Human Powered Health has strengthened its one-day squad with the signing of duo Maëlle Grossetête and Romy Kasper.
The experienced pair have plenty of WorldTour experience and a deep skillset that can be utilized in many different racing scenarios throughout the season.
A new beginning
Grossetête, from Sallanches in France, joins the team after six seasons on the FDJ – SUEZ team. The move to Human Powered Health represents the next step in the all-rounder’s journey.
“I’m really happy to join Human Powered Health. I wanted a new challenge, a new beginning and a new atmosphere,” she said of joining the team. “I needed a change in my career and I wanted to change to a team that was fully international.”
She will be the second French rider on the roster, joining Audrey Cordon-Ragot for 2024.
The 25-year-old is primarily a one-day racer, but can also ride in a support role during stage races. Second place from a breakaway on the opening day of the 2021 Simac Ladies Tour and her 13th place finish at this year’s Ronde van Drenthe speak of an ambition to capture a marquee result.
Grossetête earmarks the Tour de France Femmes and Paris-Roubaix Femmes as huge motivating factors for French riders and is keen to impress during the classics.
“If it’s bad weather I don’t mind,” she says. “A nervous bunch, small roads, up and down, technical roads, this is what I love about cycling.”
Off the bike, Grossetête loves nature, camping, running and hiking in the mountains. She is also studying for a diploma as a physiotherapist, which helps her understand her body better as a rider as well as the recovery process.
“Maëlle brings great experience from being on a top WorldTour team and will be a real help in the final of races,” says Kenny Latomme, Performance Manager. “She can also be in a front group and go for her own result.”
The experienced road captain
Competing at the top level of the sport since 2008, Kasper, from Germany, has started both Tour de France Femmes, every Paris-Roubaix Femmes, six Giro d’Italia Donnes, 12 Tour of Flanders and ten World Championships.
“I’m looking forward to joining. From the outside, I have seen the team grow over the past seasons and it is making huge steps,” she said. “This is a new experience for me and I’d like to share my knowledge to help the young riders move up at the WorldTour level.”
The 35-year-old has also previously finished second overall at the Ladies Tour of Qatar and won a stage of the Thüringen Ladies Tour and Czech Tour de Feminin, but her primary role is that of a formidable road captain. This is a position she has developed from racing on successful teams such as Boels – Dolmans, Alé Cipollini and Team Jumbo-Visma.
“I like this role,” she says. “I’ve been in the pro peloton for a while so I know the races, especially in the spring so I can read the race situations pretty well and this helps the rest of the team learn how to spend and conserve energy. Positioning is also a strength of mine and I can use this to help in the spring and to make life easier for sprinters.”
This role is confirmed by Latomme.
“Romy has seen it all and will be crucial for the Classics and the lead out,” he says. “The leader of the team does not always have to get the results, but takes away the stress and the pressure from the others by guiding the team.”
This experience and confidence means that Kasper thrives at tough, unpredictable races like Paris-Roubaix Femmes.
“This is always the highlight of the year for me as having a women’s Roubaix helped make my career longer,” she says. “The Ronde van Drenthe also suits me, but it’s all about the weather conditions. I go well when it’s windy and in bad weather and it’s really chaotic. I really like that.”
Kasper has seen the growth in women’s cycling triggered by these new events firsthand.
“This helped women’s cycling to step up as it showed other races how it is done, as well as bringing in new fans because it’s shorter and more intense than men’s racing.”
Due to her 15-year career, Kasper knows the importance of a symbiosis between movement, mindset, recovery and fuel.
“If you miss one, you will not perform as these factors always influence performance,” she explains. “That’s why you need all four things clicking together to be the best version of yourself.”
Human Powered Health Cycling is delighted to welcome Maëlle and Romy to the team. Stay tuned for further announcements as the 2024 roster continues to take shape.