Her transfer was already announced, but as of today Thalita de Jong is part of Liv Racing Xstra. She is eager to prove herself on the highest level in the coming period. All this with the team where she had her breakthrough years ago as an upcoming cycling talent. “Let the Women’s Tour begin!”
Already in the winter Thalita and Liv Racing Xstra reached an agreement on a multi-year contract, but due to regulations she can only join today. “This is something I have been looking forward to immensely”, she says. “At the club JEGG – DJR Academy I was able to maintain race rhythm and to race a nice programme, with some good results here and there. I am grateful to the club for that. But to be honest: as a cyclist you want to be active at the highest level and now I can finally do that in the Liv Racing Xstra jersey”, says Thalita.
“I am really looking forward to wearing my new jersey. And at the same time I am quite nervous. Can I perform at this level? And what will be my role in the team? The last few seasons I was used to find my own way in racing, but now I am part of a nice, strong collective. You get a task within the team and you have to fulfil it. In that respect, I will first have to settle down and get my place. Then I can set real goals.”
From a distance, Thalita has been following Liv Racing Xstra’s performances. “In the beginning of the season the team had a hard time, despite the excellent preparation. That was partly due to bad luck and injuries shortly before the start of the new season. But the last few weeks the team is in a good shape, with some very nice and promising results. Liv Racing Xstra races attractively and shows itself in finals. Hard work pays off, you see. I hope I can contribute to the positive trend of the last few weeks.”
Thalita awaits a busy programme. Next week she will compete in the Women’s Tour in England for the first time in the purple Cuore-shirt. In mid-June, she will start in the Dutch cycling championships, after which she will leave for Italy for the prestigious Giro Donne. She is also on the shortlist for the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
“Apart from the Dutch championships and a derny criterium in Belgium in between, they are all stage races. I want to make sure I integrate well with the team and show that I can handle the WorldTour level. But of course, in stage races you always hope you can compete for a stage win. Hopefully that chance will come at some point. In that case I will do everything I can to take it.”
In 2016 Thalita left Rabo-Liv, the predecessor of the current Liv Racing Xstra. In that final season she achieved fantastic results in stage races in particular. She finished second in the prologue of the Giro Rosa that year, for example, and won the final stage in Verbania in the same race after a smashing solo. “It would be great if we can continue the success of that time. In any case, it feels good and familiar to be back with this team.”