Marianne Vos has put the final touches on her form heading into one of the most important racing blocks on the season where she will target the Dutch Road Championships, Giro d'Italia Donne and the Tour de France Femmes.
Vos was sidelined from racing due to COVID-19 ahead of her spring target at Paris-Roubaix Femmes. She attended a training camp from May 10-19, and although she returned to racing at the one-day Veenendaal Classic, she has not raced since May 20.
She recently completed an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada where she was preparing for her upcoming targets beginning at the Dutch Road Championships on Saturday in VAM-Berg, followed by the back-to-back Giro d'Italia Donne (June 30-July 10) and Tour de France Femmes (July 24-31).
"Bye bye Pradollano. Time to leave the mountain and to go home and get ready. After 3 weeks altitude and aiming for the right balance between training and relaxation the final countdown towards some beautiful racing is there," Vos wrote in a post on Instagram. "Next: Nationals RR 25th of June, Giro 30th of June, TdF 24th of July. Excited."
Vos is a former five-time national road race champion but has not won the title since 2011. This year, the race will be held across a 123km route that finishes on the VAM-Berg.
She will then head to the Giro d'Italia Donne where she will be a major contender for stage wins, undoubtedly aiming to increase her record number of stage wins which stands at a whopping 31 - won between 2007 and 2021.
The Italian event will begin in Cagliari on June 30, the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia, which will host the first three stages along the eastern coastline. Following a rest day on July 3, the race will travel from Sardinia to the mainland ahead of stage 4 in Cesena.
The route will then travel northward, passing through Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto, and includes a mountain-top finish at Passo Maniva. before concluding on July 10 in Padova.
The newest event on the calendar will take place just two weeks later at the Tour de France Femmes. The opening stage will be held along the Champs-Élysées in Paris where Vos won the inaugural edition of La Course in 2014, a race she won again in Pau in 2019.
"At La Course, every year was very special, after the first time I won on the Champs-Élysées, to be part of the Tour de France," she said in an interview for Femmes du Tour (opens in new tab) on Youtube. "I also thought there would be space to grow. Now there is the moment that it comes from a one-day race to an eight-day race to a full Grand Tour.
"To be honest I never thought about being part of the Tour de France when I was younger and at the side of the road cheering for the guys. To be part of it now is a first in something else."
The Tour de France Femmes will cover 1,029 kilometres and include two stages for the puncheurs, a stage packed with gravel sectors, and four flat stages and back-to-back mountain stages before finishing at the summit of La Planche des Belles Filles.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.