Residence: Maastricht, Netherlands
Team: Park Hotel Rooding CT 2010& 2011
PPL Belisol Cycling Team 2009
Clean Currents p/b Don Beyer Volvo 2008
Languages: Dutch, English, Spanish
Vo2max: 78 (2009) 84 (2008)
Resting HR: 34bpm
Back in the summer of 2006 is when I started this adventure, earlier if you include all the years that my parents forced me to bike to school. "Its Dutch tradition" my parents told me, whenever I stubbornly put on my raincoat, only to arrive at school with frozen hair for the hundredth time.
That spring I showed up at my first group ride clad in some running gear and my old Mongoose mountain bike. Amazed that the experienced cat 1s had a hard time dropping me on the climbs, the local bike shop, The Bicycle Place lent me a real road bike - and thats how it started. Along the way I recieved a lot of support and positive feedback, especially from my good friend and mentor Aziz Elhallou and also from the guys from DC Velo. That summer I entered my first Cat 5 race and managed to win, after what still seems like the longest solo of my life. That day I realized cycling was more than just a sport! That immense feeling of satisfaction remains unparalleled.
And here I am today still dreaming of where this road may one day take me. In June, 2008 I moved to the Netherlands to pursue my dream of becoming a professional cyclist, I was quickly slapped in the face by the harsh cycling culture. Since then I have come a long way and slowly feel at home in the Euro-peloton where over the years I have developed into an aggressive all-rounder favoring hilly terrain. The winter of 2009 was a winter that I wanted to make it all happen. Put in more hours then I had ever done, be more focused on my goals and work hard to realize them.
Unfortunately it became a winter worth forgetting. In November while out on my city bike my front wheel hit a hole in the road, I toppled over the bars and wound up breaking my elbow and wrist. If that wasn't enough, 8 weeks later, 2 weeks after having been cast free a car smashed into me while out training. The result, a broken collarbone, depression, and the worst possible start to the season. Two weeks later I underwent surgery to get my shattered collarbone put back in place. Three days later I left to Mallorca with my team, hoping to be able to turn my luck around. Luck wouldn't have it and after one day on the bike I could literally not move my upper without being in shear pain. Every morning I watched as my jolly teammates climbed on their bikes only to return in the late afternoon. I spent my day watching TV, half drugged by painkillers.
In 2010 I tried to make the best of it but without a winter of long, hard training I wasn't able to book the progress I had intended. Now more than ever I want to show everyone how much I can accomplish in this sport.
You can beat me down, but I will always get up. A motto I have lived by the last two years.
My goal is to race the Amstel Gold Race and the Tour and my dream is to one day win the Amstel Gold Race.
A glimpse of the past: