Marianne Vos, seven times the world champion in cyclo-cross, will once again race a truncated 'cross season, beginning in December, according to AD.nl. The Dutch woman hopes to regain the rainbow jersey she last held in 2014.
Vos dominated the elite women's fields from the moment she aged out of the junior ranks, winning her first elite world title in 2006 at the age of 19. She soon matched that achievement on the road circuit, winning the UCI Road World Championships in the same year.
From 2009 to 2014, Vos won six straight gold medals at 'cross Worlds and added two more titles on the road, but an injury early in the 2014 cyclo-cross season led to a physical collapse after she took third in Tabor at the 2015 World Championships. It put Vos out of competition for the entire 2015 road season and 2015-2016 'cross season. After a shortened road season in 2016, Vos returned to cyclo-cross in December, building to a strong second-place finish at the World Championships earlier this year.
The 30-year-old is still keen to regain her world title, but knows she has to be careful with her schedule to avoid another collapse, and plans to race a dozen events this year.
Vos' exact schedule for the season is still to be decided, in the past she has raced at Scheldecross, which falls on December 16 this year, but will likely toe the line in Zolder. About her ambitions she was clear: "I want to be world champion."
Last year's defeat at the hands of Belgian Sanne Cant still fresh in her mind, Vos said, "I am going to race a short, well-thought-out 'cross season.
"Cyclo-cross racing has always been good to fit in the build up to the road season. For example, I never got the same intensity training on the road they way I did the 'cross races."
Vos will travel to Australia for a three week training camp in Perth before starting her 'cross season.