It is the end of an era for Christine Majerus

After 14 consecutive years, it's #newkitday for the former Luxembourgish champion.

Majerus in her national champions kit at the 2024 Tour of Flanders.

Iain Treloar
by Iain Treloar 25.06.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
More from Iain +

At the team presentation of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour today, there was a moment that quietly tore the fabric of reality. As Team SD Worx–Protime filed onto the stage, there were all the familiar markings of the female peloton’s most dominant team: the European champion jersey of Mischa Bredewold, the familiar pink/purple/red hues of SD Worx’s jersey, and the Luxembourgish national champion’s jersey. But something crucial had changed: the red, white and blue tricolour of Luxembourg was not being worn by Christine Majerus, but by her teammate, Marie Schreiber.

That’s Majerus second from the right, if you need help picking her out after all these years when she’s been wearing something else:

Today is the first race day since 26 June 2010 – a colossal consecutive 14-year run – that Majerus is racing in a standard team kit. By the numbers alone – more than 5,000 days straight in the national champion’s jersey – that achievement is incredible, and perhaps without precedent in the sport, but when you put it into context of what it actually means, its significance becomes even more remarkable.

Every June, Majerus has dodged illness and injury. Every June, Majerus has been the strongest woman racing in her country. There have been wins and losses besides this one national championship, but that jersey is one that is more or less synonymous with the 37-year-old, assuring an awkward transitional period for race commentators for the remainder of the season. 

Luxembourg is admittedly not one of cycling’s superpowers, but that doesn’t mean those titles have been without competition. The key difference is that this year, for the first time since 2010, the competition won. Marie Schreiber, a 21-year-old teammate of Majerus, is in some ways her natural successor – she is, like Majerus, a multi-disciplinary rider, also competing in cyclocross. She’s also already notched up her fair share of national titles – seven and counting across the junior and U23 categories, both road and TT and CX, including pipping Majerus to the women’s elite CX title in January (in another remarkable stat, Majerus has 12 of those). And after signing with SD Worx, Schreiber has steadily developed. Meanwhile, Majerus – despite still clearly having winning form – is nearing the end of her career. 

For Majerus’ part, she’s pretty philosophical about not pulling on the national championships jersey in the last half of her last season, having drawn a lovely little illustration reflecting on what it means. After being a flagbearer for her country in Tokyo, she now has an Olympics to look forward to in her adopted home city of Paris, and will leave the sport with a national palmarès that is almost comical in its dominance: since 2007, she has never not finished on a podium at the Luxembourgish National Championships – either cyclocross, or road, or time trial.

And even this weekend, having faced defeat in the road race for the first time in 14 years, there was a silver lining of sorts: two days earlier, Majerus competed in the time trial, as she has every June since she was 19.  

The result? An 18th consecutive national title, for 6,209 consecutive days as national TT champ. For the perennial Luxembourgish cycling star, some things stay the same, even when others change.  

What did you think of this story?