Road captain Julia Soek is now in her sixth season with Team Sunweb and feels right at home. But cycling wasn’t always in her plans. Growing up, Julia was originally doing judo before suffering an injury which forced her to the sidelines.
In a team that takes pride in developing young talent, the Dutchwoman joked she “feels a little bit old now!” But as well as being on hand to help other riders with their development, she still seeks improvements herself.
“As captain you have to stand for the vision of the team, as a rider, not a staff member. You have to be real, honest and say what you stand for. It’s all about openness, honesty and trust, with everyone saying it how it is. If you can create that, it’s really important, especially in a race where tactics and communication are key.”
Off the bike, Julia is midway through a degree in marketing and communications of commercial economic and promises when she graduates (hopefully this season) she will throw a massive party to celebrate.
Her parents also own a restaurant that she works in during holidays.
“It serves local produce, from the Netherlands – I have a lot to do with food and wine and love cooking. Italian and Indonesian are my favourite types of food.”