Thalita de Jong returns to the team where she successfully started her career. As of June 1st the Dutch rider, who raced for Rabobank-Liv for five years, will wear the Liv Racing Xstra shirt. She signed a contract for up to and including 2023.
“In the period of Rabobank-Liv I have enjoyed it very much for five years. The way of working and professional structure always really appealed to me. After my leaving, at the end of 2016, I have always had this thought: if the opportunity ever arises, I am absolutely open to a comeback. I have always stayed in contact with team manager Eric van den Boom, we have followed each other’s footsteps. In February, we sat down together to discuss the possibilities. Fortunately, there are now opportunities. It’s nice to come home to this pleasant, professional environment, which offers opportunities for me to reach a very high level again”, says Thalita de Jong.
As of June 1 she is entitled to compete for Liv Racing Xstra. “At that moment I jump on a moving train”, Thalita de Jong said, referring to her race programme. “With Giorgia Bronzini and Wim Stroetinga I have already put together a nice calendar. I can already say that I can start immediately in the Women’s Tour in England. After that there will be more beautiful races, including, if everything goes well, the Giro Donne and the Tour de France Femmes. Every rider dreams of that; so do I. We have a well-balanced programme.”
First in club shirt
Until June 1, Thalita de Jong will ride for the women’s team of JEGG – DJR Academy, the Dutch cycling club. “I’ve already looked at my programme with the JEGG-DJR Academy staff. The races I ride there are very different from those at the WorldTour level, but nice to experience. And it is also nice to ride together with young girls. Maybe I can show them the ropes here and there, so they can make a step sooner or later.”
Sports director Giorgia Bronzini is happy with the addition of Thalita de Jong. “After all these years we still haven’t seen the best of Thalita. Last year you could see very clearly that, after times of physical discomfort, she had found the way up again. Hopefully she can develop further in our top sport environment and become a decisive rider in our team. Thalita is multifunctional and can compete in many types of races. Combined with her professionalism and drive, this makes her a very welcome addition.”