Pfeiffer Georgi enjoyed a fantastic second half of the 2021 season with his first European elite victory followed by an equally impressive victory in the British National Road Race in October.
The 21-year-old is determined to reach the top of the Women’s WorldTour and has named the Tour of Flanders and the rainbow jersey as two of the biggest goals for her long-term future. At the same time, the British rider is keen to develop at a pace that suits her and nothing is rushed.
Georgi joined Team DSM when she was only 18 years old and was still in school and studying to A-level when she rubbed shoulders and touched the handlebars with the biggest names in the sport. Over the weekend, she flew to mainland Europe and raced across the cobblestones of Holland and Belgium before flying back Sunday night to prepare for school on Monday.
Her team wisely gave her the respite needed to concentrate on her studies, and that philosophy has been in place in her first year in the professional ranks.
“One of the biggest things in DSM is development. We are a very young team and many of us have come from the juniors and into the WorldTour, but they really focus on our long-term development,” she said. Bicycle news at the recent Rouleur Live event in London.
“So it’s not about making us the best riders straight out of juniors, but instead making us stronger and making sure we have long careers. What’s really nice is having so many good and experienced road captains and get them to pass on their knowledge.
“They also do not immediately put pressure on us to perform. They told me it would take time to learn and that I should not stress if something went wrong. And many things went wrong, but I never felt that pressure. to act right away. It was never ‘it’s been two years since you started winning’. There was just a lot of support. “
That support paid off when Georgi suffered a serious crash in late 2020 that left her with two broken vertebrae. The comeback took time, but by June 2021 she had reached top form.
“From the Belgium Tour onwards, I really felt like I was part of the racing again, and I felt like I could start being aggressive.” I had more influence from that moment on, “she said.
“In the first two years, of course, it was a big step up compared to the juniors, and I still found my feet in the field. I learned how to do my job, and then from the Belgium Tour I could really drive on roads that “I really love cobblestones, rain and wind. From then on, I just had the right self-confidence, and physically I just kept improving.”
Georgi collected a number of top-10s in the race, but her season only went from strength to strength, with impressive performances in the Simac Ladies Tour, before a victory arrived in the La Choralis Fourmies Feminine in mid-September. Further unique tours came in the Worlds and Women’s Tour before she achieved the British elite title on the road in October in Lincoln.
“I would definitely call the second part of the season a breakthrough for myself,” Georgi said.
“In the first part of the year I was still coming back from a bad crash that I had had last year. I was getting back to fitness and I was a little low to start with, but during the second half of the year , I certainly felt that I had taken a step up and that I had taken on more of a leadership role in the team.
“During the first two years, I just learned about the role I wanted to have in the team and what type of rider I want to develop into. This year, I was hoping to do well in the classics, and that’s where I’re. see myself more in the future. These are the races I like and I was hoping to become a common leader in some of these races. “
At home in the classics
If Classics is where Georgi wants to develop over the coming years, she at DSM will have far more leadership opportunities in the coming years, with more riders, including Coryn Lapecki, moving on.
Since a young age, the British road champion has been fascinated and passionate about cobblestones and the often brutal conditions that riders have to contend with in the classics. Her enthusiasm is evident as she talks about her first venture on Holland’s cobblestones.
“I’m good at the short, powerful climbs and then the cobblestones, and the weather in the classics when it’s cold and raining, that’s where I thrive. My best results seem to be under the tougher conditions, so race like Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, these are the races I want to target in the future, “she said.
“It’s the kind of race I wanted to see when I was growing up. We do not have that kind of race here in the UK, so when I was a junior it was the first time I went to Holland and rode on the cobblestones. The conditions, the levels , it was just something I really liked.
“When I talk to the team, I want to take more of a leadership role in the classics. In the last couple of races this season, I was also more captain, and that’s where I want to develop next year. It can be quite difficult to combine to be a leader and a captain, but that’s something we have to try, I also want to be a part of lead-outs for Lorena [Wiebes] because I think we have a really strong unit there. “
While the short-term plan is to develop and maintain the momentum she has built up over the past 12 months, the long-term goals also remain on the table.
Given her progression and maturity, it is not impossible to imagine a scenario where the long-term goals come faster than even Georgi expects.
“Of course I would love to win more races in 2022, but in the long run I have some big goals,” she said. “I want to be world champion on the road and win Around Flanders. Those are two of my big goals. Next year I do not know my race calendar yet, but I want to go for more victories and help the team.”