Marianne Vos: It’s very special to wear the yellow jersey

As a child, Marianne Vos spent many summers traveling the Tour de France with her family, climbing Alpe d’Huez and many other iconic mountain passes, to watch the men compete for three grueling weeks in their quest for the yellow jersey. .

She never imagined that one day she would wear it herself – there was no running for women.

The doors opened for professional women at the flagship sporting event which, for the first time in 33 years, welcomed 144 world-class women to compete in the rebirth of the women’s Tour de France.

Vos runs with his Jumbo-Visma team where the goal was to win stages. She achieved that goal when she sped straight through the finish to take the stage 2 win from a small late-race breakaway in Provins.

The win also put Vos at the top of the overall standings, and suddenly something that was once impossible became a reality – she donned the yellow jersey.

“Winning also meant taking the yellow jersey, which is something special and I will suffer tomorrow and enjoy it,” Vos said.

“I went to the Tour de France as a kid to watch and saw all the guys riding. For me, the last in the race was as much a hero as the first, they were all doing their best every day and ran for three weeks.

“At that time there was no Tour de France for women so having the yellow jersey was not even a dream. Now that it’s there, it’s big, and it will be very special to wear the yellow jersey and it will be very special to wear it during the race.”

Family Matters and Milestones

Tour de France leader Marianne Vos with her parents Henk and Connie after stage 2

Tour de France leader Marianne Vos with her parents Henk and Connie after stage 2 (Image credit: Getty Images Sports)

Vos crossed the finish line uphill in Provins and collapsed on bales of hay fixed as roadside barriers. It was hot and she was out of breath, which was rare after her monstrous effort, and because she soon found herself surrounded by cameras, microphones and the press, all eagerly awaiting a reaction to her success.

Bursting into the mixed zone of journalists, her parents, Henk and Conny, and her brother, Anton, rushed out to throw their arms around her and celebrate another milestone in a 16-year career full of them.

“It’s special to share a moment with people close to you,” Vos said of his family’s dedication to his career. “I also know that even when my girlfriend is not around, she supports me. My father and my parents are always, if not on the run, also with me in their hearts. It’s also cool that they are there at all times. the finish line to enjoy and celebrate with me.”

Vos says this is the second major women’s Tour de France stage she has experienced, the first being winning the inaugural race of La Course in 2014 – an event many consider the stepping stone to the Tour of France Women.

“Nine years ago we were talking to ASO about an opportunity to get a race. It was very quick to get La Course started,” Vos said. “When we first raced on the Champs-Élysées, it was an important stage. Now, to be back for a stage race, a real Tour de France, where all the emotion of a stage race, is another important step.”

Vos has rarely, if ever, spoken of her retirement, but at 36 she now questions her longevity in professional cycling.

She’s been described as a GOAT (greatest of all time) for a 16-year career that’s taken us on a journey of 13 multi-sport world championship titles, two gold medals at the Olympics and a remarkable career of 32 stage victories. at the Giro d’Italia, and much more – and now the yellow jersey.

“They say age is just a number. I feel good and I try to be my best when I can. The most important thing is to have fun and be able to ride the bike every day. Health is very important, but as long as I’m healthy and having fun and then racing with this team, we’re very motivated to work for each other for a win. to keep working and getting the best out of myself,” Vos said.

“Age doesn’t play a role, except of course my experience could help me. That doesn’t mean I never make mistakes. I keep learning.”

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