One of the newcomers at Lotto Belisol Ladies this year is the Dutch Marijn de Vries. This journalist started racing when she was thirty, it all began as an experiment: can you still become a professional sportswoman at that age? More than four years later Marijn is still racing, she doesn’t know when it will come to an end. She’s still very keen and can’t wait to start the season with her new team. Marijn already wants to be good at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
The team is very important to de Vries, working hard for a good team result is one of her strong points. No doubt she will show that at Lotto Belisol, but she also wants to take her own chance.
Marijn de Vries: “There are a few races where I could do that. I am a type of rider who has to have tough races; the tougher, the better. The past few years I have noticed that I have the most chance to win a race if I am in a breakaway or if I try to jump away in the final, I am not a sprinter. I hope to get a chance of my own this year, but above all I find the result of the team very important. Of course it’s very nice to win yourself, but when a teammate wins and I have contributed to that than I find that at least as fun as winning myself.”
Marijn is looking forward to the Tour of Drenthe – the province where she comes from – and she wants to participate in the Tour of Flanders, the Flèche Wallonne and the Giro Donne. Her final goal of the season is the World Championship team time trial. Passionate as she is about cycling, she finds that women’s cycling deserves much more attention and that this is the right moment for it.
Marijn de Vries: “The ball’s in the court of the UCI. After the Olympics and last year’s World Championship there was talked much about women’s cycling, a lot of people were enthusiastic and said that they had found it great races to watch. You see that more teams get more professional and – just as is the case with Lotto Belisol – some big men’s teams have a women’s team. The main problem is that a lot of races might disappear because of lack of money. I think that very simply some small measures can be taken if the UCI would say that the organizations of WorldTour races would be obliged to organize not only a race for men but also for women. I’d love to ride Milan-Sanremo or Paris-Roubaix!”
Up to now she has won two races: one in Belgium and one in her home country. She finds it difficult to point out what has been her highlight so far.
Marijn de Vries: “I have often thought about what has been my best result, but I find it hard. Last year I won a race in Belgium and then you’re inclined to pick that one out, but I’ve noticed that I probably get more satisfaction from the fact that I am good in a big race, in a World Cup race, and that I get a high ranking there. At that moment I feel I really belong in cycling. I was for example very satisfied with my fifth place in the Chrono des Nations in 2012. But I think that my highlight still has to come. My career has got an open ending. I look at it from year to year, that’s how I started, it was an experiment and you never know how that will end. Maybe it’s one big highlight that I can do this all. Motivation is not a problem, I am rather someone who has to be slowed down.”