Australian Cycling Team and ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast star Maeve Plouffe will race on the UCI Women's WorldTour next year after signing the first professional contract of her career with Team DSM.
The 23-year-old from Port Adelaide Cycling Club in South Australia put pen to paper on a two-year contract with the Dutch program.
Plouffe said she was "absolutely ecstatic to be joining Team DSM for 2023" in a team media release, which comes hot on the heels of winning gold and silver at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the track.
#WelcomeMaeve🇦🇺— Team DSM (@TeamDSM) August 11, 2022
💬 "I can think of no better team to develop with. I’ve always admired their Women’s program as the most dialled sprint lead out train in the women's WorldTour." - @MaevePlouffe
We're thrilled that powerful Aussie track-star Maeve joins the team next year! 💪🏻
"Pursuing a career on the road has long been an ambition of mine, and I can think of no better team to develop with than Team DSM," Plouffe said.
"After seeing some success over the last few years on the track, I’m eager to apply myself to the new challenge of racing on the road.
"As a budding lead out rider and sprinter, the opportunity to be a part of this lead out therefore feels like a natural fit for my background and is definitely a career-defining opportunity.
"I’m feeling incredibly motivated and I can’t wait to put in the work over the Australian summer so that I’m ready to race in my new colours in 2023."
Plouffe will join a young Team DSM squad in 2023, with no rider signed currently over the age of 23.
There is also a sizeable hole in the sprinting department for Team DSM heading into next year, courtesy of double Tour de France Femmes stage winner Lorena Wiebes signing with Team SD Worx.
It presents an opportunity for Plouffe to potentially vault straight into contention as the key sprinter for the team, a spot she undoubtedly has the ability to occupy following her performances on the boards with the Australian Cycling Team and in the AusCycling National Road Series.
Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna praised Plouffe's "amazing talent on the track" in the announcement.
"...she has proven that already by taking medals in various events at different championships and nations cups and is one of the fastest in the world in the individual pursuit," Kemna said.
"On the road she’s shown her speed too with a sprint win this year at the Tour Down Under event and we see that in her values she has potential to grow even further.
"In our talks she also showed a great mindset and is someone that wants to continually challenge herself and progress as a person and rider."