• Every Monday,

    20 Minutes

    gives the floor to a sports actor or actress who is making the news.

    This week, place for the Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos.

  • Triple world champion and Olympic champion, the Dutchwoman is among the favorites for Paris-Roubaix, which is held on Saturday.

  • This will only be the second edition of Hell of the North for women.

Marianne Vos has strong cervicals.

It is necessary to support the weight of all the medals won during her career, a hundred, at the very least, including the titles on the road of Olympic champion (2012) and world champion (2006, 2012, 2013).

It is also necessary in the face of the hardness of the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix which await the 34-year-old Dutchwoman and the whole peloton, Saturday, for the second women's edition of the Hell of the North.

Interview with the one who has all the qualities of Wout Van Aert, Primoz Roglic, Rohan Dennis and Christophe Laporte, who are in the same team as her, together.

Last year, before Paris-Roubaix, many runners had mentioned the fear of facing these cobblestones for the first time.

What about you?

It was excitement and fear at the same time, maybe the word fear is a bit of an exaggeration.

But you know at the start that it's going to be a difficult, tough race.

I don't think there are many runners who want to do the cobbles every day.

During the race, you stay focused cobblestone sector after cobblestone sector, you know what you have to do, you've prepared for it.

You know it's going to be tough, but that's what makes this race so special.

When you enter the velodrome, you still feel a big relief and you're happy to be there, especially since I, last year, fought to win [she finished second].

It is one of the greatest races in the history of cycling.

And it was great to be part of it for the first time last season.

Is this the toughest race on the calendar?

It's hard to say.

The cobblestones are really complicated, you can make the race easier for yourself, but after that it's the runners who do the race.

Paris-Roubaix remains one of my favorite races, but it's so hard that you don't really know if you want to participate.

When everything is going well, you are lucky, no mechanical problems, you can really have a good day.

But all the races are hard, even those without relief.

Each has its own characteristics.

How is the training for this type of race, which only takes place once a year?

The advantage is that the last Roubaix took place not so long ago [October 3], so everything is still fresh in our minds.

Last year, we really didn't know what to expect, other than what we saw on television.

There, we will leave a few days before with the team to do good reconnaissance and identify the cobbled areas.

Especially since conditions may change.

Last year it was wet and we hope it will be a bit drier.

We were talking about difficult races, tell us about your Tour of Flanders, on April 3, where you finished 20th…

It was a tough race and I wasn't really on my best day, so I wasn't really happy with my race and the feel.

But it was good to have the spectators back on the side of the road.

After two years without spectators, it was impressive to see the world on the side of the roads, we know the importance of the Tour of Flanders for the Flemings.

I hope they enjoyed the race.

In your career, you have won almost everything, what drives you to still line up at the start of a race?

For me, it's not a question of winning this or that race.

I try to give the best of myself.

We have wonderful new races on the calendar and I want to have fun, have a good time with my teammates.

Obviously, afterwards, we want to have the best possible results.

Can Paris-Roubaix be a locomotive for women's cycling?

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— 20 Minutes (@20Minutes) October 1, 2021


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After the arrival of Paris-Roubaix last year and the Tour de France this year, what are the next steps to further develop women's cycling?

Women's cycling is really in a good moment.

If you look at the calendar, with Paris-Roubaix, all the spring classics, the addition of the Tour de France to what already existed, it shows the popularity of our sport and its professionalization.

For me, there is not much more to do to improve further.

The teams, like the Jumbo-Visma, are now really at a very high level.

If I look back, ten or fifteen years ago, and where we are now, we can be really happy.

Are there bridges between the men's and women's teams at Jumbo-Visma?

Yes, for example, for the spring classics, we did the preparation together.

But until now, because of the coronavirus, we were still a bit in different bubbles.

But when possible, the team wants to do things together so that we learn from each other, that we motivate each other.

It's a good thing, it's definitely a team sport.

But we still have different races, separate courses, so we don't do everything together.

With Annemiek Van Vleuten, Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak, you, and even Anna Van Der Bregen (who retired last summer), how do you explain this incredible potential in the Netherlands?

I don't know if there is a special recipe.

If you look at the Tour of Flanders, you have nine different nationalities in the top ten, which also shows the state of cycling, which is very international.

But it's true that we have very strong runners.

And when you see champions around you, it inspires you and motivates you to reach their level.

There is an emulation to go to the highest.

And then, we really have very high level infrastructures and clubs.

Young cyclists therefore have the means to develop.

But I don't think we are ahead of the others.

We are also lucky compared to the generation that we have at the moment.

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Paris-Roubaix: How can the Hell of the North be a locomotive for women's cycling?

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Paris-Roubaix: Britain's Elizabeth Deignan wins the first women's edition

  • Cycling

  • Cyclist

  • paris-roubaix

  • Netherlands

  • Interview

  • Sport

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