Rider Profile: Iris Slappendel
Iris Slappendel joined the Bigla Pro Cycling Team at the beginning of the season as one of the high profile transfers. Slappendel joined BPCT as the 2014 Dutch National Road Champion and along with Annemiek van Vleuten, moved across from the Rabo-Liv team.
Both riders stated a new challenge as the motivation behind the move. At the time when the news was made public, Slappedel said, “A change of environment is always good after a few years. It’s good to be surrounded by new management and new teammates, which can inspire and motivate you.”
Slappendel fits the mold of selfless teammate. She’s the kind of rider who doesn’t get many opportunities for herself but rather sacrifices her chances for team leaders which is why when she won her national title in 2014, she received an outpouring of praise from riders in the peloton and fans across the world.
Her best result this season comes from Gent Wevelgem where she placed 8th in treacherous conditions. Her aggressive and suffering type-racing style lent itself to the bad weather and after the race she said, “You just have to think it’s the same for everybody. I actually like these conditions while everyone thinks this is terrible I like to think it gives me a small advantage already.”
When quizzed about her best qualities on the bike, she mentions the wind first. Then goes onto mention solo breakaways and just generally being aggressive. At the time of her signing, team manager Thomas Campana said, “Iris is this kind of rider a team needs for many different disciplines. She will play a major role within our tactical ideas for how we want to approach races. Apart from this, Iris is one of the most experienced riders in the TTT."
Off the bike Slappendel keeps herself busy as a designer at IRIS Concept & Design. She often jokes about going to races to rest as when she’s home, she doesn’t know how to not keep busy. Home she describes is “in a sweet little house in a sweet little town close to Rotterdam, the Netherlands.”