Femke de Vries, the 30-year-old rider from Nijmegen, has officially joined the women’s team of Visma | Lease a Bike, according to multiple sources confirmed to Wielerflits. It’s not quite official as the UCI hasn’t updated the team of De Vries but it looks like it’s a done deal. De Vries has been making waves over the past two and a half years while riding for GT Krush RebelLease, catching the eye of the Dutch WorldTour team.

She narrowly missed her first professional victory in the final stage of the Baloise Ladies Tour 2023, finishing just centimetres behind after breaking away from the peloton with a lead group. Known for her aggressive riding style, she has often launched successful attacks during races.

In the first stage of the 2023 Simac Ladies Tour, De Vries attacked again after being caught from an earlier breakaway, earning herself the combativity prize for her efforts. This season, she has spent considerable time in the lead at races like Nokere Koerse and Veenendaal-Veenendaal. Additionally, De Vries secured two podium finishes in stages and a second place overall in the Czech Tour de Feminin. She was also in contention for victory at the Antwerp Port Epic.

Jelena Eric & Femke De Vries

From amateur cycling to professional

De Vries discovered cycling through the Nijmegen student cycling club, Mercurius, during her medical studies. In 2019, she joined the women’s team of De Jonge Renner, where she developed her skills to the extent that she was able to join GT Krush RebelLease in 2022. In the winter of 2022-2023, she decided to quit her part-time job in geriatric medicine to pursue a full-time professional cycling career. This bold move has now paid off, as De Vries will likely soon debut in the colours of Visma | Lease a Bike.

Mid-season transfers for Women’s WorldTour teams are allowed from 1st June to 15th July, differing from men’s cycling where the registration period runs from 1st to 15th August. The highest profile mid-season move is that of Lorena Wiebes when she moved from Parkhotel Valkenburg to Team DSM in the summer of 2020.

Update

Team Visma | Lease a Bike has now confirmed the signing with some quotes from Femke about the transfer.

“This is a dream come true,” De Vries declared about her move to the WorldTour. “Joining Team Visma | Lease a Bike is a dream come true. I can’t describe it any other way. This is what I have worked so hard for all this time. The structure here will definitely help me, as will the scientific approach. I immediately felt a great atmosphere in Team Visma | Lease a Bike.”

Team manager Rutger Tijssen praised De Vries’ development and the potential she brings to the team. “Sometimes opportunities come along that you just cannot pass up,” he said. “That’s why we signed Femke. We are happy that it worked out in consultation with GT Krush Rebellease and her management. Femke has developed so much as a rider this year that she caught our eye. We have brought her in now, in the middle of the season, to give her the time and space to get used to the WorldTour level and the chance to develop here. She will bring a balance of age and experience to the team. We also see a lot of potential in her for stage races and climbing.”

De Vries is eager to begin this new chapter, balancing her medical career with professional cycling. “It is a big step, so it is exciting, and I am really looking forward to it. I am especially looking forward to working as a close-knit team, pushing each other both on and off the bike. I am good at longer efforts. Though my acceleration could probably be improved. I have mainly process goals because I want to get better every day. This fits very well with the core values of Team Visma | Lease a Bike.”