Representing Netherlands Age 43 Home The Netherlands Occupation Simpelveld Council infrastructure project manager – team leader
I started running since I was 9 years old, did almost nothing in sports for a few years when I was around 16-17 and took up cycling when I was 19. First with some friends in the local woods and after a few years I started racing XC and liked it a lot. In 1998 I participated in the first Transalp Challenge with a friend of mine and since then I was hooked to MTB Marathon racing. I did the Transalp Challenge 7 times and in 2005 and 2006 I got 10th and 8th. I also did the Crocodile Trophy in Australia twice and got 3rd overall in 2001. Thinking about all those beautiful races I realise it’s been more than 10 years ago now. Although I stopped racing a lot, I still ride my bike regularly and try to do around 3 races a year. Races like the Maratona dles Dolomites, Dreiländergiro, Grand Raid and such are so great to be in, I just need to do something like that a few times each year.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I raced MTB from 1995 to 2006. In the first years I raced mostly XC-races and some road races. In 1998 I made the switch to marathon races. In 2007 I stopped racing a lot and just rode my bikes for fun. But being in competitions is so nice, so I decided to do some races again, just 3 or 4 each year and I try to pick some special events then. This year I will probably do the Incadivide only, which is enough I think. In winter I do some running races, but no serious results to brag about there…
Why did you sign up for IncaDivide ?
I’ve been reading a lot about adventure races like the Transcontinental and the Tour Divide and it’s something I wanted to do once in my life. Maybe after the IncaDivide I will say “never again”, but you never know if I will get addicted to this kind of racing. In stage racing I liked the daily rhythm of eat-ride-sleep-repeat and an adventure like the IncaDivide is the ultimate in this. The fact the whole race is in the Andes where I’ve never been before, is the icing on the cake!
What bike/equipment are you planning to use ?
I’m still in doubt if I will use my road bike with 28mm tires or my gravel bike which can accommodate 35 mm tires. It will depend on the road conditions I will expect to encounter. I started to make the track I will be riding during the IncaDivide and I still need to decide whether shorter and more gravel will be faster or longer and more tarmac.
You have completed 363 races up to now with 81 podiums! What ambitions do you have for IncaDivide 2017?
Most of those races where more than 10 years ago, so my ambitions for the IncaDivide are modest: finishing this beast is my ambition. I don’t know how the altitude will have an effect on me and how I will cope with riding multiple loooooong days in the saddle, so I’m totally not sure how long it will take me to reach the finish in Cuzco. I aim for 15 days, so I can still travel to Macchu Picchu and do some sightseeing around Cuzco before I fly back home.