Rider Diary

Rider diaries with Charlotte Kool


Hi everyone,

A lot has happened since the last off season! And now I’m enjoying a bit of time off the bike, I have also taken a bit of time to reflect on the progress I’ve made in the last year. Of course, it was my first year with Team DSM and I’ve loved it! The change of training last winter helped me make massive steps with my sprint and ensured that I prepared for the season in a really good way.

Immediately I felt really welcomed by the team and in the new environment. We had some time to get to know each other already before the start of the season during the team meeting and team camps, and I could really feel the nice atmosphere in the team. Going into the season, I did the lead-out for Lorena at most of the races. From her, I learned to never give up. We often came back to the bunch together after being dropped on a climb, having a mechanical or whatever, almost every time. That really taught me to always believe in your goals, even if the parcours seem to be challenging. I also learned to trust my teammates in those situations, because together you are always stronger.

I also had some opportunities to sprint by myself and had a lead-out from Lorena. After the lead-outs I did for her, it was just super nice to get those chances and even be led out by her. Of course, it didn’t always go perfectly, but we could also sprint really well this way around and in my opinion, this really shows the strength of our sprint train in general. To be able to switch things around and still win together is really special and remarkable.

In July I did Giro Donne, which was one of the highlights of the season for sure. I enjoyed my time there and we had a great group there; the race was great too and I just love Italy! Having the chance to sprint for myself multiple times against some of the fastest girls in the peloton was super, super cool. And challenging the best for victories was also the biggest learning point during the race. I knew I could do it, but to really see it and do it is still different. I felt that I could do more with the second and third places that I got, but made some mistakes here and there; I will learn from them and do better in the future! Being there with my own lead-out and figuring out how being the sprinter really works was a really valuable experience that I loved.

Now, during the off season I want to continue working on my sprint and increase the volume a bit so that I am more consistent over the whole year. The first part of my season was really good, but I want to also make the next step to still be strong at the end of the season. I am also looking forward to getting to know the new girls in the team; we will have a young group around the strong core from this year which will be a new challenge, but I think we will have a really good time together as everybody is super motivated already!

Indeed, my personal role will also change in the coming season, and I want to make that step up. I have already met the new girls and made them feel welcome – I really want to be someone that they can come to if they have questions or need something. For me this is an important part of being a leader – taking care of your teammates. We all need each other in order to be successful and we can only win together. I am really looking forward to working with the whole group, and the team, to get as much out of us all as possible.

As you can see, I am already pretty excited about the new season and the new challenges. But first the winter, with a lot of training, team camps, and preparation is ahead!

I hope you have a good winter!

See you on the road somewhere soon,