Team DSM strengthen their Women’s program with three more talented additions

Rider Announcements

Photo Credit: Freddy Guérin / DirectVelo

Team DSM are excited to reveal the latest additions to their Women’s program for 2023 as Eleonora Ciabocco, Maeve Plouffe and Eglantine Rayer all sign with the team through the 2024 season.

Photo Credit: Freddy Guérin / DirectVelo

Eleonora Ciabocco (ITA)

Hailing from Italy, Ciabocco had a short but successful opening season in the junior ranks in 2021, competing in a handful of national and international races alongside some regional junior Italian races. Out of the five international races she competed in she finished in the top ten of all of them: starting off with fifth at Trofeo Binda Juniors, third in the Italian time trial, second in the European road race and ninth at the World Championship road race. Her crowning glory was a brilliant late attack to claim the Italian race win, a title she would go on to expertly defend recently in 2022 with another brilliant ride. Alongside wearing the tricolour for another year, her season so far has included some more symmetry, with another second in the European road race and third in the Italian time trial, highlighting her strong ability on the bike.

Ciabocco said: “Team DSM are a very professional and organised team and this attracted me to them. You can see this on social media but thanks to their Talent Days, I was able to experience it in person and it convinced me even more. Being part of such a great team excites me a lot and I’m looking forward to riding with everyone. In the juniors I see myself as quite a complete rider who can climb well but also defend themselves in a sprint. In the short term my goal is certainly to gain experience, learning both from my teammates and the staff. I hope to be of help to my teammates, even in the crucial stages of the races and in the long term I hope to be the best I can with the team and take some nice results.”

Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna expressed: “In the junior ranks Eleonora has shown herself to be quite a complete rider; she can climb well but also packs a good punch too. She’s taken back-to-back Italian road race titles which is really impressive, as that is normally one of the toughest races at that level. Furthermore, Eleonora has a really good mindset for a cyclist; always wanting to improve, but she’s also able to read a race well and play the game of cycling well, which is impressive for someone so young. We’re looking forward to working with her.” 

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

Maeve Plouffe (AUS)

Born in Adelaide in Australia, Plouffe has spent most of her career so far on the boards, competing against the very best in the world of track cycling. Plouffe’s power and speed has helped her to become a seven times Australia champion in the madison, team pursuit, omnium, and road time trial, which she has followed up in 2022 with victory in the individual pursuit at the track world cup in Milton – setting a very impressive time. Tasting success not just on the track, Plouffe has impressed on the road too with the aforementioned time trial win as a junior in 2017. This season has saw her show her sprinting prowess with stage wins at the Santos Festival of Cycling and Tour of Gippsland, before she won the Warrnambool Cycling Classic race in New Zealand. Returning to Belgium for a stint of racing after her track success, she powered to a win and has picked up three further top tens in races too.

Plouffe said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic to be joining Team DSM for 2023. Pursuing a career on the road has long been an ambition of mine, and I can think of no better team to develop with than Team DSM. After seeing some success over the last few years on the track, I’m eager to apply myself to the new challenge of racing on the road. I’ve always admired their Women’s program as the most dialled sprint lead out train in the women’s WorldTour. As a budding lead out rider and sprinter, the opportunity to be a part of this lead out therefore feels like a natural fit for my background and is definitely a career-defining opportunity. I’m feeling incredibly motivated and I can’t wait to put in the work over the Australian summer so that I’m ready to race in my new colours in 2023.”

Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna continued: “Maeve is an amazing talent on the track, where she has proven that already by taking medals in various events at different championships and nations cups and is one of the fastest in the world in the individual pursuit. On the road she’s shown her speed too with a sprint win this year at the Tour Down Under event and we see that in her values she has potential to grow even further. As she’s mostly been a ‘trackie’ we want to help her transition onto the road in the coming years, help her gain more experience and nurture her talents. In our talks she also showed a great mindset and is someone that wants to continually challenge herself and progress as a person and rider.”

Photo Credit: Freddy Guérin / DirectVelo

Eglantine Rayer (FRA)

Diminutive in stature but not in nature, young Frenchwoman Rayer has impressed many in her two years in the junior ranks. Bursting onto the scene, she claimed a well-earned third place in her opening race at Trofeo Binda before going on to complete the double at the French national championships, winning both the time trial and road race. Rounding out her season, which she only ever finished outside the top ten in a stage or race once, she claimed a fine bronze medal at the European road race. The start of her 2022 campaign saw more solid results but she really kicked up the level with a stage win, the GC and mountain classification title at Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie; before second in the European time trial and an incredible win at the same championships road race. Arguably however, her best performance might be the second place at Alpes Gresivaudan Classic where she came second in a mountain-top sprint finish against a field of strong elite riders; hinting at her potential future climbing ability. While just today, Rayer delivered another strong performance against the clock to claim back-to-back French time trial titles.

Rayer explained: “Team DSM have followed me since my junior years, which I think has created a bond of trust between us. I can’t wait to turn professional and take part in my first WorldTour races and give it my all for the team in their jersey. I love the atmosphere within the team, and I can’t wait to meet everyone properly. By joining Team DSM, I hope to be able to achieve and experience the greatest emotions in sport.”

Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna added: “We’ve been in contact with Eglantine for a while and she has really impressed us with her attitude on and off the bike; she has a big and friendly personality. She has been a double French champion on the road and time trial, and this year took the European road race too. Her characteristics suit the longer ascents, but in the junior ranks she has been explosive and shown good ability against the clock too – so we will look to keep her development as broad as possible in the immediate future; allowing her to grow and find her feet as she makes the step up.”