Noemi Rüegg sprints to Swiss title

EF Education-Cannondale rider launches her kick from way out to win her country’s national championship

June 22, 2024

Noemi Rüegg put on a tactical masterclass today at the Swiss national championships and finished it off with an explosive sprint to win the right to wear the Swiss cross for the coming year.

The hard part was getting to the final kilometer. With no teammates to help her control the race on a crinkly lap around Aire-la-Ville near Geneva, Noemi had to match attacks from the moment the commissaire’s flag dropped and make sure she never got caught behind and be forced to waste energy.

“I knew it was possible today, but I was really nervous,” she said. “Nationals is always a really weird race, because there are no teams and everyone is racing against each other and there's a lot that needs to go right. You cannot really allow yourself to make mistakes. I'm just super happy that it all came together. There were two really punchy climbs on the circuit. I knew they would suit me well, but the other girls knew they would have to try to drop me somehow. So they made it pretty tough on the climbs. I had to suffer. I just said in my head, ‘you are not going to drop me on a one-and-a-half-k climb’ and waited for the sprint. Carmen, our sports director, wrote me a message yesterday, and she said, ‘sometimes you have to risk it, even if you might lose it all.”

"I started my sprint super early and just kept going."

- Noemi Rüegg

Noemi’s big gamble came after the red flag, marking one kilometer to go. She saw a chance, started her sprint early, and did what she does best, driven on by belief in herself.

“We got to the last 500 meters and of course they wanted to box me in, because they knew I am a good sprinter,” she said. “‘That’s not good,’ I thought, but then another girl attacked really early, and I had to react immediately because everyone was looking at me. So, I went and then she stopped her attack and I was like, ‘well, I just have to keep going now. So, I started my sprint super early and just kept going. I'm really happy it paid off.”

Noemi will wear the Swiss jersey for the rest of the year. That honor means a huge amount to her.

“It’s super special,” she said. “I really love my country. Especially with the Tour de France coming up, to go there in the Swiss jersey would be amazing.”

As Noemi walked onto the podium, the junior women’s championship was just starting. She hopes she’ll inspire more Swiss girls to keep racing and pursue the sport they love.

“I'm just happy I made my way through those years and just kept going because I was close many times to winning this,” she said. “Two years ago. I was super close to this win, but also in the juniors, so it's just really nice to finally get it. It really is a dream come true.”

Congratulations, Noemi. We’re excited to see you race in Swiss red and white!

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