Marijn de Vries: “I’d love to ride Milan-Sanremo or Paris-Roubaix!”
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Marijn de Vries: “I’d love to ride Milan-Sanremo or Paris-Roubaix!”

by Ben Atkins at 9:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Dutchwoman excited to get started with new team Lotto-Belisol but looks at the UCI for more support

marijn de vriesMarijn de Vries is one of a host of new signings for the Lotto-Belisol women’s team, as the team undergoes significant changes for 2013. The 34-year-old Dutchwoman is a relative newcomer to cycling, after deciding just after her 30th birthday to see whether she could still make it as an elite athlete; she succeeded and, after three years with AA, she - along with British champion teammate Sharon Laws - has transferred to the Belgian team.

As a native of the Drenthe region in the north eastern Netherlands, de Vries is most looking forward to the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup race in March, but is aiming to be in shape for her new team in the Belgian season-opener, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

“There are a few races where I could do that,” said de Vries. “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,” she added, “but when a teammate wins and I have contributed to that than I find that at least as fun as winning myself.”

As well as being a professional rider, de Vries is a qualified journalist, who continues to write part time during the season - including a blog on satirical website - and also with Dutch TV as a reporter and summariser. Her commentary on compatriot Marianne Vos’ victory in last year’s World championships in Limburg, Netherlands, was one of the most passionate; like most in the women’s sport, however, she feels that it deserves far more attention and support.

“The ball’s in the court of the UCI,” de Vries said. “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.

marijn de vries“The main problem is that a lot of races might disappear because of lack of money,” she continued. “I think that very simply some small measures can be taken if the UCI would say that the organisations of WorldTour races would be obliged to organise not only a race for men but also for women. I’d love to ride Milan-Sanremo or Paris-Roubaix!”

So far, in a short career that has mostly seen de Vries working for her teammates, she has won the small Dutch race, the Ronde van Hilversum, in September 2010, and a race in Zwevegem, Belgium, in July last year. Victories alone, however, are not the only things that motivate the 34-year-old Dutchwoman.

“I have often thought about what has been my best result, but I find it hard,” she explained. “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,” she continued. “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.”


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