A few months ago I joined Team dsm-firmenich mid-season from ABLOC CT. Being a new face in the team, I want to tell you all a bit more about myself and reflect a bit on how my year has been.
Born near the city of Leiden in Warmond, the Netherlands, I grew up in a family where bikes – not really race bikes – were of importance. Illustrative of this is the fact my parents met each other for the first time during a cycling holiday in Portugal, so the bike was a big a theme in my childhood. When I was younger, I didn’t race myself, but I liked to follow it. Coincidentally, I recently came across an old photo from one of my birthday celebrations when I was younger; everyone there had been given a white shirt to make their own football jersey; most of them had Ajax, Feyenoord, or the Netherlands, but I had made a world champions jersey with the famous rainbow stripes. This shows that cycling was already an important part of my life back then.
I initially played korfball [dutch version of Basketball or Netball] in elementary school but then tore my cruciate ligament back then, which prevented me from participating in most contact sports. Running was already challenging, so when I was twelve, I started cycling. However, I like pushing myself to go as fast as I could, and when cycling on my own got boring, I started racing against others and quite quickly got into it. I wasn’t an amazing rider, of course, but I was very good at pushing myself to get better every year – which I still do now!