Marianne Vos is a Dutch cyclist who is frequently termed as the best and most successful female rider ever. Spanning over the course of three different decades and four disciplines - Road, Track, Cyclocross and Mountain Bike - Vos is an Olympic, World, European and Dutch champion in multiple disciplines. Aswell as being the female rider who has won the most over the span of her career, she holds several records over the age in which she has taken some of those.
Name: Marianne Vos
Born: 13 May 1987
Birthplace: 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Turned Pro: 2006
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Marianne Vos was born the the central Dutch city of 's-Hertogenbosch on the 13th of May 1987. Little did the habitants of the medium-sized city know they were witnessing the development of one of the most talented and successful sportswoman of all times, who carries with her countless track over four disciplines of cycling, a master of all trades. She has been compared to Eddy Merckx, and frequently termed the most successful female cyclist of all times. Vos currently races for the women's Jumbo-Visma team. She is said to have had a salary of €400.000 a year during her time in Rabo-Liv, however currently her salary revolves around €80.000 per season. She was also reported, in 2013, to have a VO2 max of 72.8, and having a 5 minute top power of 6.63W/Kg.
Vos grew up a lover of sports, and practiced speed skating before her journey into cycling began at 14 years of age, via mountain biking. She has obtained meaningful titles on Road, Cyclocross, Track and Mountain Bike. Perhaps less noticeable was her career on the MTB, where she has nevertheless taken four national titles in the junior category from the age of as young as 15 years old. She is believed to be the partner of Moniek Tenniglo, an Italian former pro rider and teammate of Vos.
On the track, a tertiary discipline for her, she has taken an Olympic title in the 2008 edition at the Points Race. In the same year she has won the Points Race at the World Championships, and later in 2011 took another set of rainbow stripes in the Scratch discipline. Despite her little focus on it, she has also throughout her career taken national titles in the Points Race, Scratch and Madison.
In Cyclocross she has early in her career made history. At the age of only 16, she has took her first pro win and became the youngest ever World Cup race winner in Pijnacker, 2004. She was in her first year as a junior rider, and the record has until today not even been close to beaten - and very likely will never. Vos was from early on a world-class talent, the type cycling has rarely ever seen. Her second year as a Junior saw her take another win amongst pro level. Her first year at under-23 level saw her become European Champion (at Elite level) and later on World Champion in Zeddam at the age of only 18.
This was only the start for Vos, nicknamed 'The Cannibal'. She has won a grand total of 7 World Championships from 2006 to 2022, 2 European titles (2005; 2009), 7 National Championships from 2011 to 2021, and a total of 83 total career wins - of which a whole 28 have been at World Cup level. These stats alone would put her in a legendary status, with records that are unlikely to ever be beaten. However, Vos didn't limit her talent to these three disciplines, as she has has taken up road cycling where she has further shocked many, to this day.
Vos started her career on the road in 2006 in the DSB - Ballast Nedam Team. Over the years this team has seen many terminologies, later becoming the Rabobank Women Cycling Team; Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team and CCC, between others. Right on her debut year she became Road Race national champion, a title she also conquered in 2008, 2009 and 2010 - with time-trial titles in 2010 and 2011. She has became Olympic Champion on the road in 2012 back in London, a win greatly received by the Dutch fans at the time.
Vos was World Champion too on three different occasions, with her first title being on her first season as a pro at only 19 years of age. She has then taken the same title in 2012 and 2013, with an almost unbelievable streak of 2nd places in five different consecutive occasions from 2007 to 2011. She has finished second once again in the 2021 race. She has also taken an European Champion title of course, this one most recently in 2017.
Her tally of wins is so incredibly high that many will dispute the actual real number - perhaps without much consensus - depending on the category. On the road alone, as of October 2022, Vos is - according to Pro Cycling Stats - having a whole 248 wins over her career. To name each would be an eye-watering task for even the most experienced readers.
Over the most important classics in the women's peloton Vos has won the following: Trefeo Alfredo Binda (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2019); Ronde van Drenthe (2011, 2012 and 2013); Gent-Wevelgem (2021); Tour des Flandres (2013); Amstel Gold Race (2021); Flèche Wallone (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013); GP de Plouay (2012 and 2013) and the Vargarda WestSweden RR (2009, 2013 and 2018). With the creation of resurgence of races such as Paris-Roubaix and Tour de France Femmes, between others, Vos is likely to expand her career in order to try and enrichen her palmarès even further.
Vos has won a total of 32 stages at the women's Giro d'Italia, another record that is unlikely to ever be topped. She features other massive multiple achievements such as three titles at the Ladies Tour of Norway and a total of 12 stage wins at the Tour of Scandinavia. At La Course by Tour de France, the one-day race most connected with the Tour for years, Vos has won in 2014 and 2019. In the returning edition of the Tour de France Femmes she has won two stages, proving to still be at the very highest level of the sport.
Vos has, from 2007 to 2014, taken from 18 to 31 wins on the road alone, making for a tally that is unequaled. With her career ongoing and currently leading Jumbo-Visma, the Dutch veteran still has the ability to expand what is already a piece of cycling history.
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