Road cycling: Marianne Vos reviews 2017
We continue our end-of-year series featuring members of the UCI Athletes’ Commission. Today, Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos looks back on her year in both the road and cyclo-cross disciplines: the highs, the lows and the memorable moments.
Marianne Vos (the Netherlands), road cycling
- 12-time UCI World Champion (2 x track, 7 x cyclo-cross and 3 x road)
- Two-time road race Olympic Champion (Beijing 2008, London 2012)
- Five-time European Champion (2 x cyclo-cross, 3 x road).
Personal sporting highlight of the year
Being back at my best in the cyclo-cross season. After a year being out of competition, it was great to be able to ride for the win again.
Disappointment / bad moment of the year
In a crash in the Women's Tour I broke my collarbone. Unfortunately, this kind of injury is part of the sport, but it's never the right moment. You can't change it, and I was extra motivated to get ready for the second half of the season.
My biggest surprise (good or bad) of the year
Seeing the gates of a bridge go down in the ultimate 5kms of stage 2 in the Ladies Tour of Norway. From both the organisation’s and the riders’ points of view it wasn't great, but looking back it's a moment you will not easily forget. I remember the chaos in the bunch when we stood there and waited for the gates to open and start the final sprint. These are the unexpected things that happen in cycling!
Anecdote of the year
When I broke my collarbone I started to build up again and I got in mind that I wanted to race again in the BeNeLadies Tour, which was five weeks after my crash. My doctor said, 'yes, that should be okay, but avoid crashing'. Well, of course I was going to be careful, no problem... In the four days of racing I managed to crash three times; twice on the side of the fracture. In the end it was an ultimate test and luckily all was okay!
My cycling hero of the year
Annemiek van Vleuten! It was great to see her take the time trial world title, after all she's been through in her cycling career. She proved that you can reach your goals, as long as you keep a positive attitude and work with full dedication.
Other cycling discipline I would like to try
In my career I've tried many different disciplines, but always stayed away from the more extreme ones. I would have loved to try downhill mountain bike earlier and gain more confidence that way. The beauty of a great trail and the feeling of going down fast is something that gives a thrill.
My favourite cycling race/competition of the year as a competitor
For me it was the first time I did the Strade Bianche this year. With a background in cyclo-cross and a love for Italy, this race is a special one. I really like this course and its atmosphere.
My favourite cycling race/competition of the year as a spectator
The Giro d'Italia, with fellow Dutchmen Tom Dumoulin as the eventual winner. As always, the Giro is a spectacular race to follow and with the different incidents and emotions it was eventful until the last moment.
My sporting ambition(s) for 2018
Have fun and reach my personal best!