Procycling

THE BEST VERSION OF HERSELF

Maybe after 15 seasons as a professional bike rider, you’d think a sense of routine would have long set in when a new year comes around, that familiarity would have overtaken the novelty and anticipation that riders at the start of their careers feel when a new season begins. There’s a comfort that comes with routine. You know what to expect and the effect of that is grounding, even when the routine of a pro athlete means travelling around the world and never staying in one place for long. The neverending cycle of racing, to off-season, back to the start of a new season, is entrenched in an athlete’s psyche. The calendar is familiar, the race programme, by now, would be fairly consistent. Even the hotels riders stay in tend to stay the same year-in, year-out, while the knowledge of how to get the best out of yourself would be fairly set. You’d imagine it could feel even more routine if you’ve won almost everything there is to win in your sport, sometimes multiple times.

Marianne Vos, however, is looking ahead to the 2021 season with a renewed feeling of excitement. Fifteen years after lining up for her first race as a professional road rider, Vos seems full of the same bright-eyed enthusiasm you’d expect from a neo pro.

Vos has good reason to be looking forward to the new racing year. For the first time since she turned pro back in 2006, she has joined a new team, having transferred to Jumbo-Visma’s women’s squad, after spending her entire career within the same team structure - albeit one that changed

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