounding his team.

“UAE is always the first race for us and we also know that it’s a difficult race to win. We have riders in good condition, so we’re going there for good results. Winning is always difficult though. I think everyone needs to realise that it’s a new year and that everyone starts on zero again. We’ll go for the sprints with Lorena and then the GC we’ll see what we can do with Lotte.”

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