Books, training and quiet in the middle of nowhere: How Marianne Vos prepares for Rio

by Anne-Marije Rook


The Dutch cycling federation last month announced its team selection for the Olympic Games in Rio with Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv), Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS) making up the women’s team.

With just a month and a half till the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio de Janeiro, defending gold medallist, Marianne Vos is trying to find a rhythm away from the media frenzy and publicity requests, which are getting busier and crazier by the day.

“It could keep me busy full time,” she penned in a recent blog post. “But it’s very important that I won’t get distracted…Train, eat, sleep, compete. That is the rhythm on my road to Rio.”

This is why the winningest female cyclist of all time is looking for some peace and quiet as she enters her final weeks of preparation before Rio, during which she hopes to make a few more fitness gains.

Vos only returned to racing this spring, after having been sidelined for nearly a year, and was uncertain about the future of her career.

“Last season I was doubtful that I would ever reach this level again,” Vos says. “But I did and I am still makes strides forward.”

Good form in Aviva Women’s Tour

Last week, Vos showed good form in the Aviva Women’s Tour where she took home a stage win, rode in in the yellow leader’s jersey for a bit and in the end, finished in fourth place in the General Classification.

“While I was close, I am still falling short in the hills especially,” says Vos. “Therefore I must race smarter and conservatively.”
“Luckily I can still make marginal improvements,” she continued. “Gains will come from the smallest details so I look forward to my training camp. I really want to dot the i’s.”

Peace and Quiet

After the Dutch national championships this weekend, Vos will be spending some time in Italy on a training camp while the rest of her Rabo-Liv team races the Giro.

“I’m mostly looking for peace and quiet. In a location in the middle of nowhere I’ll be able to train on the flats as well as in the mountains and do exactly was is best for me,” she says.

Vos reveals that she’ll be taking a stack of books with her, including a biography of Dutch judoka and gold Olympic medallist, Edith Bosch.

“Athletes can learn a lot from each other and a book like that gives me extra inspiration leading up to the Olympic Games,” says Vos.

The fruits of her trainingcamp labor will be put to the test at Thüringen Rundfahrt before maiing her final pre-Rio appearance at La Course in Paris on July 24.

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