Feature: 2019 signing - Who is Moniek Tenniglo?Tue 7 May 2019
For the 2019 season, Mitchelton-SCOTT women added two new faces to bolster the team roster, one of which, Grace Brown has already gone on to claim a the Australian time trial title and a stage victory at the Tour Down Under to quickly make her mark.
The other new signing is Moniek Tenniglo who, after a delayed debut with the team due to injury, is now well on-board and proving to be a crucial member of the team after some strong and self-less performances during the Classics races.
Tenniglo is a Dutch rider, well know for her ‘domestique’ work in the peloton, having ridden for teams such as Rabobank from 2014-17 and last year, FDJ.
With her noticably high saddle and strong, long legs to power round the cranks, Tenniglo is easy to spot in the peloton with the height on the bike and her hard work ethic, which is something that has been easy to notice over the years. Tenniglo is often seen as she leads the peloton, bringing back breakaway to set up her teammates into climbs and for sprint finishes.
Tenniglo- “I really love the feeling, freedom, nature and satisfaction of cycling and being able to commit and work for my team and help them to victories, it really makes me feel more energetic and it is so great that I have been able to make this my job.”
A late starter
Everybody has a different story or pathway into cycling and as a 31-year-old professional cyclist, Tenniglo had quite a late start in the sport, beginning when she was already 19-years-old having studied and started working outside of cycling. However, as a Dutch youngster it is pretty hard to stay off a bike, with the majority of children and teenagers commuting to school by bike.
Tenniglo - “I studied Business Economics and after finishing studying 2010 I worked for a few years at an insurance company and in a bank. In my youth I practiced several sports such as volleyball, handball and ice-skating and in the summer we rode our bike to get fit towards the winter. So I have always been riding but never really seriously.
“It wasn’t until 2007 when I was 19-years-old that I started cycling together with my sister. After a break from cycling in 2010 and 2011, I re-started in 2012 when I was 24 and from this moment I got more fanatic, I really wanted to to become a better cyclist and take the sport seriously.”
Into the pro peloton
One opportunity is sometimes all it takes to make the next step which is what happened in Tenniglo's career. Keen to start cycling and racing more seriously, a huge opportunity kick changed the furture pathway for Tenniglo as she was launched straight into the professional women's peloton.
Tenniglo - “In September 2014 I got an unexpected but beautiful invitation from Koos Moerenhout from team Rabo-Liv, asking if I would like to ride the Holland Ladies tour for them. From this moment a challenging but beautiful journey started and my passion became my way of living.
"From then on I took my cycling really seriously and started racing at the highest level for three-years with the Dutch team before moving onto a French team FDJ and now making my way to an Australian team, I never really imagined this could happen."
Dutch rider into an Australian team
In women's cycling there are many top cyclists and teams that come from the Netherlands which is how and where Tenniglo of course first started out.
After finding her feet and her role as a talented worker, fellow compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten took note of Tenniglo's hardwork over the years and shared her thoughts with the team about her being a great addition, which is when the Australian outfit started taking note.
Tenniglo - “I first met the Mitchelton-SCOTT team in October 2018 in Italy during an introduction camp. It gave me a first impression of the team atmosphere which was a passionate and driven group with a great team spirit and respectful culture. After the few days meeting the staff and my new teammates I could see their great ethic of ‘work hard – play hard’.
“I am excited to be part of such a strong selection. I always love working for my teammates, I want to always be valuable in supporting the team as good as I can and now I am really looking forward to the rest of 2019 season with them.”
We wish Moniek the best of luck in her next race, the Tour of Chongming Island starting on Thursday.
Date of Birth: 2 May 1988 (31)
Place of Birth: Albergen, The Netherlands
Turned Pro: 2014
Photos courtesy of Getty Images