In men’s cycling there are many top Dutch riders. But the Dutch delegation in the women’s peloton is also serious about winning. Marianne Vos is part of this peloton, and although she has been sitting at the top for some years now she is still a threat in almost every discipline.

Cyclo-cross

Vos’ first success came in cyclo-cross. In this discipline she became the European cyclo-cross champion for the first time in 2005, and she took the world title in Zeddam the following year. Again in 2006, Vos decided to take part in the World Championship of road cycling in Salzburg where, at just nineteen, she took the rainbow jersey as winner. And, with that under her belt, the legend of Vos was born.

In the twelve years that followed, her success only increased. When she tried her luck on the track leading up to the Beijing Olympics, she first won the women’s points race at the 2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships and then took the Olympic gold medal in the same discipline later that year.

Photo: Cor Vos

We are barely covering all of Vos’ career highlights, though, because she has achieved so much more than any other female rider. Her success is unprecedented. She’s won almost every race she entered. In 2012, for example, she became Olympic champion on the road in London. In 2011, 2012 and 2014, she took the general classification in the Giro d’Italia Femminile (a.k.a. the Giro Rosa), on top of a total of 21 stage wins.

Photo: Cor Vos

An example for the rest

After 2014, Vos’ winning streak slowed down. She had some injuries, and a lot of new talented riders started racing. But that might be what makes her stronger; in Dutch competitions she does not seem to have any problems with taking on the new rising stars, and continues to win races. She became European champion on the road in 2017 and took a stage in the Giro Rosa this year.

Photo: Cor Vos

So, it is too soon to write her off as a major competitor. She is only 31 years old and still seems to have fun at what she does, meanwhile continuing to inspire anyone who would like to have a professional cycling career.