Marianne Vos’s Sportive Tips
Marianne Vos, 2012 Olympic Road Race champion and triple world champion on the road, rode the 2014 Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix and also took part in the following day's Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.
We asked Vos for her top three sportive tips.
The Climb: Part 1
Being prepared is half the battle – you don’t have to do a full reconnaissance of every climb but you should use the internet to try to find out as much as you can about the hills you’ll be tackling. Many pro teams will use Google Earth to analyse the final kilometres of a climb.
Try to figure out how long the climb is so you can properly gauge your effort. With a climb it is important to not give it your all at the bottom. Your goal will be that you go as fast or faster at the end as at the beginning. The best thing to do with climbs is to ride around your threshold zone. Keep a good rhythm with a cadence around 80/90 revs per minute. Don’t use too big a ring as this will sap your strength, and don’t use too small a ring as this will cost you a lot of energy.
Don’t look at the distance but at the duration of a climb – five kilometres of climbing is different to five kilometres on flat roads. Try to eat and drink during your climb, because your body needs the energy.
The Climb: Part 2
When you see the pros cycling on television you will notice that they sometimes have their hands on the top of their handelbars and at other times they’re on the drops.
On a climb with many corners you should ‘accelerate’ into the corner, getting out of the saddle, standing on the pedals and giving your speed a boost, and then sit down and find your rhythm again. You should do this with every corner.
If a climb doesn’t have many corners, now and then get out of your saddle and speed up a bit then sit back down and find the right rhythm again. How long you stand on the pedals depends on the person – some pros stand a lot while others remain seated.
What to wear? I often stand in front of my closet, looking outside and wondering what I should wear. I always wear plenty of layers, which I take on or off during my training. I would advise you to do the same.
Wear layers so you can easily take off some clothes when you are getting too hot. You don’t want to over dress and not be able to take anything off when you heat up! On every ride I always take leg warmers, arm warmers and a gilet – all items that you can easily take on and off.