An important cyclo-cross weekend awaits us. Both Inge van der Heijden and Marianne Vos start on Sunday at the European championship cyclo-cross. Inge races in the morning (10.30) with the U23; Marianne in the afternoon (13.45) with the elite. Both start with a good dose of confidence.
Marianne is having a very successful cyclo-cross campaign. Until now, she finished in all crosses of the season on the podium, with five on the highest spot. “I was physically doing well prior to the cross season and was able to carry on the achievements from the road. I am aware of my role as favourite. I also know that I have not been overly dominant to already claim the European jersey. Another race awaits us on Sunday in which all riders at the start have an opportunity to get a good result.”
The course is varied as well as fast, Marianne noticed during the recon. “If you’re in good shape, it doesn’t matter much where you race; you can handle quite a bit. There are fast zones, but also parts which require more technique. The lap is nevertheless rather similar to the one from last Sunday in the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde, which had slightly more shorter climbs. I have in any case completed a good general rehearsal.”
Inge starts on Sunday in the U23 league. “It is not easy to guess where I could end. I had a good start of the season, but I also feel I did not perform equally well in all crosses. A European championship is always different. There are often “championship riders” who prevail in this sort of races. The lap is nonetheless ideal for me, especially if it stays dry. It is fast with long stretches, even though there are enough obstacles forcing you off the bike. If I have a strong day and a good start, I should be able to get a place in the top five.”