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Lauren Molengraaf, first female athlete to sign a pro contract with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty

17 year old Dutchwoman Lauren Molengraaf, one of the most promising riders in the junior category on the road, in cyclocross and on the mountainbike, will discover the world of professional cycling when evolving into the U23 category and will race at the highest level in three disciplines until at least the end of 2025.

The reigning Junior European Champion cyclocross stays loyal to the structure of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty for her winters in the mud whilst stepping up to the Women’s World Tour with FDJ-Suez on the road from January 2024 and competing in the jersey of Lapierre-Mavic Unity on the mountainbike. 

Last winter, Molengraaf was basically invincible in her category on her Cube Cross Race. In addition to her European title, she dominated the Junior World Cup and conquered the the world title in the mixed relay with the Dutch team. She also distinguished herself in the elite category by finishing in the top five in Loenhout (4th) and Lille (5th) and twelfth in the World Cup in Antwerp.

This summer, she finished sixth in the European Mountainbike Championships on her Cube AMS Zero99 in the colours of her Dutch national title, before achieving tenth place in the World Championships in this discipline. A couple of days earlier, she represented her country for the first time in the battle for the rainbow jersey on the road, finishing 22nd on her Cube Litening Air.

Three weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Molengraaf will participate in her last race as a junior in the European Road Race Championship in Drenthe, in her home country.

“Last winter, I flourished in the cyclocross team of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, which enabled me to obtain fantastic results in my final season in the junior category. I’m very honoured about the efforts made by the structure of Jean-François Bourlart to offer me the possibility to receive the best possible support in my three favourite disciplines for my step up to the U23 category. This gives evidence of the great confidence they have in my capabilities. Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, FDJ-Suez and Lapierre-Mavic Unity share the same vision about my future, that’s why I’ve chosen this particular adventure with three high level teams. In each discipline, I’ll receive the opportunity to grow at my pace in a professional environment.” “In cyclocross I already managed to achieve several good results in the elite category. For my first year in the U23 category, I cherish the ambition to distinguish myself in this category next winter, with the European and World Championships as main goals. I will also mainly focus on the World Cups. In the first half of September I prepared the new season with the cyclocross team of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. I can’t wait to get started at the end of October, but first I want to shine in my last race in the junior category on the occasion of the European Road Championships in Drenthe this Sunday.” “Now I will also benefit from a professional support on the road and in mountainbike, I aim to show a regular progression in these disciplines as well. I’m incredibly motivated to start learning from experimented teammates and staff. I’m grateful for the determination of my three future teams to unite their efforts to build my future together and I’m very curious to discover until where I can push my limits.”

"During her first year with the team, Lauren Molengraaf has shown that she is one of the most talented athletes of her generation. With us, she flourished in cyclocross and became one of the best in her category. She followed the footsteps of Zoe Bäckstedt and Marie Schreiber, who both began their development in our structure and stepped up to the World Tour. We also know that Lauren has three passions in cycling. So we found a tailor-made solution for her to combine three disciplines at the highest level, like her compatriots Mathieu van der Poel or Puck Pieterse for example. She's a complete athlete, about whom we're convinced that she has the potential to grow to the highest level in these three disciplines. That's why we set up a collaboration with FDJ-Suez and Lapierre-Mavic Unity to stimulate her development. The history of FDJ-Suez is similar to ours, it is the story of a modest structure climbing the ladder to the top of the cycling pyramid. We discovered many common points with the project of Stephen Delcourt. Together, our performance teams will work together in an efficient way to help Lauren with her progression. I'm very happy  that she becomes the first female athlete to sign a professional contract with our structure and that she enables Intermarché-Circus-Wanty to make the next step in women's cycling."

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