It's the end of the 2014 race calender and I'm on my way back to the Netherlands after a good season with the team. Looking back over the past few months remind me of the incredible victories with the Tour of Britain, the Giro Rosa and by no means least La Course. Looking back, it is also clear to see how we have developed as a team and have made some real steps forward. Cycling can sometimes be considered a individual sport but when you're part of a team you win together and you lose together, even in cycling and it feels as good to see a team mate win as it feels to win yourself.
Whilst the World Championships may not have been everything I had hoped for, I am so happy that Pauline won the jersey and that it stays within the family, she is an incredibly worth winner. Victory is by no means self evident. As a team we rode the race really well and we battled for it right until the end, unfortunately I started the sprint too early and my legs were empty at about 200m but sometimes that's just how it is. Now that the season is over it is time to look forward and set goals for the future and start to focus and get ready for Rio 2016.
For the meantime I am looking forward to a bit of rest and relaxation and having a holiday before getting myself ready for next season. Alongside preparation for all of next years races, myself and some of the other ambassadors of women's cycling will be working on some new initiatives that we have designed. I get a lot of joy and energy out of these kind of things and the fun and passion that other people bring into it empowers me as a professional rider to put that energy back into the sport which makes me a better rider. The feeling that I get through cycling is something that I want to share with everyone as cycling really has made me the person that I am today.
It's the end of the 2014 race calender and I'm on my way back to the Netherlands after a good season with the team. Looking back over the past few months remind m...
Join me and some of my cycling friends on a secret twitter night ride of 30/40km where we hope to light up the night in yellow. We will be riding on October the 17th in the Netherlands and we have 50 places available. As with all adventures, we need to be prepared and we have to expect a few things from you:
1. Lights on your bike are a must (this isn't a covert mission).
2. If you have any yellow clothing or bike accessories (the brighter the better) please wear them. We want to light up the city in yellow.
3. You can ride a bike and can ride in a group.
4. You can average at least 25km per hour.
5. Accept the road rules (stop for red light etc.) we don’t want to have any problems or annoyed people
The location will only be revealed to those who are picked. 1 week before the ride we will email you all with the city and an estimated time. On the morning of the ride we will send you an exact time and location.
Sign up here LINK for your chance to join this adventure
We look forward to conquering the dark with you all #Weownyellow
PS. This is for men and women :)
Join me and some of my cycling friends on a secret twitter night ride of 30/40km where we hope to light up the night in yellow. We will be riding on October the...
Wij gaan het land in om jou (nog vaker) op de fiets te krijgen. Van meiden die nog nooit op een racefiets hebben gezeten tot doorgewinterde wielrensters. Jong en oud. Onze tafelgasten en ik leren jou alle ins en outs van het wielrennen. Een programma vol workshops en amusement, met een gezonde dosis humor: de perfecte combinatie voor een avondje uit.
Vergroot je kennis tijdens het rondetafelgesprek, waar er wordt gepraat over de lifestyle van fietsen. Verhalen van beginnende wielrensters tot de ervaring van een wereld- en Olympisch kampioen. En hoe zie je er het beste uit op de fiets? Daarnaast is er ook fietskunst en krijg je informatie over wat je wel en niet moeten eten op- en naast de fiets. Van fashion tot materiaal, van voeding tot training. Onze tafelgasten delen hun ervaring en beantwoorden al je vragen. Tussen het rondetafelgesprek door kun je workshops volgen op de wielermarkt waar jij alles wat met de lifestyle van het wielrennen te maken heeft tegenkomt: fietsen, kleding, fashion, art, boeken, materiaal technieken, arrangementen, events, fietsmetingen en nog veel meer. Voor meiden die nog nooit op de fiets hebben gezeten tot meiden die wekelijks honderden kilometers afleggen; voor iedereen is er wat.
Datum: Donderdagavond 27 november
Locatie: Van der Valk Hotel Vught, Bosscheweg 2, Vught
18:30 - 19:30 Inloop en workshops op de markt
19:30 - 20:15 Rond de tafel gesprek #1
20:15 - 21:00 Workshops & markt
21:00 - 21:30 Rond de tafel gesprek #2
21:30 - 22:30 Borrel, workshops & markt
Ontmoet gelijkgestemde vrouwen en deel je verhalen met elkaar. Of misschien vind jij wel dat ene fietsmaatje waar je naar op zoek was! Daarnaast is dit je kans om die vriendin die altijd al op de fiets wilde stappen, maar net dat laatste zetje in de rug nodig heeft, mee te nemen en te laten inspireren.
Schrijf je nu in!
Dames, schrijf je in voor 25 euro en neem gratis een vriendin/bekende mee. We hebben ruimte voor 150 dames, vol is vol! Zodra de inschrijving binnen is ontvang je binnen 1 week een email over de betaling. Heb je problemen met inschrijven? Stuur een email naar email@example.com
Wij gaan het land in om jou (nog vaker) op de fiets te krijgen. Van meiden die nog nooit op een racefiets hebben gezeten tot doorgewinterde wielrensters. Jong e...
Zoe Lathbury who participated in Etape de Tour send me this story. It inspires me and I thought it would be great if I could share this with everyone. It takes courage to make a decision like this. Sometimes it is better to stop! Thanks Zoe for sending this over.
One things for sure, we will never forget it as long as we live.
It started off so well, registration day went very smoothly. The hotel was in the perfect location, 100 meters from the start line. Drove to Argeles Gazost and found the car park no problem, got the shuttle bus back to the registration village in Pau, registered, had a wander around Pau, very pretty place, big bowl of pasta and a couple of beers before bed.
We had both been hydrating heavily and carb loading to the max for 48 hours prior to the race, the only negative was the weather forecast but they get it wrong so often we didn't want to focus on that. All we had to do now was get on with it.
So after a bit of sleep, more than I expected to get, we got ready as we watched the very low numbers arriving at the starting pen from our hotel window. Nick was really excited, my nerves were high, I’m surprised I wasn’t sick. We got to our pen, as we waited our turn to start all you could see was a sea of helmets, triathlon shirts, club colours, sculpted cheekbones and some good looking bikes.
As soon as we exited our pen and crossed the start line, I felt better and within 5 miles or so I was getting very used to being surrounded by 1,000’s of other cyclists and started to relax. Enjoy myself even.
We had a couple of Cols to climb and a few descents all before the first big mountain.
On every descent there was an ambulance and a medic attending to a fallen cyclist, probably taking it too fast. I just didn't look and tried not to think about it.
The atmosphere in the villages were insane, carnival like at times, the streets lined full of people, ringing bells and shouting “Allez, allez, allez, go, go, go” as soon as they saw that I was a woman the cheers turned to screams “Allez mademoiselle” mexican waves the lot. Very emotional, very lovely, very much appreciated.
I was riding the perfect ride, holding my heart rate back at my targeted zone and as Nick and I were riding side by side, doing it together, we were constantly being used as pacers.
The weather was a dream come true for the first 2 hours, cloudy, warm enough and no rain, but as each mile clicked away we were heading nearer and nearer to The Pyrenean mountain range and heavier, blacker skies and we knew it was only a matter of time, but we pedaled on.
My nutrition was perfect and the Cliff Bars and Maltodextrin drink on the hour every hour kept the energy levels at a constant rate and those carbs just kept drip feeding me, enabling us to ride straight past every feed station with no hunger issues at all.
We topped up on water twice, although didn't need anywhere near as many fluids as we expected too due to the weather conditions being so poor.
So we got to the start of the Col du Tourmalet and although very wet and wishing we had worn our boot covers, physically and mentally I was up for it. We started the 14 mile climb in a good place and passed raging waterfalls due to the heavy rain, although still beautiful. We climbed and climbed, I was riding the perfect ride holding my cadence and spinning those legs, keeping my heart rate at 160 all the way. Nick kept asking me “whats your heart rate now”? “Still 160” I would say, “perfect” was Nicks reply. I was cycling past so many other riders it was insane, another and another and another.
Not sure if a few people from above were helping, those little souls that I’m raising money for or my brother and dad and Nicks mum or all of them or none. Maybe all the positive vibes from the people on earth spurring me on, who knows, all I know is I was on top of this iconic mountain and it wasn’t beating me, no way, I was in control.
The atmosphere had changed dramatically from hearing the constant chatter from all the nationalities, French, Italian, Brazilian, Japanese, American, Dutch, Irish etc, etc, etc and of course the Brits, 20% of all the 12,000 entries apparently, to stark silence, everyone saving energy just battling on, another kilometer sign, okay now where’s the next one? We rode up and up and up, the road was like a river, the mist got thicker and thicker the higher we climbed, people were walking, the torrential rain relentless not stopping even for a moment. We were going through tunnels that just felt eerie and hard work, the mountain continued to ramp up even more and my heart rate raised up a bit with it.
Each time I repositioned you heard the rain water that was gathered on your arms hit the floor in sheets, my bum bones were moaning and shifting in the seat was all I could do to help, each time it did help but then a few seconds later it was moaning again. My legs at least were fine.
I needed to stop, having been desperate for a wee for over an hour, I even considered just doing it in my shorts but its not a natural thing to do and I don't think I could of. There was a feeding station almost at the top, we knew it was there as we had cycled past signs telling us but you couldn't even see it. Suddenly it was upon us, at last a quick wee stop, bit more fuel and then the final 3 mile climb to go, before the dreaded descent. I got to the loo took off all my wet gear had my much needed wee, struggled to get my arm warmers on as I was so wet, put my soggy shorts, top and water proof back on and went to find Nick. He was stood exactly were I had left him, shivering. The problem here was, Nick is an exceptional athlete and riding at my pace had meant he wasn’t warm, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park for him but at my pace it was alot easier. Unfortunately this meant the cold had struck him before we had even started to descend. “Come on” he said “lets go, I need to get warm”, “lets get these latex gloves on under our fingerless ones” I suggested. Someone had given us a pair each, you try anything in exceptional circumstances! Nick couldn't even get his gloves off, he couldn't press the stop button on his Garmin watch. This is ridiculous, absolutely miserable, I was thinking, what the hell are we doing? The whole time all I could think about was descending with very wet breaks and roads and the thought was terrifying. I started to walk towards the ambulance tent to see if I could get a blanket for a minute for Nick and this lady looked at me, I will never forget her face as long as I live, “Do you need help”? She asked, I think she was Dutch “What happens if we want to get off the mountain”? I asked. “Oh it’s very simple” she answered “you put your bike on that truck just there and get on one of the warm coaches next to it and we will take you back down to the finish” I think she may have been an angel.
“What if we carry on”? I said. She replied, “That’s it, if you carry on you are on your own, all the way to the finish”.
I thought of Frankie and Phoenix and an overwhelming sense of emotion hit me, I looked back at Nick “what do you think”? I asked him “it’s your ride” he said “your choice” a few seconds of pride made me think I can’t go home defeated but then the kids came back to me. “Fuck it” I said “lets get on the coach, after all it’s just a bike ride”.
Next came the exhilaration, we were safe, we didn't have to descend, we were on a warm coach, we were going to be alright. Our kids would see mummy and daddy again, it was over.
Everyone was chatting about their experience, one guy sat behind me, had spoken to his girlfriend, who had managed to descend and was huddled in a church with 200 other cyclists and a load of blankets trying to warm up. Others were crying, in relief no doubt. I sat next to Miriam an American woman who had flown in from Miami “were not used to these mountains in Miami” she pondered “overwhelming”.
Nick sat next to an Australian lad called Justin “you have to know when to carry on and when to quit” he said “we had no choice, we still cycled almost 58 miles of it”.
We sat in our soaking wet clothes for almost 3 hours on that coach, waiting for the broom wagon to go by. You could literally ring out your socks and gloves, all chatting, all gutted but all safe.
The respect I have for each and every one of the people that finished is huge. Guts, determination, experience and pig headedness must of seen them through.
As the coach finally descended and we caught the odd glimpse of the hair pin bends as the mist shifted and changed and the sheer drops and very narrow roads, I knew the right decision had been made and as we continued along the long descent we saw bikes just abandoned at the side of the road, 2 together and then a collection of 6 or more, further on a few more, all down the mountain, thats desperation!!
Retired cyclists were running out of hotels and cafes in the valley, trying to wave the coaches down but they were all full. Just more confirmation. When we finally got our bikes back, just to concrete the decision even more, my front tyre was completely flat. Nick couldn't possibly have sorted it out, he couldn't even turn his watch off.
A good friend said to me very recently, ‘make a decision, stick to it and move on’. Wise words.
So to summarise an overwhelming, exhilarating, nerve racking, amazing experience, a massive shame, gutted to the core but proud to have nailed the Col du Tourmalet, a definite sense of unfinished business but next time in dry conditions.
Would I ever do it again? I don’t know yet but one things for sure, my bikes back from France on Wednesday and I’m going for a ride.
Zoe Lathbury who participated in Etape de Tour send me this story. It inspires me and I thought it would be great if I could share this with everyone. It takes...
Maak nu kans op 1 dag in het leven van wereld en olympisch kampioen Marianne Vos en haar ploeg, 1 dag in een andere wereld. Tijdens deze unieke belevenis neemt Koos Moerenhout je mee op reis door het hoofd van een topsporter, leert renster Annemiek van Vleuten je net zo eten als een pro en geeft ploegleider Erik van de Boom je tactische aanwijzingen. In de middag stap je de fiets op om jouw skills te verbeteren met een clinic “waaierrijden” en sprinten. De gehele dag kun je vragen stellen aan de rensters van het Rabo-Liv team en natuurlijk aan Marianne zelf.
Mannen: Ken jij een (fiets)vriendin die jij hier graag mee naar toe wilt nemen? Meld haar dan nu aan en zorg dat jullie samen deze experience beleven. Stuur een mail naar firstname.lastname@example.org met haar naam en het emailadres en wie weet ga jij samen met haar naar de Marianne Vos Experience.
Vrouwen: Ken jij een vriendin die hier graag aan mee doet en lijkt jou dit ook wel wat? Meld haar dan nu aan! Stuur een mail met haar naam en het emailadres naar email@example.com en wie weet maken jullie kans op de Marianne Vos Experience.
Datum: Vrijdag 3 oktober
Locatie: Papendal, Arnhem
09:00 - 09:30 Inloop
09:30 - 10:00 Voorstellen Team Rabo-Liv
10:00 - 11:30 Workshops (Mental coaching, voeding & Tactiek)
11:30 - 12:15 Lunch
12:15 - 12:45 Omkleden
12:45 - 16:00 Workshops op de fiets (Waaier rijden & Sprint training)
16:00 - 17:00 Borrel & afsluiting
Let op!! Er is slechts plaats voor 10 personen. Winnaars worden middels een loterij gekozen en op 21 September per email op de hoogte gebracht.
Maak nu kans op 1 dag in het leven van wereld en olympisch kampioen Marianne Vos en haar ploeg, 1 dag in een andere wereld. Tijdens deze unieke belevenis neemt...
Full of adrenaline I’m standing next to the jury. The peloton passes at full speeds on my right. All the supporters are looking at me. This can’t be true. Thanks to the nice cobbles of the Tiel city centre, my bottle cage has come loose and is now dangerously hanging onto my frame. Abandon. We are not even halfway into the race and my race is over. Just when I want to make way to my car to go home I hear a member of the jury calling me: “Excuse me, but you are not allowed to go home. There is a doping control today and we don’t know the numbers yet.” With a doubtful glance I look at the friendly jury member. Doping control? That is for professionals and for the ladies who will manage to get on the podium. Oh well, I will wait for a couple of minutes before going home. I lean on my handlebars and look at the race I just abandoned.
Suddenly a lady with a red singlet steps out of the jury van. The large, white letters on her singlet tell me she is from the Dutch National Doping Authority. She walks strait to me. “Number 43 right? Walk along with me. Your number has been drawn and you have to go the doping controls.” You must be kidding me. I have never thought about this when I decided to race. I have applied Azaron because of the many mosquitos , that stung me during my last training ride. Is that allowed? And didn’t I take some Vitamin B pills ‘for stronger hair and nails’ following advice of my friends? Is that ok? And if something isn’t right, then what? No time to think about it. I slowly follow the lady to the area where I will get the next instructions. I feel the eyes of all the spectators pinning in my back. What is the reason this lady is following that rider? I am trying to remain calm and act as normal as possible.
The doping control is on the second floor, above the permanence, in a beautiful building. Everything is already in place for what has to been done the next couple of hours. I see the bottles of water for the riders, the jars and cups, papers and storage boxes. The lady behind the desk takes all the time necessary to explain the procedure to me. And that not only professional riders, but also juniors, espoirs and amateurs can get a doping control as well. I feel much more relaxed now, and I take place on the balcony from where I can follow the race in which I participated just 10 minutes ago.
After 45 minutes there are three empty bottles of water in front of me. I tried to drink as much as possible to speed up the procedure. With every attempt to “deliver” the 90ml as needed for this doping control, the nice lady walks with me to the toilet. There is no privacy whatsoever. After three attempts I am ready to go, having delivered enough to go home. I leave my number 43 behind and with a slightly confused feeling I go outside. The race is over and Anna van der Breggen has lapped the peloton twice. We both earned something today: Anne a victory, myself a new experience.
Marianne: can you remember the first time you had to undergo a doping procedure? And is there any difference between your first control and the controls there are now in place?
Full of adrenaline I’m standing next to the jury. The peloton passes at full speeds on my right. All the supporters are looking at me. This can’t be...
Na #RoadtripBarcarola en #RoadtripParis heb ik gezien hoe vrouwen in een groep aan hun vertrouwen bouwen, plezier hebben, vrienden maken en fit blijven. Daarom zou ik het geweldig vinden om nog meer vrouwen op de fiets te krijgen. Weet jij wat het is om vrouwen op de fiets te helpen en begeleiden of heb jij veel wieler ervaring en wil jij ook helpen? Kom dan nu naar een brainstorm avond waarbij wij gaan nadenken over hoe wij meer vrouwen op de fiets krijgen en gaan begeleiden.
Wij hebben plek voor 20 vrouwen, lijkt het jou leuk om hierbij te zijn, stuur dan nu een email naar firstname.lastname@example.org
Datum: 9 September
Inloop: vanaf 18:30
Start brainstorm sessie: 19:00
Locatie: 's Gravenmoer
Nadat wij de groep hebben gemaakt sturen wij een definitief programma en verdere informatie.
Hopelijk tot dan!
Na #RoadtripBarcarola en #RoadtripParis heb ik gezien hoe vrouwen in een groep aan hun vertrouwen bouwen, plezier hebben, vrienden maken en fit blijven. Daarom...
The question posed by Anneloes (Adventures of a beginner cyclist blog #4) was: I am wondering, how do you keep yourself motivated for competitive racing after winning practically everything anywhere?
Thanks for you questions Anneloes - what a great achievement! Keeping me focused and motivated is no problem at all. I have a huge passion for cycling and thrive on the 'cat and mouse' games that form a part of every race. Each race is different, which is what makes it exciting. With the level of women's cycling at an all time high, we have to be really clever and creative with our tactics. And with every race comes the opportunity to outsmart our competitors. It doesn't matter which type of race or what what kind of role I take on within it (leader, domestique, captain) - the thrill of that race always keeps me motivated!
The question posed by Anneloes (Adventures of a beginner cyclist blog #4) was: I am wondering, how do you keep yourself motivated for competitive racing af...
From behind mountains stretched out in front of me, I see three helicopters coming our way. An impressive sight. I hear the sound of the rotating blades. My hair is tied in a ponytail under my helmet, but it still waves in the wind due to these large low hanging dragonflies above me. It must be an incredible sight from the helicopters. To see 12.000 cyclists in one long line, waiting for their race to start. Some are here to set a time, others are happy with just crossing the finish line in time. Today everybody rides for themselves but still there is a feeling of solidarity. We have one thing in common: everybody will suffer today during this 28th Maratona Dolomiti.
I’ve been awake for almost two hours and even though it’s only 6 am, I am wide awake. Yet, the loud bang makes me jump a bit. This must be the start. Indeed, a couple of hundred meters in front of me I see the first participants of the race get on their bikes. The quickest riders may start first. Behind these riders, in a stretched line, 12.000 cyclists have to wait impatiently. Full of eagerness I am waiting in the second group with 1.500 riders in front of me. After a minute or three I can start as well. Here I go, 6 ½ hours of suffering, at least if everything is going according to plan. After 300 meters I hear the beep of the chip while riding over the start line. 138 km and 4000 altitude meters to go. My race has started.
138 km later I hear the same beep. My chip crossed the finish line. Totally exhausted and soaked by sweat and the pouring rain which surprised me unpleasantly during the last 20k, I’m hanging over my handlebars, gasping for air. It takes at least five minutes before I feel the energy and power flowing back into my arms and legs and before I can control my breathing again. Slowly the thought is coming to my head that, because I crossed the finish line, there will be a time connected to my name in the results. I barely dare watching my bike computer. What is my time and have I achieved my goal of a place in the top 25 ladies ranking?
It is real. 6h and 25 minutes. With an almost scientific precision I predicted my time for the Maratona. Last year this time was enough for a place in the top 25. After a decent bowl of pasta I return to the hotel. Once I arrive at the hotel I see a Twitter mention on the screen of my mobile phone: “ Wow, Anne Loes, what a great result!”. I’m in shock. This means there has been placed a final number before my name and total racing time. Equally curious as nervous I open the link in the Twitter message. I follow the names from top till bottom and scan the Italian and German names. And there, suddenly, it is. Much earlier then expected in black and white: 14th: Anne Loes Kokhuis NLD.
The next morning I, somewhat slower than other days, open my eyes. I grab my phone from the nightstand to see the time and see several missed whatsapp-messages I got the night before. When I open the app my eyes are focused at the last message I have sent yesterday evening: ‘Of course I am beyond happiness! But next year there will only be a maximum of four names in front of me.’
Marianne: First: congratulations on winning in Paris! What an impressive victory. I am wondering, how do you keep yourself motivated for competitive racing after winning practically everything anywhere?
From behind mountains stretched out in front of me, I see three helicopters coming our way. An impressive sight. I hear the sound of the rotating blades....
The girls arrived Saturday in Paris t watch La Course on Sunday. Participant Jane Morez about #RoadtripParis.
The 40 women and 40 bikes that left Utrecht on Wednesday had a trumphal and noisy ride down the Champs Elysées this evening after covering 570km in four days. For this last stage of 170km from Péronne to Paris they were joined by UCI Vice-President Tracey Gaudry.
"It was an amazing and inspiring experience, and even more fun than I thought,” she said when she arrived at the Eiffel Tower with the peleton.
Looking back on their experience, the participants highlighted the solidarity, team spirit and positive attitude of their fellow riders. Some were already experienced athletes while others were embarking on the biggest challenge of their life. But all of them arrived in Paris enriched and inspired! Hundreds of women wanted to join the adventure but only 40 were lucky enough to get places. Their motivation is even higher now that they are in Paris and ready to cheer on Marianne at La Course tomorrow.
Paris here we are, and it's time for women's professional riders to show the world what women's cycling is all about!
The girls arrived Saturday in Paris t watch La Course on Sunday. Participant Jane Morez about #RoadtripParis.
The 40 women and 40 bikes that left Utrecht on...
The girls did a longer ride today. Read here a short piece of Jane, one of the participants. Good luck girls tomorrow with the longest stage!
We're in Belgium! Which means we're getting closer to our ultimate goal... Paris and La Course. A great day in the sun again - setting off at 10am for 144km to Nazareth (near Gent). Well in theory! We left in 3 different groups and all of them took wrong turns at least once so we have all ridden at least 150km. But spirits are extremely high and we've turned quite a few heads of people not used to seeing such big pelotons of women! Setting the trend! Can't wait for tomorrow.... 158km to Peronne. FRANCE. We're on our way Marianne!!
The girls did a longer ride today. Read here a short piece of Jane, one of the participants. Good luck girls tomorrow with the longest stage!
We're in Belgium!...
I met the girls in the morning to wish them good luck on their trip. Today was a 125km ride. They wrote a short piece about their first day.
The start of The roadtrip today. 40 girls, 40 bikes and 40 different stories. Starting from Lubowski we had a surprise visit from Marianne. After a moment of silence we started the trip towards Paris. 125 km, 4 flat tyres, and after couple of more adventures later we finished THE first day in Baarle Nassau. After a short swim we had dinner and afterwards an evening program of getting to know each other a bit better, including everyone's most embarrassing stories. We heard About cows, cheese girls, snoring, ballet dancing, bunny hopping, and much more!!
Read here how the trip started: http://www.mariannevosofficial.com/blog/RoadtripParis
I met the girls in the morning to wish them good luck on their trip. Today was a 125km ride. They wrote a short piece about their first day.
The start of The r...
The question posed by Anneloes (Adventures of a beginner cyclist blog #3) was: Marianne: when do you determine your next goals and who helps you setting the right steps towards realizing them?
The preperation for Rio started a long time ago. Over the next 2 years it will be my main goal. In order to get myself in the best shape possible I will need to do some careful planning with my trainer Wilma and coach Koos Moerenhout. The races and training I do will all be chosen with Rio in mind. I will break the year up into months to make it more manageable. I need a training plan that is flexible so that it can be tweaked and changed depending on my form or fitness. The short term goals for this season are pretty clear for me with the World Championships TTT and of course defending my Road Race title. My other targets this year included the Tour of Britain, Giro and La Course.
When you are training for a goal, It is good to get advice from a professional trainer as they can help you plan a specific training regime tailored to your needs. Specific and dedicated training makes the difference. You need to train in your different heart zones, and someone with knowledge about this is very good to have as an advisor. It is also just as important to listen to your body. So if you have a goal, find a trainer, make a plan and tweak it now and then when it is necesary. And remember always listen to your body. Good luck!
The question posed by Anneloes (Adventures of a beginner cyclist blog #3) was: Marianne: when do you determine your next goals and who helps you setting th...
Olympic and World Champion Marianne Vos has been a catalyst behind a major Roadtrip to Paris involving 40 women from 13 countries. The all-women peloton will set off from Utrecht in the Netherlands on July 23rd and cover more than 550km in four days to arrive in the French capital on July 26th. The following day they will take on the role of spectators, watching the launch of the professional women’s race La Course by le Tour de France as well as the last stage of the Tour de France. They will also meet and greet La Course contender Marianne Vos who, with a group of friends, instigated the Roadtrip to Paris initiative. As the organisation has progressed, the World Champion has kept in touch with the participants, giving them training and nutritional advice for their preparation. Roadtrip to Paris is the biggest international roadtrip of this kind for women cyclists and testament to the growing momentum of women's cycling.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
“The idea started in Spain, during Roadtrip Barcarola when we sat down with the girls and talked about La Course. Everybody was enthusiastic about La Course, wanted to cheer me on and thought it would be good to do this on the bike. In the Netherlands I discussed the idea with some friends and we decided to organise this Roadtrip. It was obvious that we would start this Roadtrip from Utrecht as it is the host city of the 2015 Grand Départ of the Tour de France. After one tweet and one post on Facebook, word spread and mailboxes exploded with women emailing and wanting to join the adventure. After the success of Roadtrip Barcarola, this Roadtrip is again overwhelming, confirmation that women’s cycling is alive. I can’t wait to meet the girls in Paris and hear all about their adventures. Of course after so much interest we will be aiming to organise another trip next year.” – Marianne Vos
40 GIRLS, 13 NATIONALITIES, 550KM
Initially designed for a small group of 25 riders the trip has grown due to the phenomenal level of demand and interest. Now with 40 women signed up, it is a truly multicultural and diverse group with riders coming from Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Poland, England, Ireland, America, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Taiwan, Korea and the Netherlands. Ages range from 24 to 50. In 4 days the women will ride over 550km and share some great adventures and experiences.
Olympic and World Champion Marianne Vos has been a catalyst behind a major Roadtrip to Paris involving 40 women from 13 countries. The all-women peloton will se...
Being well prepared is half the work, you don’t have to do a full reconnaissance on the climb but you should be able to find out a lot of information from the internet. Many pro teams will use google earth to analyse the final kilometres of a climb. Try to figure out how long the climb is so you can properly gauge your effort. With a climb it is important to not give it your all at the bottom. Your goal will be that you go as fast or faster at the end as at the beginning. The best thing to do with climbs is to ride around your threshold zone. Keep a good rhythm with a cadence around the 80/90 per minute. Not a big ring as this will cost a lot of strength and not too small as this will cost a lot of energy.
Don’t look at the distance but at the duration of a climb, 15 kilometres climbing is different to 15 kilometres on flat roads. Try to eat and drink during your climb, because your body needs the energy.
Being well prepared is half the work, you don’t have to do a full reconnaissance on the climb but you should be able to find out a lot of information from...
Many girls have problems with eating and drinking on the bike. For a one day challenge it doesn’t matter if your body doesn’t recovered the next day, but when you are doing a Roadtrip such as this, it is really important to get your recovery right. We have a rule in stage races: Your recovery time starts on the bike, and this is exactly the same for the roadtrip. Drink at least 1 bottle an hour and eat 1 bar/banana or something you. Try to do this during your training rides as well, so you get used to it. During the Roadtrip there will be lunch stops, so that will be a good moment to eat and recover, but between these stops it is good to eat on the bike as well.
I have heard many stories about gels, but personally I prefer to use them only in the final stages, during the race I always eat bars.
Many girls have problems with eating and drinking on the bike. For a one day challenge it doesn’t matter if your body doesn’t recovered the next day...
Read here an interview about the Giro Rosa. Thanks Sarah Connolly for writing this.
What can we say about Marianne Vos? She's won 12 World Championships across road, track and cyclocross, two Olympic golds, and she won the Giro twice, and in 2011 and in 2012. This year she started her road season late and has been having a lot of fun racing for her team-mates, most notably supporting Pauline Ferrand-Prévot's wins in the Flèche Wallonne and Emakummen Bira - which makes Rabobank-Liv an even more scary team to try and beat!
What's your goal for this year's Giro?
Because of my late season start, I haven't put all my focus on the Giro Rosa so far. I knew it could be too early, but looking back on the last weeks I am really happy with my shape at the moment.
My team RaboLiv is going very well now and we are all looking forward to this Giro. With the team we will go for the pink, with also Anna van der Breggen and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot as our GC riders. We'll try to play the game with the three of us and we'll see how the race develops.
Which stages are you looking forward to most?
Well, actually I'm looking to the Giro as the full tour. Therefore I'm not focussed on one stage in particular. The stage finishing in San Domenico Varzo is a stage I'm a bit nervous about, but on the other hand also looking forward to. The final day with the finish on Madonna dell Ghisallo will be very special too.
And is there anything you're NOT looking forward to?
Uhm, I like Italy: the country, the people, the atmosphere, the stages, the food. In this race however you'll have to be focussed all the time. Probably there will be some crashes and that's a thing I'm definitely not looking forward to.
You've had so many good Giro moments - which are your favourites?
It's difficult to pick one or a few out of so many good moments. In the 2011 Giro however, there was a moment on the Mortirolo where I felt that I could be good enough to win that Giro. Before I had some doubts, so that climb gave me confidence about my own capabilities.
Also something that's nice every day: all riders in the team bus, trying to get ready for the stage. During the race you get more tired, but if the atmosphere in the bus is relaxed, that's very nice. We call it one big 'cycling holiday', especially in the worst moments of tiredness.
PdC: What will you pack in your Giro survival kit?
Marianne: Books! To kill the time in the car on the way back to the hotel.
Text: Sarah Connolly
Read here an interview about the Giro Rosa. Thanks Sarah Connolly for writing this.
What can we say about Marianne Vos? She's won 12 World Championships across...
4 days in a row, sitting in the saddle, most of your bodies will not be familiar with this so it is important to practice multiple days in the saddle. Try to get used to this by going out on the weekends for two rides (Saturday and Sunday) and when possible to go also on the Friday or Monday so you get used to back to back riding. Some people find that chamois cream really helps, others don’t make sure you find out what works for you before the roadtrip, you don’t want to try something for the first time on the trip itself!
4 days in a row, sitting in the saddle, most of your bodies will not be familiar with this so it is important to practice multiple days in the saddle. Try to ge...
I’m looking at the start of the Dutch national road race championship for elite women in Kerkrade. For twenty minutes now, all the women have been lined up and are waiting. They have eager faces. “Am I positioned close enough to the front?”. How fast will we start? Can I cope with this course?” The tension is visible on all 130 faces. And the strangest thing is: I want to be part of this as well! Although I never rode a race in my life, I know it for sure. Next year I will be here as well.
Whilst this thought rises to my head, I have already made my schedule. This summer I’ll have to ride some trainings races to get used to the dynamics of a race. In the winter I’ll have to keep up the training hours and during spring I will have to earn enough points during the races to qualify. Then, in June 2014, I will be at the start as well.
Almost unnoticed I hear my team manager talk to me: “Anne Loes, do you want to know the number of points you are short to ride the Dutch national road race championship?”. The sentence keeps repeating in my head for at least 10 seconds before I truly understand the meaning of his words. The last year I have lived for cycling. After work a quick meal and getting back on the bike again for a training. Cycling with my training buddy through the pouring rain to make the necessary training hours. The many power exercises on the Tacx because of the terrible weather outside.
I have had difficult weeks after a hard crash in March. I couldn’t cycle and I have counted thousands of tiles in the swimming pool to speed up the recovery. The many visits to my physiotherapist, manual therapist, sports massage and sports doctor. The fear, when getting on the bike again, for the stabbing pain and realizing that I have to stop again. I have still not fully recovered to cycle again. Next week I will have to try again. And getting back in the peloton, I see the crashes again. I feel the tension in the peloton.
But it’s all been worth it and I’ve enjoyed the past year very much. I am better, stronger, smarter, and quicker. I have learned and experienced how to ride in, and with a team in a one day classic. I stood side by side to Marianne in a small race. (At the start that is, I never saw her again during that race, except for cycling 5 seconds next to me in the peloton… when she lapped us). I conquered my fear to ride in the thundering peloton again, after being in hospital after my crash. I am grateful for the support of all my friends and family who are so very proud of me, that at the age of 32 , I still have the desire to race....
Next year I will be there. I have one year to go. My schedule is ready.
Marianne: when do you determine your next goals and who helps you setting the right steps towards realizing them?
I’m looking at the start of the Dutch national road race championship for elite women in Kerkrade. For twenty minutes now, all the...
The question posed by Anneloes (Adventures of a beginner cyclist blog #2) was: Road, Track or Cyclcocross, the Giro Donne or a Belgium classic, wind, warmth or cold conditions, it seems you can win anything anywhere. I am wondering, are there any conditions or races you find difficult to ride and why?
Firstly a great story Anneloes, I can imagine that for the first time it is really difficult to hold your position in the bunch. To be honest I really don’t like chaos in a bunch, mass sprints or positioning yourself when you know you have to be at the front, for example when you know a race will be mainly raced in echelons, they are not my favourite races. But with a few tricks I always manage to handle myself well, here’s some advice.
Try to always stay relaxed on your bike, try to find the small holes but make sure that you keep an overview of the bunch. Look far in front of you and not at the wheel of the rider in front of you.
Also ensure that you focus on your position in the bunch. You need to make sure you constantly find the small holes in the bunch and try and ride through the bunch rather than around it. From experience you will start to spot the girls who always get the in the right breaks and are always near the front, try and stay close to them. I always used to focus on Chantal Beltman, she knew perfectly how to position herself and was always in the break. Unfortunately she has now retired from professional cycling but my teammates Lucinda and Annemiek have an ability to always be in the right position so I try and stay close to them!
The question posed by Anneloes (Adventures of a beginner cyclist blog #2) was: Road, Track or Cyclcocross, the Giro Donne or a Belgium classic, wind, warmth or...
With my left foot in the pedal as well, I realize my first race has started. But there is no time to think about that. From the start it’s full speed straight away and I have to shift a couple of gears to stay in the peloton. Without even thinking about it, I follow the line of my competitors through the corners and it feels like I am flying through the first couple of corners. With the speed rising, my heartbeat, respiration and adrenaline are rising as well. “Try to stay at 1/3rd of the peloton, that’s when you are situated in the best spot!”. The advice of the young cyclist is pounding in my head. Because of the number of riders in front of me, I know I am too far behind. But how do I move myself to the front?
I am turning into the fourth corner now. After this bend there is a climb. A short one, but maybe it is just steep and long enough to gain some spots in the peloton. According to my training buddies I am a good climber. If I take the corner on the inside, giving some extra power should do the trick. Done! Suddenly I move a couple of places. So this is how it works?! Now keep up the good work, stay focused and try again until I’m in the right spot.
It’s completely quiet in the peloton. Nobody talks, everyone is looking at the wheel and asphalt in front of them. The only sound I hear are the leavers which are going up and down the cassettes. Ultimate concentration is key. This is racing.
And there it is. Out of nothing I meet with what will later become my major competitor in my racing career: the wind. An invisible wall is waiting for me just around the corner. Immediately my speed drops and I have to push extra hard to stay in the wheel of the cyclist in front of me. Without saying a word, the peloton is stretched into a line of 35 riders on the left side of the road. Still with all the power on the pedals I manage to secure myself in the wheel of my competitor. Slowly the pain is building into my legs. It tingles, prickles, what is the right word to describe the pain I feel? I have never experienced this before.
How long will this last? I can’t take this anymore. When I take a glimpse ahead, I see the first rider crossing the bridge and descending to the final left corner. If I accelerate just once I get out of the wind into the last corner.
“Go on Anne Loes, this is what you wanted so badly? Keep going!”, I shout at myself.
We turn onto the last straight line, I managed to stay in the peloton. Because of the wind I lost five spots, but I managed to stay in the group during my first round ever. De next rounds are a repetition of the first. Uphill I manage to gain five spots, which I have to give up again riding the straight line into the wind.
Do I really hear a bell ringing? A bell? Yes! The bell which indicates that my peloton is in the final lap. I will make it! I will finish my first race ever in the peloton! Completely exhausted, but with a smile from ear to ear and a great feeling of pride and euphoria I cross the finish line. My first race ever is over. And I know for sure now, this tastes like more.
@ Marianne: Road, track or cyclcocross, the Giro Donne or a Belgium classic, wind, warmth or cold circumstances, it seems you can win anything anywhere. I am wondering, are there any circumstances or races you find difficult to ride and why?
With my left foot in the pedal as well, I realize my first race has started. But there is no time to think about that. From the start it’s full speed stra...
Tijdens de belangrijkste wedstrijd van het jaar, het Nederlands Kampioenschap Wielrennen, kan je bij ons achter de schermen een kijkje nemen. In de ochtend ontvangen we je voor koffie en een meeting met ploegleider Koos Moerenhout. Met een aantal dames van het team geeft hij je tips & tricks voor op de fiets en legt hij uit wat er allemaal bij een vrouwenteam komt kijken.
Vervolgens, uiteraard zonder de meiden van Team Rabo-Liv, stappen we op de fiets voor een ritje van 60-75km. Team Rabo-Liv mechanieker Andre Schouwenaar volgt ons in de wagen. De tocht wordt begeleid door 2 professionele rideleaders, beide opgeleid door Marianne Vos.
Eenmaal terug bij het hotel is er gelegenheid om te douchen en krijg je een lunchpakket. Gezamenlijk, maar wel met eigen vervoer, gaan we naar het NK parcours om de wedstrijd van de dames te bekijken. De rideleaders geven achtergrond informatie, informeren je over het verloop van de wedstrijd en de rensters van Team Rabo-Liv én leggen je haarfijn de tactiek uit.
- Koffie/Thee bij aankomst
- Supportcar tijdens de tocht
- Vervoer naar het NK Parcours
Wat: Een kijkje achter de schermen bij Team Rabo-Liv
Waar: Lattrop (Landgoed de Holtweijde, Spiekweg 7, Lattrop)
Wanneer: 28 Juni
Hoelaat: 09:30 tot ongeveer 18.00
Kosten: 25 euro per persoon
Wil je bij ons een kijkje achter de schermen nemen, stuur een email naar Marithuisman@zeloo.nl
Let op, we hebben plek voor 25 dames, vol is vol!
Tijdens de belangrijkste wedstrijd van het jaar, het Nederlands Kampioenschap Wielrennen, kan je bij ons achter de schermen een kijkje nemen. In de ochtend ontv...
The question of Anneloes was (blog adventures of a beginner cyclist #1): When did you race for the first time and how did you manage the nerves if you had them at all of course?
My first cycling race was when I was 7 years old. It was a national youth race in Rijswijk and I can remember being very nervous. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know what to expect or what to think. I ended up coming 5th but I was so nervous the whole time I couldn’t enjoy the race at all However, the second time I raced I was more relaxed and I realised just how much fun it was to race against others on my bike.
My advice is to make sure that you are always prepared before your race. Make sure that you have planned everything and that there is nothing more you could have done, you never want to be able to blame yourself for not preparing properly! Think about logistics, training, nutrition, equipment and tick everything off. As soon as you are standing on the start line try and relax and don't worry about things that you can't control, a good cyclist is a relaxed cyclist. Feel confident and trust yourself, but most importantly just enjoy yourself!
The question of Anneloes was (blog adventures of a beginner cyclist #1): When did you race for the first time and how did you manage the nerves if you had...
It is a beautiful, cozy clubhouse in the center of the Netherlands. Just outside the city where I live, at a perfect distance to cycle to from my home. The closer I get to the clubhouse, the more cyclists I see. A couple of them got here with their bikes in the back of their car. Most of them are cycling in with a small backpack, and get to the clubhouse the way I do. Although I mainly see men between twenty and fifty years old, I am relieved to see a couple of young girls standing in the crowd as well. I’m happy to see I’m not the only woman here. The excitement is getting stronger now and I feel the stress level in my body is rising fast. To be honest: I’ve been nervous about this all day but the view of this group of cyclists makes it even worse. My hands are shaking and it feels as if I’ve got a rock in my stomach. Am I sure I want to do this? I can still turn around and go home.
No, who’s in for a penny is in for a pound. This year I wanted to train for something else. Not for a cyclo or a sponsor ride, but a challenge less ordinary and more difficult. I wanted to know how it feels to compete. To pin a number on my back and “be in the race”. With my 32 years of age I’m certainly not the youngest one in the peloton and it has only been five years that I have a beautiful but simple race bike. Nevertheless, can I participate in races as well?
There’s my number. Blue, 28. As careless as possible I hand over two pieces of two euros. The man behind the desk gives me my number without even looking at me. I walk to the nearest table, put down all my stuff and pin the blue number onto the back of my race shirt. As I look around the clubhouse I see several cyclists with blue numbers on their back as well. These are my competitors for today.
Waiting any longer is useless. Only six minutes before the start and it’s time to go to the circuit. The blue number 28 burns on my back. Is it clear to the other participants that this is my first time here? A friendly young female cyclist sees the hesitation in my eyes. ‘Do you know this circuit?’. With all the confidence I’ve got I tell her that this is my first ever race. She will do a lap around the circuit with me to give me some practical instructions. As we are getting near a very sharp corner she says: ‘this is the only corner where you.... ‘brake, I think to myself ‘.... don’t pedal’.
I want to get out immediately. Pardon me!? I do not use my brakes anywhere on this circuit? There is no time left to think about it. De start/ finish line is within 30 meters and the A riders (white numbers) and the B riders (yellow numbers) are ready to start their race. ‘A-riders, you are off!’. 1 minute left. ‘B-riders, you are allowed to go as well!’. 30 seconds. Slowly I am getting closer to the start line. Three meters separate me from the my first race ever. 36 blue numbers are waiting for their signal. We are the slowest and therefore the last group to start. ‘C-riders now it is your turn!’ I click my left foot in the pedal and take off. It is time. I am in my first race ever. It is racing time!
@Marianne: I was so very nervous before the start of my first race ever. When did you race for the first time and how did you manage the nerves if you had them at all of course?
Next time: ‘I have never experienced anything like this before’.
Anneloes Kokhuis (NED)
It is a beautiful, cozy clubhouse in the center of the Netherlands. Just outside the city where I live, at a perfect distance to cycle to from my home. The clos...
Fleche wallone was the first road race of Marianne this season. Her performance today in the Fleche Wallone proves she’s got the mental strength and cadence to lead and support others. She went into the race saying, “I am not often nervous, as races are always quite long. But for Fleche Wallone, I am pretty nervous to be honest.” She described the “tough character of the race” and climb of Mur de Huy saying “it is always a hard race.” But in the end, she did just what she set out to do.
She rode as a domestique for her team leader, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, aiming to “put her in the best possible position to finish the job”. Prevot finished in first, securing the win for team Rabo Liv and Vos finished closely behind in sixth. About the win of Pauline she told us: The win of Pauline was even better then my own win last year
Fleche wallone was the first road race of Marianne this season. Her performance today in the Fleche Wallone proves she’s got the mental strength and caden...
Op initiatief van Marianne Vos hebben onder andere Yuri van Gelder, Imke Schellekens-Bartels, Lars Boom, Nadine Broersen en Michael Schoenmaker zich verenigd in Team Brabant Sport. Brabant draagt haar topsporters op handen en deze sporters willen iets terug doen voor deze regio die zoveel toppers voortbrengt.
Marianne Vos over het nieuwe team: “Door ons als sporters te verenigen, kunnen wij onze kennis en ervaring over de waarde van (top)sport delen. Bovendien willen wij iedereen inspireren nog meer te gaan bewegen. Er wordt nergens zoveel gesport als in Brabant. Daar moeten wij samen trots en zuinig op zijn en hier willen wij ons voor inzetten. Wij roepen dan ook alle sporters uit Brabant op om in beweging te komen en teamgenoot te worden, om op deze wijze iedere inwoner van de provincie in beweging te krijgen. Samen sporten draagt bij tot een nog gezondere en beter presterende samenleving.”
Vele Brabantse topsporters zijn met eremetaal teruggekeerd van nationale maar ook van Wereld Kampioenschappen en Olympische Spelen. Feit is dat Brabant van topsporters kampioenen maakt door investering in talentontwikkeling en topsportaccommodaties.
Het team werd vandaag gepresenteerd in aanwezigheid van commissaris van de Koning Wim van de Donk en Brigite van Haaften, gedeputeerde van onder meer Sport. “Geweldig dat zo’n ploeg toppers zo trots is op Brabant, dat ze zelf het initiatief hebben genomen voor dit team”, aldus gedeputeerde Van Haaften.
Ex-topsporter Gianni Romme was ook aanwezig bij de perspresentatie vanmiddag. Gianni Romme over het nieuwe team: “Wat een fantastisch initiatief van de sporters. Anky van Grunsven, Minke Booij en ik hebben veel te danken aan Brabant. Het kan niet anders dan dat wij als (ex-) topsporters dit initiatief ondersteunen en als eerste teamgenoot worden. #HeelBrabantSport, daar word ik blij van.”
Behalve Marianne Vos zijn ook andere gerenommeerde sporters teamlid: Lars Boom (wielrennen), Daniëlle van de Donk (voetbal), Imke Schellekens-Bartels (dressuur), Twan van Gendt (BMX), Nadine Broersen (atletiek), Yuri van Gelder (turnen), Marcel Balkestein (hockey), Michiel van der Heijden (mountainbike), Kees Akerboom jr. (basketbal) en Michael Schoenmaker (zwemmen). De komende maanden sluiten nog meer Brabantse toppers aan. Daarnaast zitten Minke Booij (voormalig hockeyster), Gianne Romme (voormalig schaatser) en Anky van Grunsven (voormalig dressuuramazone) in de adviesraad van het team.
Brabanders die ook teamgenoot willen worden, kunnen teamgenoot worden van het team via de website www.teambrabantsport.nl, net als bijvoorbeeld Wim van de Donk, Brigite van Haaften, Gianne Romme, Minke Booij en Adje. De gedachte achter het team is ‘het samen sterker gevoel’, typerend voor Brabant en het uitdragen van de Brabantse trots.
Op initiatief van Marianne Vos hebben onder andere Yuri van Gelder, Imke Schellekens-Bartels, Lars Boom, Nadine Broersen en Michael Schoenmaker zich verenigd in...
Undeniably Marianne Vos is a cycling legend in pretty much any discipline she turns her hand or more importantly her legs to.
This year Marianne will be racing in the UK at the Friends Life Women's Tour beginning on May 7th, this is great news for women's cycling in the UK and Europe' maybe not so good for the people that will be racing against her though. Marianne took a few moments out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
Marianne how do you feel about coming to race in England for the Women's Tour?
"I am very excited it's a positive development that more organisers of men's races start to put on the same for women. I am looking forward to visiting England, I have fond memories of the 2012 Olympics over there, also the other races I have competed in , and there is a good vibe for women's racing in the UK"
Are you expecting a different style of race over here?
" All the World Cup races this season have been very competitive wherever they have been held. it shows women's cycling is making big steps forward. so I don't expect it to feel any different, but you do have an opportunity to showcase the race to the world"
You are obliviously the favourite for the race, how will approach this? And do you still feel pressure when you race?
" With the whole Rabobank Liv team we are eager to get a good result, we have become much stronger as a team, in previous races the girls have shown they are ready to compete at the highest level "
Undeniably Marianne Vos is a cycling legend in pretty much any discipline she turns her hand or more importantly her legs to.
This year Marianne will be racing i...
Cycle Sport caught up with Marianne and asked her where in the World are her favourite places to train. Clearly, home is where her heart lies, though it’s obvious she likes to get away to the sun to get some serious winter training.
Home Roads “I prefer to train near my home in the North Brabant area of The Netherlands. It’s where I grew up and though it’s flat, it has a real feel of Holland and the countryside is beautiful.”
In the woods “As a cyclo cross rider I enjoy training in the woods. It doesn’t matter if it’s near home or anywhere else I am, it’s really great to get out and play on the cross bike.”
Limburg “I really enjoy riding in the Limburg region of the Netherlands. It has lots of short steep hills which are really good for interval training and I have really good memories of winning the Road World Championship at Valkenburg in 2012.”
Tuscany “Italy is a beautiful country and the I love the Giro d’Italia. The whole country is all about cycling and I love the atmosphere and hospitality, especially in Tuscany, where there are beautiful villages and great roads.”
Spain “We always go to Spain for training camps on the Costas, the weather here is good for training and I enjoy the roads.”
Gran Canaria “Another part of Spain I like to visit is Gran Canaria where there are great climbs and always good weather.”
South Africa “Though I love training at home, in the winter the weather can cause problems, so I like to go to South Africa, where it is much warmer than in the Netherlands at that time of year. There are beautiful views on the mountain passes and it suits me for endurance training.” "
Cycle Sport caught up with Marianne and asked her where in the World are her favourite places to train. Clearly, home is where her heart lies, though it’s...