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In the Wheel of ... Solbjørk Minke Anderson - Danish Champion Espoir and Professional Runner Grand Est Komugi La Fabrique

From the Grand Est - Komugi - La Fabrique team to the WorldTour level. It only took one season to Solbjørk Minke Anderson to take it to the next level. This is also the desire of our partner teams, to train talents to propel them ever higher. Let's go to Scandinavia and more precisely to Copenhagen where we take the wheel of the talented 19-year-old Dane. Let's take a look back and focus on one of the great revelations of this 2023 season.

Anything but a surprise! A 19-year-old Dane in a French continental team, that may seem atypical. When we take a closer look at the team, but especially its staff, we better understand the reason for Solbjørk Minke Anderson's presence. At the head of the sports part of the Grand Est - Komugi - La Fabrique team is Catherine Marsal. A resident of Copenhagen for almost 20 years and above all a former coach of the Danish women's team, she was able to follow Solbjørk's beginnings and evolution through the different youth categories. When she took up her position as the team's sporting director, she naturally brought her nugget, class of 2004, in her suitcase for a first season in the big leagues. Far from being a gamble, but almost a no-brainer for both parties. This also made it easier for him to arrive and adapt to his new team:

« Since the youth national selections, I have been under Catherine's tutelage. When I joined the team at the beginning of the year, I was very warmly welcomed. It was ambitious but so reassuring, almost like I was part of a family. From day one, it was very clear that I was joining the team with the aim of progressing without pressure and an obligation to achieve results. I felt a strong sense of team spirit, both in the staff and with my teammates. I was also studying French at school, so it was quite nice to be able to put it into practice in a non-school setting. I'm a rather discreet person, it meant a lot to me to be in a team that surrounded me both on and off the bike. I'm very grateful for what the team has given me throughout the year. »

A talent to polish! The legs were there but so was the ardour. It took a little time to get used to Solbjørk's emotions and youth. She came out of the junior ranks with the desire to do well, but she had a little scare during her first race in the big leagues in Italy. A downhill fall that earned him a new nickname and an inscription on his bike by his entourage "Power and courage, baby Maverick". The rest of the season was more radiant, where she was able to take a series of places of honour as well as her apprenticeship in the leading jersey of the French team. She looks back enthusiastically on her first season in the professional peloton:

« I definitely achieved the goals I had set for myself for this season. I am very proud to have been part of this team that has performed very well. For my part, I would particularly remember the Tour de Suisse where I was able to be at the front and leave my mark on the race by being aggressive against some of the biggest names in the peloton. The only negative note I would remember was my poor performance at the World Championships. But I'd come back stronger, and that would be next year. »

2023 was also marked by another positive step in the professionalization of women's cycling with the creation of the Tour de l'Avenir féminin. A race dedicated to the greatest talents under the age of 23. Among the various entries in the event, there were two members of the Grand Est - Komugi - La Fabrique team. With the presence of Laury Milette for the Canadian national team and Solbjørk Minke Anderson for Denmark. Author of a nice 9th place on the queen stage and a top 20 overall, the Dane looks back on this experience:

« The Tour de l'Avenir was a great experience for me. I was very happy to finish in the top ten of the queen stage as a first-year rider against experienced WorldTour athletes. I'm already looking forward to it, but more importantly, it convinced me that I could race at the front in the future against the real climbers. It's great that this race is now accessible to women. I am grateful to have been able to participate in the first edition of the event. »

For Solbjørk, however, this transition from juniors to hopefuls took place on the same basis, i.e. with the title of Danish road champion! By finishing 5th among the elite of her country, she became national champion in her age category. A reward that makes you think about the future: « Compared to the other more experienced riders, I'm still the small one, but it's clearly a dream and a goal to win the Elite title one day ».

For 2024, it will be on the WorldTour side, a logical continuation after this first year in the pros: « Uno-X is obviously the biggest team in Scandinavia, so it's a big step for me and I'm very happy to have had this opportunity ». The end of a chapter within the French team that she validates with good margins of progress and dreams full of heads. And then, she who has a puncher/climber profile, it is finally the Hell of the North that she dreams of winning, like one of her childhood idols Tom Boonen. And of course, always that desire to do well, step by step.

Our partners are talented and they deserve to be highlighted!

Thanks to Solbjørk Minke Anderson member of the Grand-Est Komugi La Fabrique formation for the time granted as well as to Billy Ceusters and Noam Meresse for the photo credits.

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