New to Strava but not to cycling, Marianne Vos is one of the top performing female cycling pros in the world. A Dutch multi-time World Champion on the road and track, as well as cyclocross, there are few athletes like Vos. Meet the woman who started cycling at age six and dreams of making the sport more accessible for athletes all over the world.
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. She told us that her goal this season is to help with the development of the team and every individual on it to become stronger as a collective. The team is aiming for solid results in the Women’s Tour of Britain, La Course and the World’s TTT (team time trial).
With today’s race under her belt and the Women’s Tour around the corner, we wanted to get Marianne’s opinion on the first time UCI stage race to hit the UK. Vos believes the Women’s Tour will be great for women’s cycling. “This is an opportunity to further develop women’s cycling and inspire many potential racers. It will also be broadcasted on television and help raise the profile of the athletes involved.” Having seen the men’s race on Television and the absolutely stunning course, she looking forward to racing.
Like many Pros, Vos spent the winter training in a warm climate. She shared with us how this helped her prepare. “For training I like to be in Spain in the area of Girona. The roads are quiet, views are stunning and you can choose what to ride; flats, hills, coastline, countryside, everything is possible. Next to that the temperature is also good in the winter. Many cyclists come to Spain to train and a lot of them live there. I have a kind of second home in the Hotel van der Valk Barcarola.”
She invited a group of women to join her for a few days of training. “The plan was to go with a friend to Spain to get ready for my first road race of the season. I thought it would be good to invite some girls to show them how fun it is to ride a bike and inspire them a little. When I launched the idea on Social Media I received over 100 emails from girls who wanted to join me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take them all and was forced to make a selection. I picked a diverse group of girls who each had a unique story. It was incredible to see how a group of strangers formed such a bond and became close, sharing everything with each other.”
It was an unforgettable week!
1 woman started cycling
1 woman got into racing
1 woman further developed her racing skills
1 woman discovered her joy back on the bike
1 woman never gave up and was pushed to her limits
1 woman built on her base for the Ironman and had a rare but nice time relaxing.
The Road trip Barcelona is just one example of how Vos is getting women excited about cycling. By uploading her rides to Strava, she hopes to inspire more women around the world.
We’ll leave you with one piece of training advice from her: “Always train with your mind. Build your endurance and develop every zone. Next to that, have fun in training and be relaxed, there is nothing to stress about, if it doesn’t work out then don’t worry. A good balance is the most important thing.”
Connect with Vos, give kudos and comment on her activity.