Despite still being very much in her early twenties, 2023 marks Pfeiffer’s fifth year in Team dsm-firmenich having joined in 2019, growing year-on-year as both a rider and as a person.
It was almost destined that Pfeiffer would get into the sport of cycling. Her dad was a former racer, which sparked her Mum’s interest and Pfeiffer and her brother soon followed suit when they were old enough. When she was four, her family lived in Herne Hill, so they could go to the velodrome there with her track bike. She started racing at around the age of six and hasn’t looked back since.
Cycling wasn’t Pfeiffer’s only sport and she devoted between the years of three to 16, to do ballet, which was the biggest thing alongside cycling. She also did cross country, trampolining, dancing, and ice skating but she laughs “none of it was serious, I just wanted to try some things.”
Looking back on her opening few years with the team, the analytical and reflective Pfeiffer is her own harshest critic.
“I knew it would be a tough jump out of juniors and difficult with finishing my school in first year, and I also had a few injuries after that, so I think it’s been a bit more of a gradual progression.”
That gradual progression has seen Pfeiffer take three wins so far with the team, including a strong national title in 2021 and several other top performances. Yet, her development over the past few years has seen Pfeiffer step even more into a captain’s role – something which is pretty special for a young rider. Relishing the challenge, she enjoys the role and finds that as an analytical person it all “comes pretty quickly after a race, and I can say exactly how the race went in our briefings and things like that.”
Putting that into practice can sometimes be hard for Pfeiffer though, as “it’s not in her nature” to assert herself as a leader when her legs feel good. That is something that she is working on and wants to improve at in the coming years – which all comes down to confidence.
“It also helps that the girls have full confidence in me. If they all believe in you, then you must believe in yourself too.”
Describing herself as “weird”, “introverted” (with the caveat of it only being for new people) and “dedicated”, Pfeiffer jokes that her weirdness doesn’t directly translate to cycling but that her committed and dedicated attitude shows through her passion for the sport and her love of training, racing and being the best. She adds that being a bit more introverted also helps her in that way as she can then just focus fully on training and not be distracted.