After a difficult start to the cyclo-cross season due to illness, seven-time 'cross world champion Marianne Vos says she is on the mend and preparing for a possible eighth title in the race which will take place on her home soil in Valkenburg next month.
Vos, who was second to Sanne Cant in last year's world championships, has yet to crack the podium this season - her best was a fifth place in the Zolder World Cup on December 26. She decided to skip her national championships to recover, and says she is now training again.
"Luckily, I'm feeling better and have been training for a couple of days," Vos said on her Waowdeals team web page. "It all feels well, even though I have, of course, not yet progressed to the point where I should and want to be."
Rather than take part in this weekend's World Cup in Nommay, Vos will instead fly to Mallorca to join her teammate Pauliena Rooijakkers for a training camp.
"I will benefit at this point more from a training camp than a cyclo-cross race," Vos said.
She will return in time for the Hoogerheide World Cup on January 28, a race she won last year, and then compete at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, which takes place on the Cauberg course on which she has won three times (2011-2013). It's a last-minute rush to the line to be in top shape for the race, she admits.
"I realise the scenario is far from ideal, but I feel more fit and that means another step forward."
The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships take place on the weekend of February 3 and 4.