Thrilling news today as Marianne Vos announced her return to the peloton this weekend at the UCI 1.2 Drentse Acht van Westerveld.
The news broke during a press conference for the cycling festival Wijk & Aalburg, of which Vos’ home race the UCI 1.2 7-Dorpenomloop Wijk & Aalburg (nicknamed the “Marianne Vos Classic” in honour of her multiple wins is part) is part.
This news comes as a pleasant surprise as just a few weeks ago, Vos wasn’t able to put a date to her comeback yet.
“I would really like to be able to give you an answer to that question, because it can’t come soon enough”, she told Ella editor Anne-Marije Rook over a cup of tea after the World Cyclocross Championships weekend. “Of course, I’m chomping at the bit but I’m not ready yet. I can’t force it.”
She and her team have obviously concluded the time is now and Vos will make her first race appearance since the 7-Dorpenomloop Wijk & Aalburg in May of last year.
The team’s official announcement on the Rabo-Liv website however states that the Drentse Acht will be the only race on Vos’ schedule for now. An evaluation after the race will determine how she will continue after that.
“I’m really looking forward to my comeback and I’m very pleased to be able to join my teammates again”, Vos confirms. “The goal for this race is not to win, but to get some race kilometers in my legs, which is most important at this stage. I’m not yet at the level where I want to be or should be, but I’m fit enough to race.”
“It is going to be strange not having raced for ten months. My return in the peloton is a very important step in the build-up to the level where I was when I stopped racing.”
Both the Drentse Acht and the 7-Dorpenomloop are part of the TopCompetition, a classification of five UCI races in the Netherlands. Assuming Vos will also race in Wijk & Aalburg this year, she might be going for the TopCompetition classification.