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Demi Vollering and Lotte Kopecky talk at the start of a race.

SD Worx confirms: Demi Vollering will leave after this season

The Tour de France Femmes winner will have a new home in 2025.

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 27.03.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Spring is always a time of speculation about where riders with expiring contracts might land. But there’s been no bigger topic in women’s racing than the future of Tour de France Femmes winner Demi Vollering.

Both Vollering and Lotte Kopecky, the biggest stars on SD Worx-Protime, were up for renewal this year. The team moved quickly to renew the World Champion’s contract, extending Kopecky through the 2028 season. Meanwhile, there were rumors of a €1 million contract offer for Vollering with UAE Team ADQ.

That has never been confirmed, but SD Worx-Protime sports manager Danny Stam said at the time that he would like to keep Vollering, “but not at any price.” On Wednesday, Stam confirmed to GCN that Vollering would leave at the end of 2024. “Yes, that’s definitely sure. It’s about budget,” he said plainly, although he had no news of her eventual destination.

In a subsequent statement on X, SD Worx team manager Erwin Janssen clarified that the team never sat down with Vollering or her agent but did extend a “generous” offer. “Vollering’s management did not respond to this,” the team wrote. “Therefore, we assume that Vollering will leave the team at the end of the year.”

But it was also telling that Stam said “we can’t have two riders at that level in the team.” He assuredly meant financially, but that comment also works from a standpoint of competitive focus. Kopecky’s revelatory 2023 season saw her win almost every kind of race. Long considered a Classics specialist, she notched two stage race victories and finished second overall at the Tour de France Femmes, including a sixth-place finish on the queen mountain stage that finished atop the Col du Tourmalet. Even as Kopecky’s sprint has faded slightly, she’s become a far more versatile rider than even two seasons ago.

Kopecky likely left some money on the table with her deal, trading security for up-front cash. But it’s the longest current contract in women’s cycling, and with it, SD Worx sent clear indicators of the team’s focus for the coming years. Now it’s official: While the team will support Vollering this season, SD Worx cast its long-term lot with Kopecky, which means its other star must find a new home.

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