Dani Christmas excited about the second half of the season


It’s the first year that Dani Christmas (31) is racing in the Lotto Soudal colours. After a race-free period of almost one month the British rider resumed competition last week in France. Dani finished twelfth at Classique Morbihan and a day later she got 25th at Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan where she was riding in support of Julie Van De Velde who claimed the seventh place. Dani feels at home in the team and is eager to complete the second part of the season.

Dani Christmas: “It was really nice to be back with the team last week. I felt good on the bike too. Both races were pretty chaotic. It’s a relief that we got out without any crashes. There were many teams at the start-line and there was a large difference in experience between the riders and that caused some difficulties on the narrow roads. On one of the key gravel sections at Classique Morbihan, Danique Braam and I were right at the front of the bunch, riding strongly, and suddenly we were in a front group of about thirty riders. There was a big crash and unfortunately Julie Van De Velde was caught behind. Our group contained many strong riders. My twelfth place was a good result, but I knew that I could have done better. It gave me confidence though that I had the legs to be up at the front. Unfortunately I had some bad luck on the last gravel sections. On the second day the plan was to go all-in for Julie Van De Velde. We worked really well as a team and Julie finished off with a very nice seventh place. Despite only having four riders, we were showing ourselves at the front and were active players in the races. That’s good for our confidence. I’m looking forward to the upcoming races.”

When you enjoy going to the races it makes you ride better.

This season Dani took part in among other Strade Bianche, Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Ardennes Classics. Sunday she stands at the start-line of Dwars door de Westhoek. At the end of the month, on 30 June, the road race at the British nationals is scheduled, in Norwich. From 5 till 14 July Dani will be riding the Giro Rosa.

Past month Dani trained in the south of Spain to prepare for the second half of the season. It was a very welcomed training period, but she’s very happy it’s race time again.

Dani Christmas: “Before heading to France I had some solid training weeks. In May and also this week I trained in Spain. I stayed near Moj├ícar. I was living at the top of a mountain and could solely focus on training and becoming better than the day before. I really needed that. Due to personal reasons I didn’t have the best winter which meant that I couldn’t start the season in optimal condition. I had a very busy race season so far and I had the opportunity to participate in some of the most iconic races on the calendar. It was great to have this experience. I was in good enough shape to help the other girls to a good result and we did well with Lotte Kopecky and Julie Van De Velde this spring.”

“We managed to get a good bond within the team. We are able to work well together. That bodes really well for the second half of the season. I love being with the team and I immediately felt at home. The staff are fantastic too, they work really hard to give us the best opportunities. When you enjoy going to the races it makes you ride better. I really missed it all during my break.”

“I hope to reap the rewards of my training in the coming races. I’m looking forward to racing with better legs. At the Giro I want to help Julie Van De Velde in some of the top mountain stages. I love stage races. I like the daily routine and knowing that the fine details can make a big difference for the recovery in between the stages. Later this year, I will be at the start of the Prudential RideLondon (3 August) and Tour of Scotland (9 to 11 August). I’m looking forward to racing with my team in my home country. I hope to already do well at the nationals this month. It’s a special kind of race, because many riders are alone or with only one teammate at the start. I haven’t seen the course yet, but I think that we can expect a hard race. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that and hopefully I can claim a good result.”


Photos: Photo News