the Dutch Marianne Vos, peloton icon

Marianne Vos ” the goat [Greatest of All Time, la meilleure de tous les temps] perfect ». The compliment is signed by Mark Cavendish, nothing less. If he pays tribute to his Dutch counterpart, on July 8, 2021, the British cyclist will be on the roads of the Tour de France. Two days ago, in Valence, he won 3e stage victory in this edition of the Grande Boucle, the 33e in his career, a length of the record of “Cannibal” Eddy Merckx – which he will match before reaching the Champs-Elysées. However, for the Isle of Man native, that summer, it was the Jumo-Visma rider who deserved the spotlight.

On the other side of the Alps, Marianne Vos has just lifted 30e hands on the Giro Rosa, the women’s version of the Tour of Italy, the most famous women’s circuit event. A work that the British Elizabeth Banks tried with a touch of humor to put into perspective: “Imagine that the Giro Rosa has 11 small stages [que la Grande Boucle]. We can assume that this is equivalent to 69.3 stage wins in the Tour de France. »

This year, Marianne Vos added two more stages to her list, before abandoning the race in Italy. with [s]focus on the team’s next goals”he explained.

Also read: Women’s Tour de France: in Provins, Queen Marianne Vos signs her 241ᵉ victory and takes the yellow

On Monday July 25, the Dutchwoman from the Jumbo-Visma team won the second stage of the Tour de France, in Provins (Seine-et-Marne), at the same time wearing the yellow jersey in a back-to-back event. , after more than thirty years of absence.

“Our best spokesperson”

This race, the native of Bois-le-Duc (‘s-Hertogenbosch in Dutch) has called for many years. Along with cyclists Kathryn Bertine, Emma Pooley and triathlete Chrissie Wellington, he made a claim in discussions with the Amaury Sport Organization, the manager of the Tour and the International Cycling Union, to ensure more equality in the discipline. .

“He is our best spokesperson”, summarized the race director, Marion Rousse. If the former French champion sees more Dutch Annemiek van Vleuten leave with the yellow jersey, on July 31, he is convinced that Marianne Vos will be one of the key artists of this edition: “Maybe he has more to explode in the stages than to aim for the general classification, but he is very important in the course of the event. »

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers The women’s cycling peloton will return to the Tour de France in 2022

Batave had a mixed start to the year: after the eighth world title at the end of January in cyclo-cross, in Fayetteville (Arkansas), its recovery on the road was prevented by Covid-19, which will force it, at the last moment, to give to “queen of the classics”, Paris-Roubaix. It is sad for someone who is determined to get revenge after his 2e place, during the inaugural edition, in October 2021.

Thirteen world titles in three disciplines

Her appetite for victory, Marianne Vos cultivated it from an early age. Because of his brother Anton, he discovered his passion for cycling. First bike at 6, first race at 8, first victories at 14. From the beginning, he was admired for his strength, his speed and above all for his unique winning spirit.

“When I won my first rainbow jersey in 2004 [championne du monde sur route junior, à Vérone, en Italie], the idea of ​​a career as a professional cyclist crossed my mind. There aren’t many women who are 100% dedicated to this, but I decided to give it a shot and do my best.he explained, on his website.

Four years ago, Marianne Vos became, at the age of 21, the first cyclist to win a world championship title in three different disciplines: road, track and cyclo-cross. Now, he has accumulated eight in cyclo-cross (in 2006, from 2009 to 2014 and in 2022), two on the track (points race in 2008 and the scratch in 2011) and three on the road (2006, 2012 and 2013). ).

He can also boast, among other things, that he won the Olympic gold twice – the point race at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the road race in London in 2012 – three times the Giro General and five Flèche Wallonne.

“She has done a lot for women’s cycling, and her record speaks for itself. Above all, she is a very kind woman who does not put herself first »smiled Marion Rousse, who held his shoulders during his years spent in the professional peloton.

What also impressed the Dutchwoman’s career was her ability to overcome setbacks to last at the highest level. In 2015, Marianne Vos suffered back problems and was only able to compete in two races that season. But he returned the following year, persevered and returned to victory before reclaiming, in 2019, the top of the world hierarchy.

“Being on the podium by his side is amazing”

“He has been an inspiration to me in many ways, over the years”greets Mark Cavendish, also author of an impressive return, in 2021, after three years of crossing the desert.

Henk Vos, the father of the champion, remembers this summer of 1996 when the Tour de France stopped in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the excitement of his 9-year-old daughter. In his desire to collect the autographs of his favorite runners. Now it’s his turn to endorse icon status.

Recently crowned world champion on the road, in September 2021, the Italian Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), 23, announced it, on Eurosport, all the praise she has for Marianne Vos, that she will come to get ahead of the sprint:

At one of my first races, I asked to take a picture with him. So being on the podium with him was amazing. I have always admired his ability to win any type of race. I think he is an example for everyone. »

Since the first pedal stroke of little Marianne, almost thirty years ago, the women’s peloton has grown, specialized and professional. “Before, there was only Marianne Vos. Now we also have sprinters, punchers, climbers”joked about world, in 2021, Belgian cyclist Jolien D’Hoore, now retired. The queen must learn to share her throne. To his great joy.

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