Two-time junior World Champion Amalie Dideriksen is beginning her professional career this week among the camels and sand-swept countryside in the Tour of Qatar.
The 18-year-old Dane won the 2014 Junior Worlds in Ponferrada, Spain, to back up her win from 2013 in Florence. Doing so, she became the only third person to win consecutive titles after Brits Nicole Cooke and Lucy Garner.
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“Lizzie Armitstead and Ellen Van Dijk are teaching me and explaining everything,” Dideriksen told Cycling Weekly.
“When you come from the junior ranks, everything is different. It’s good to have people that want to teach you stuff.”
Dutch team Boels-Dolmans
signed Dideriksen and allowed her to continue racing on the track ahead of the 2015 road season. It began with a bang.
Armitstead and Van Dijk helped tear apart the 85-rider peloton and escaped with four others in Wednesday’s stage two. Van Dijk won the stage and took the overall lead. Dideriksen suffered, but learned.
“It’s my first senior race. It’s really different. There’s a lot of wind and I need to learn. In the junior races, we didn’t race as a team, but you need to here. Everyone needs a team to win,” Dideriksen said.
“I hope I’m doing well in supporting Lizzie and Ellen. They told me in Qatar to always stay in the front, but it’s really difficult and I was dropped yesterday. But, I’m discovering and learning.”
Dideriksen will fly from Doha when the race finishes tomorrow to Europe to prepare for the track World Championships in Paris. She is racing the Omnium and earning points for the 2016 Rio Games.
“We had a couple of training camps ahead do the season but I missed them because I’m racing on the track, all the World Cups. I’m using Qatar to prepare for the Worlds.
“My team says it’s fine for me to ride the track, and I feel it’s really good to race the track in the winter and the road in the summer. I hope to keep improvising and seeing how far I can go. I ended up in a really good team with Lizzie and Ellen.”