Road and cyclo-cross world champion Marianne Vos (Rabo/LivGiant) is re-arranging her season for 2014. After a year of racing road, 'cross and mountain bikes with few breaks plus dealing with an injury, the Dutch woman plans to cut back on her mountain bike racing this season. However, she remains focused on possibly racing both road and mountain bike events at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil in 2016.
"With Rio in sight, I decided to opt for a longer rest time between 'cross and road," said Vos according to her team's website. "In addition, there will be no focus on mountain bike racing this year, although that doesn't mean I won't be mountain biking."
She will start her road season later than usual with the Fleche Wallone on April 23. Together with her team manager Koos Moerenhout, she is arranging a 2014 race program that better balances rest time and competition.
"It's been very busy for the past few years for Marianne," said Moerenhout. "The seasons ran into each other and they went from peak to peak, but that took a lot of strength. Last year, she found her limit. There has to be a different approach. Sometimes you have to put on the brakes. Even Marianne has to stop sometimes."
Vos realizes that she often asks a lot of herself. "The past year has been very heavy. It was good for me, especially in view of Rio. I think we now are less likely to overload me. My mindset about the year-round program should be different. It'll be good to encourage my teammates to step up. I'm convinced that we have a world-class team that can compete for the win on all fronts."
Vos reported that her back problem seems to be solved. She underwent surgery in the fall of 2013 to address the issue.
"I am not fit. I feel good. My back pain is gone, and I want to keep it that way," she said.
She will focus on the World Cup and the Worlds, especially the team time trial and the road race, and she plans to continue to promote women's cycling, especially new developments like the women's event to be held in conjunction with the Tour de France, and new races in the United Kingdom and Norway plus the possibility of a women's Vuelta a Espana.
"The new developments around the women's [race] calendar and the balance in my program give me a lot of confidence to achieve my personal goals and for the future of women's cycling."