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I’m thrilled to introduce all of you to Jeanine Laudy, Ella’s new race reporter.
An elite cyclist herself, Jeanine also has an impressive background in cycling journalism. She comes to us from Feminin Magazine, a women’s cycling magazine, where she served as editor in chief. In addition to Feminin, Jeanine has been freelancing as a journalist and editor for a variety of different cycling publications as well as doing some PR and marketing work. She even co-wrote a book about about the 2011 Giro Donne.
Based in The Netherlands, Jeanine will be providing race coverage of the Women’s WorldTour and beyond.
I think she’ll be a great fit for Ella and am stoked to have her on board.
Join us in welcoming Jeanine to the Ella CyclingTips community.
– Anne-Marije Rook
Being a Dutchie, I learned to ride a bike when I was around four or five years old. It’s not a special skill you acquire when you live in the Netherlands, it’s just something you have to learn at some point in your life. Like how to brush your teeth, how to swim or how to file your taxes. I therefore didn’t see it as something special either and it wasn’t until I was 22 that I bought my first race bike. I passionately followed men’s cycling on TV but it somehow didn’t occur to me that I could be riding a racing bike myself. At the time, women’s cycling didn’t get the media attention as it does now.
A whole new world opened up for me when Marijn de Vries started writing about her attempt to become a pro cyclist at the age of 30 and successfully made it onto former Olympic champion Leontien van Moorsel’s team.
So I bought a race bike and started doing weekend rides with a bunch of guys at a cycling club near my house. I had just finished my masters and was looking for my first job; I had loads of time to ride my bike (in between applying for jobs, of course). Soon I was no longer a beginner, but was getting ‘compliments’ that I cycled “like a guy”.
That was when someone at the club suggested racing. Ambitious as I was, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.
I was included in the elite racing team – and found out I was still far, far removed from being an elite cyclist. While I felt like a pro riding with the guys at the club, I now learned just what it takes to become a racer: lots of training hours, much dedication and no fear of pain. In our national races in the Netherlands, women race among pros like Marianne Vos and Ellen van Dijk. This means you either decide to work really hard to get to the level where you can you can hang in or you quit racing. As cycling had become my life, it’s not hard to guess which decision I made.
It took me four years of racing before I got to the point where I didn’t get dropped in every single race. Last year, I sometimes even rode at the front of the peloton or attacked. It was a completely new experience, which only made me more addicted to racing and riding my bike. As someone who wasn’t a sporty child at all and was always one of the last to be chosen in the gym team, it sometimes surprises me that I do not mind getting on the bike every day, riding the rollers or doing gym sessions. Not only that; I actually love it!
Around the same time I discovered cycling, I also started my career as a journalist. Women’s cycling quickly became the major topic in most of my work. Although there has been a massive change already in the amount of media attention that women’s cycling receives, there is still a long way to go. Where I have experienced my limitations in competing with the pro riders in the races, I do know where my strengths lie. That’s in writing about this beautiful sport we all love and introducing the world to the wonderful women that make up the professional peloton and their amazing feats.
I’m very honoured to be joining the team at Ella CyclingTips, a forerunner in its professionalism in writing about women’s pro cycling. I will be providing you with all the info on the first ever Women’s World Tour. Together, we’ll discover what this first edition brings to women’s cycling and its loyal followers.
I can’t wait for season 2016 to really take off!