Cross country racer Annika Langvad has signed for the Boels Dolmans road cycling team for 2019. She will expand her racing into the Women's WorldTour alongside her mountain bike career by competing in select events with the Dutch cycling team. Boels Dolmans are one of the top women's teams and included in their roster is the current women's World Champion, Anna Van der Breggen.
Alongside her mountain bike World Championships and three Cape Epic wins, Langvad is a former Danish road champion and competed with the Danish team at this year's World Championships in Innsbruck. Her main focus will remain on mountain biking next year but she will be competing in certain races with the Boles Dolmans road team when time allows. With qualification events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics looming, you have to wonder if that could be a goal for her on tarmac as well as dirt.
Langvad finished the year second in the World Cup overall and picked up two World Cup wins. She said, "I do not necessarily define myself as a mountain biker, or a road cyclist. I am just a cyclist who is mainly on the MTB, but I have already tried an attempt in road racing. Compared to mountain biking, where you mainly drive as an individual - or sometimes as a duo -, it is mainly about teamwork on the road. I think that's very nice. It is a new dimension for me, which made me equally positive when the idea was suggested to join the team.
"My personal ambition in this adventure is to experience what good teamwork is and to contribute to that," she says. "That is what I am looking forward to the most. I am genuinely enthusiastic about it when I consider that you are part of a larger whole. That enthusiasm and experience I hope to take back to mountain biking. And if I can also contribute to winning for the team, that's a personal bonus. "
Boels Dolmans and Langvad are both sponsored by Specialized meaning the switch between the two disciplines should come fairly easily. She said, "We are in the luxury position that we get full support from Specialized to share our passion and knowledge, within multiple disciplines. That Anna van der Breggen drove several times with Specialized Racing last year was very motivating. Just the little things, such as asking her how she approaches certain things, that was very inspiring. I am really looking forward to becoming part of the team. And hopefully good experiences will come from that. "