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Marianne Vos Special Episode | Ask GCN Anything At The OVO Energy Women’s Tour


(smooth jazz music) – This is a pretty important day for GCN. We have arranged an
ask with Marianne Vos who is, I would say, the
best cyclist of all time. I’m not even gonna start
listing all her achievements because it would take up the whole video and then we wouldn’t have
time to ask her any questions. We have loads of questions from you guys. So thank you very much
for sending them in. I’m gonna get stuck in. First of all, thank you very much for making time in the
middle of the women’s tour when your racing and you
need to be recovering. – Yep, thank you, no problem. – Yep, we’ll keep it brief. I’m sure you can talk fast. – Yes, let’s try. – Let’s roll. – First of all, we’ve got a
question from Jones Karlstrom. He would like to know,
“What do you think are “the key factors that
made you so successful, “in fact the best cyclist in modern time?” – That’s a difficult
question to answer briefly. – Yeah, one word answer please. (laughing) – It’s… Of course it’s a little bit of talent, a little bit of I love cycling. I think passion for the
sport is really important. I started when I was five, six. That’ not so important in cycling. You can start later, but it’s easier because of the bike
handling and everything. I just love to ride my bike. As a kid you learn everything quicker. Then probably dedication
and the will to win, and that’s… Yeah, that combination
might be a key factor. Then good people around who keep you in the right direction
when things go wrong or when things go really well. That’s also to keep you grounded, but the support is really important. – Yeah, I noticed that even
when you’re maybe not training, when you have a day off,
you still go riding. Riding is also your hobby I think as well as your profession. – Yeah, it’s not a joke
that my Twitter says full-time hobby cyclist. That’s how I feel it. It’s great that I can do that as a job, as my daily occupation. Yeah, it’s the best thing for me to do. – Okay, there’s a question from me now. How do you keep that love for cycling. You’ve been racing since you were five. That’s amazing. There were times when I was racing, and I didn’t race nearly that long, when I hated cycling. On a bad day, I hated it. It’s hard to keep that passion when it’s also your job
and there’s the pressure. I know maybe you don’t
love cycling everyday, but is there a way that… What is it for you that makes you love it? – I don’t know. It’s the freedom. To go out on a bike, I like the training, but I love the competition more because it’s every time a game. You’re there with a team. You have to make a plan. When everything comes together, that’s the biggest
satisfaction you can have from what you do. Of course, no, it’s not everyday great. Sometimes I stand up and I feel bad, or the training doesn’t go well, or you’re injured or whatever. Everybody goes through that, but it makes it even better when everything works out well in the end. You’ve done all the things right. Yeah, then a good day or maybe
even a good result or a win, that brings the satisfaction
that you are aiming. – The highs are high. (laughing) – Yeah, the highs are high, and
of course, the lows are low. Yeah, it makes up. For me, that’s it and
those peaks and lows, that’s what, I think, sports makes it… Well, the emotion, makes so beautiful. – So, we now have got some
questions from Ozlem Ceyhan. He sent three questions in,
but we’re gonna stick to one which is, “Do you have pre-race
routines in the morning “of a big race and/or the
evening before the races?” – Ah, I think through the years, of course, you get some routine, but it’s not that I have to do something that makes me feel good or makes my day or I have to do because
then I make a result. I like to have everything
done in the night before so everything right, packed my bag. Because in the morning, I’m
not such a morning person. I don’t want to think in the morning. I just want to get ready for the race, and then have my breakfast. There is routine because
breakfast is normally three hours before the race. That’s in general because if
you jump into the breakfast in a race hotel, normally
everybody is there around three hours before the race so that’s not something specific. Yeah, then we go with the team. Normally we have the meeting. We get changed, do some
stretching, and then sign in. – This is from Thomas Willingham, and he says that you have
admitted to singing in the Peloton and even on the climbs. So which song that you sing
most annoys the other riders ’cause I would find– – It’s not the song, it’s
more the moment in the race that can really annoy people. I don’t really… Well, if I’m just focused and in the race, then I don’t know I’m singing. – Oh really? It’s not deliberate? You just burst into song
because you’re so happy. – I wake up with a song in my mind. Then that keeps on going. Normally it’s often in the descent because I like to float in the descent. – Okay, I was never close
to you on the descent so I didn’t hear it. (laughing) – (laughing) Sometimes, yeah,
it happens in flatter sections or not often in the climb because then I need my breath as well. – I can imagine that would
really annoy other riders if they’re suffering and you’re singing. – Then it doesn’t really
matter what I’m singing, the debt I’m singing, and yeah. Sometimes people laugh because… Then it’s just a boring
stage and I’m just singing. – Okay, wow. – Most of the time it’s not so– I don’t sing so well and (laughing) it’s all
the time the same sentence. – Yes, ’cause it’s the one that
you have stuck in your head. – (laughing) So it’s not so good. It’s not very– – It can be quite annoying
if it’s an annoying song and it’s stuck in your
head for the whole– – Yeah, but it’s even
annoying for me. (laughing) – Yeah, yeah. Maybe you should ask them to
play some music on the radio and then you could hear
something different. – Yeah, yeah, sometimes my
teammates sing something totally different back so
that I forget the one song. – Do you, when you’re
warming up for timed trials, do you have music that you
listen to so that you have the right song in your
head for the timed trial? For me, it was very important to have a good song in my
head for the timed trial. – No, no, in the past, I
always did my warming up on the tech’s trainer with
music and with some… But, in the end I like it better without. Just to hear what
something’s that’s around, but also just to be in my own zone. – Chap called Fat bloke on a
bicycle who asks (laughing), that’s a good name, “How do you
stay motivated and committed “to training, especially when coming back “from ill health or injury?” – Actually, it’s not easy, but it’s easier to come
back because you improve so you get better and
you feel the improvement. Of course, it goes up and
then it goes two step back. That’s really annoying
because then you think, “Okay, maybe it will never get better.” Yeah, but I always think,
“Okay, there is something in me “that can ride a bike.” – Probably. I think we’ve got that out. – Yeah, why not and why
not just try to get there and get that feeling again
because I know where I… Yeah, what I can and I know what I want. And then, yeah, I just
commit to what I have to do. Even better that I like
to do what I have to do. It’s very motivating when
it goes better and better, and it’s really annoying
when it doesn’t go better. I have to say, and then
sometimes it’s difficult. – Yeah. – But yeah, then with the right support and also with the trust that it will, in the end, get better if you
keep doing the right things. Health is the most
important thing in there. I know if I stay healthy
then we’ll be okay. – You have enough years
of experience to know that if you do the right thing,
you’ll get back there. Yeah, that’s good. Mr. Jibs asked, “If you
hadn’t taken up cycling, “what profession do you
think you would be doing?” – I would have ended up somewhere… No, (laughing). No, I don’t know. I always wanted to be a doctor, and I never thought professional
cycling would be a thing. – Okay. – So yeah, I loved riding my bike or never thought until
16, 17 years of age. I didn’t think it was an option to be a professional cyclist. Then things went fast. I came into the elite category and even dropped my
study because of cycling. – What age did you drop studying? – I started biomedical science. – Really, I had no idea. – Something close medicine. Yeah, I dropped that when
I got 20 years of age. – That’s actually a questions. I can’t find it now, but
somebody else’s question. When did you think that professional cycling
was an option for you. I assumed you’d be aiming
for professional cycling from the age of five. That’s really interesting for me– – No, because yeah. Women’s cycling wasn’t that big then. Of course, in the past we have had great Dutch female cyclists
so they paved our way and they did great things for us. That the sport would grow that much and I would be one of the lucky ones to be able to be professional. Yeah, I never thought of that. I remember an interview
after my first junior worlds in Verona where I had no
idea where I would end up, but we were with a strong Dutch team. I was able to finish it off
and take the rainbow jersey. I remember an interview then. – It was your first rainbow jersey. – Yeah, it was the first one. Then I said, well, this
might be the start of more. Of course, I was very happy
and very shy and emotional. Then I remember I thought,
“Okay, maybe there’s a future “for me in cycling.” – This is from Troy Collett. “What’s the toughest training
session you’ve ever done?” – The good thing about cycling is that you don’t remember the bad days. There’s something in you
mind and that works very well is you just switch off. (laughing) – So maybe not the worst day
on a bike, but the hardest– I found that the toughest
training sessions I did when I was feeling good, and then I could do a really crazy ride. – The toughest days are the
days that you’re not good. – Yeah, this is true. – Because then you’re struggling
and everything feels bad and you just don’t push enough power, and it’s just not going well. – You wish you didn’t
have power me to that day. – (laughing) Yeah, so that’s
the toughest sessions. – So a given Tuesday in April
where things didn’t go good. – Probably things that I, yeah, the really bad training
and then it’s cold, and you didn’t bring enough food. – And the coffee shop is closed. – You have to push that power
in a certain amount of time and it doesn’t work. That’s the toughest days. – Annetretteketet would like to know, “Does Sjekkie enjoy coming to the races?” – Sjekkie,
– Sjekkie, sorry. – She really likes to get
attention from people. So she doesn’t really like
all the cats or whatever. It’s the attention from
people she’s really seeking. Coming to a race, she just
loves it when everybody’s around especially here, in the women’s store.
– Is she here? – Oh great! We should explain, maybe. – Who’s Sjekkie. (laughing) – Marianne has a cat which
comes to all the races with her. Not in the race, I should say. She’s not on the bike. That would be amazing. She’s in your camper van? – Yeah, I have to say my parents travel with the family cat. Sjekkie is at nearly every bike race, even more bike races than I am in. Sometimes I have a training
period or whatever, but my parents still travel with the cat. Sjekkie’s been everywhere. – Cycling Enthusiast would like to know, “What was your first bike?” – My first bike. That was a Brumotti and it was a green. Well, of course as a
kid, color is important. – Still is for me. (laughing) – (laughing) It was the smallest
bike my parents could find. – And you were five? – It was really tiny, yeah,
because I wasn’t so big, and still not, but at that
moment I was really, really tiny. – So did you have pedals
or was it a balance bike? – No, no, no, it was my race bike. – Oh, you had a race bike! – My first bike. Oh no, when I was nearly six, so I was five in April
and I got that bike. – Wow, what size wheels? – Oh, smallest. (laughing) The smallest, I don’t
know, really, really small. I couldn’t get to the pedals, so my dad had to stick the saddle onto the top tube because
otherwise I couldn’t get there. Yeah, it was my first bike. – Next question’s from Davis
S. and he’d like to know, “What exercises do you do off the bike “and how long do you spend doing them, “and do you stretch?” – Yeah, I do some core
training, stretching. Stretching is part of the daily routine. Core, depends on the racing. I have to say, in a stage race, core is not part of my daily
routine, and it’s stretching because it’s enough trouble
for your body in a bike race. Otherwise, it’s two,
three times a week core. During the winter, I tend to
do some more power training, but during the road season, I– – So weights training? – Yeah, but during the road season, I like it more to do that on the bike and to get the core and stretching done. – Next question is, “What
is your next cycling goal “that you would like to achieve?” You’ve achieved quite a lot, so finding a new one
– What’s the next goal? must be tricky. – The next goal is tomorrow try
to win the stage. (laughing) No, it’s… That’s not true. That might be true, but
the next goal is to try, just to try to get the best out of myself. – “Does one ever get tired of winning “because that’s a whole lot of medals?” – Oh no, no. No, you never get tired of winning. Well, I don’t. – I’ve never heard anybody get
tired of winning, actually. – No, it’s such a good feeling that you want to have it again. It’s more like an addiction, I think. – Daniel Costello would like to know how you combine cyclo-cross
racing with road racing and last a whole season
racing so strongly? You don’t have very much time
off, I think, in the year. – I do. I do take, yeah, I do take time off because you have to. I have to say in the past I
tried to combine everything, and sometimes it works,
but in the end it’s good to take your rest. I’ve always taken a good break between road season
and cyclo-cross season. – How long do you take? – Yeah, actually about
three, sometimes four weeks. It doesn’t mean I’m not at all on the bike or not doing anything. Yeah, no real training schedule. One time on the bike, maybe
some swimming one time. Maybe some… Yeah, holiday without the bike, but some hiking or some walks. I like to be outside
and I like to be active, but I don’t push my body in that period. Then the combination of
different disciplines keeps you fresh. When you do some different
things, like cyclo-cross. I’ve done track in the past. It’s a different world. Of course, it’s still on the bike, but you have different environment. You have different
trainings, different mindset. – The mental stimulation is different. – Yeah, it would be boring if you do just same thing all the time. So you need a break. – Alright, James Lloyd would like to know, “What interest do you have
outside professional cycling? “Where do you see yourself
going after cycling “when you don’t want to race anymore?” – People always think I’m only cycling. I’m like, cycling is my
life and of course it’s big. Well, it’s important in my life. It’s a big part of my life. As a pro athlete, there’s
not many other things you do, but it’s not only my life. I have a broad interest
in different stuff. I love reading. I like music. I can’t, like I can’t sing. I can’t play any instrument,
but I love to listen to music. – Leonard TheMan would like to know how were you introduced to cycling? – Well, that’s the old story from parents put me into cycling. My dad was a goal keeper in the past, and then he got injured. That’s often how people
also get into cycling. He got injured so the only thing he could do as a sport was cycling. He fell in love with the sport. My older brother, he was nine or ten. At the moment, they got him a bike and I went with them to the trainings and watch them riding. There weren’t so many
girls riding bikes then, but for me that was not an issue. I just wanted to do the same. – At that age you don’t care. You just want to do. – Yeah, I just wanted to ride with him. That’s when my parent found the tiniest bike they could find. Yeah, I got into cycling. I immediately crashed into a tree. I got bruised everywhere,
but I still loved it. – That’s impressive dedication. You must’ve really loved it. Onno Meeuwis, he sounds
like he might be Dutch, would like to know, “Why are Dutch female
cyclists so much better “than the female cyclists
from other countries?” It’s a question I often ask myself. – It’s not so much better. I have to admit the Dutch
are doing really well at the moment and that’s,
of course, cool to see. What it is, I don’t know, but the structure is great and
we’ve always had ride support from the Federation. There is good teams. Also good clop teams,
so that makes it easier to grow through from youth to the elite. – A lot of women who start
riding at grass roots, and it has been for a long time. – Yeah, yeah, and then I think when you have those top athletes, to get to the championships,
you have to go with them. You’ll have to get that… Level to even compete. That’s really motivating each other. I think it’s really motivational. If you see what the others do, and we learn from each other so we might be opponents in
different teams during the year, but then that might be a
good thing about Dutch, you can’t tell about other countries. Yeah, we have some training camps together and that’s also funded by the Federation, so that’s a good thing. Then yeah, we want to beat
each other in the races, but we also help each other
to get to that higher level. – Then the last question, I think. This is from Siva Tharun Patibandia who would like to know, “How do you push through the pain barrier, “and how do you quiet
your mind when you doubt “whether you can win the race.” If that ever happens. – That’s so, two questions again. On a bad day, you can’t push through. That’s what I explained. It’s difficult. On a good day, I always
think what pain do I have now in this race that is more than
all the trainings I’ve done to get here and to do this. Maybe it’s 10 minutes,
maybe it’s 15 minutes, but then it’s over. What’s that 10 minutes then? Yeah, make it worth it. You’ll suffer anyway, so
you better suffer well and get a good result from it. – That’s a brilliant saying. You’re gonna suffer anyway,
so might as well suffer well. – (laughing) Yeah, I
have to say it’s easier when you see the finish
your see the top of the hill because then you know
okay (clap) that’s the end and then it’s gone. That might be a difference
between you and me, as well. – The descent was my worse nightmare, so at the end of the
race is not at the top. – You know, okay, I’ve
done so much training. I’ve done all these things to get here and then, yeah, make it worth it. When I doubt if I can
win the race or do well, that of course happens. You all have that voice
that says you can’t do it. Then yeah you can. We all have this talks with inside. Yeah, sometimes it’s just
a teammate that says, “You’re lookin’ good.” Sometimes it’s just, of
course you have to go through. What I like in a race is
that you need to focus on the process. You need to focus on what’s happening. You have to react on
the things in the race so that distracts you from
pain or anything else. – Yeah, road race is so complicated. The whole time you’re thinking
about moving forwards. – Yeah, it’s a constant puzzle. Do I wait, do I go? Do I attack or do I just follow? What’s the next thing for the team? Where’s my teammates? That constant puzzle and it’s great. I love to do it. That’s also different from,
for example, a timed trial because that’s
– Very different, yeah. a different thing because
that’s also a mental game. That’s mental, pushing through the pain. The tactical game of a road race, that’s something totally different. – You’re also extremely
good at time trialing. I’ve seen you in time trials. – Yeah, it’s not my
favorite kind of thing, but I also like that ’cause you
have to go through the pain. When things go well, that’s
also a beautiful discipline. – Can I ask a few quick questions from me? – Yeah. – Did you try fish and
chips yet in England? – Yep. – Did you like it? Honestly, honestly. – Honestly, yeah. (laughing) Honestly, but yeah, of course
you don’t have it that much that many times as a cyclist because… – It’s pretty heavy. – It’s not so healthy. Yeah, it’s good. – What’s your favorite place to train? – Oh, that’s difficult. I love to train at home, but of course home is quite flat. Then it’s good to go away, but it’s always good to come back home and then be home and
ride your daily routine. I have to say I love the mountains and Italy is great for me. I always like to go there
and see some different cities and the tiny villages. Not the cities, actually,
the tiny villages with the small roads and
the cobbled sections, nice, small cafes. – Thank you Marianne for your time. That was fascinating to
me and I hope to you guys. Give it a thumbs up and follow Marianne, Twitter, Instagram and
at Women’s Tour, please. – Thank you.

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