Tuesday 31 January 2012

Holland Ladies' Tour suspended

Just when we think things are looking up for women's cycling, a new disaster - the organisation behind one of the sport's premier events, the Holland Ladies' Tour, has announced that it has been forced to temporarily suspend preparations for the 2012 edition due to lack of sponsorship.

Chairman of the organisation Marten de Lange says, "We need a miracle for the race to go ahead at this late stage, but we will continue to look for one. However, the towns that would have been hosting stages need to be aware that there are uncertainties."

It is understood that a main sponsor has pulled out and several smaller firms have also withdrawn their support from the race, which was due to start on the 4th of September and would have provided a rehearsal for the 2012 World Championships. Women's cycling has had a tough time of it in recent years with many races being brought to a halt for the same reason, among them some of the sport's greatest events such as the Women's Tour de France. Several teams have also closed after loss of financial backing.

Women's races are unable to generate attendance figure rivaling those of men's races for a number of reasons - a general feeling that they are somehow less exciting (not helped by certain UCI figures), lack of exposure on TV and in the press and other factors - which has the effect of convincing sponsors that they're not getting value for the money they put in. This means the sport has always lived hand-to-mouth on budgets that are miniscule compared to men's racing; but the problem becomes worse each time an event is forced to close, as racing is what generates exposure - thus the problem fuels itself. It's a tragedy when any race comes to an end, but the damage done is far greater in women's cycling - especially when it's a race as prestigious and important as this one.

Vos only Dutch rider to formally qualify for Olympics

Marianne Vos is - remarkably, considering the excellent performances of the Dutch women over the last year - the only female rider from the Netherlands to have gained sufficient points in the UCI World Rankings to formally qualify for this year's Olympics says Wielerland.nl. Vos has 1734.92 points - more than 600 in advance of second place Swedish star Emma Johansson and over a thousand more than the next best Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten.

Monday 30 January 2012

Women's Tour of Qatar

Stage 1, 1.02.12
Camel Race Track - Al Khor Corniche (97km)
Stage 2: 2.02.12
Al Zubara Fort - Madinat Al Shamal (114.5km)
Stage 3:  3.02.12
Katara Cultural Village - Katara Cultural Village (92.5km)
Total: 304km

Stage 1
Stage 1 - click for enlargement
(Copyright GeoAtlas/ASO)
The race begins at the Ash Shahaniyah camel racing track some 34km north-west of capital city Doha (25°24'20.66"N 51°12'39.51"E), then heads south-east for 2.87km on a flat road before arriving at a junction. Here it turns north into the desert, passing a zoo and game reserve at Lekhraib after 4km before arriving at Al-Aturiyah after 12.5km. This initial section rises no more than a few metres but is very exposed, providing an introduction to desert racing for those who have not previously competed here. The remainder of the parcours is much the same; primarily on flat, open desert roads with few urban areas and gaining no more than 229m from start to end - however, much of that gain is in the form of short, steep ramps that collectively sap a rider's strength. Wind is an issue throughout a race such as this one - and in the desert, it can blast riders with sand and grit. Team Hitec's Johanne Bergseth went for a training ride on Tuesday morning, then reported on Twitter:

 Johanne Bergseth 

First ride in Qatar. I liked the tailwind until we turned..

Continuing north for 13km, riders reach a crossroads and turn left to follow an arrow-straight road north-west for 13.6km to a sub-station (25°43'31.04"N 51°10'15.93"E). Once again, the terrain is flat; but with little shelter - high temperatures and wind could make this a challenging section more than sufficient to cause early abandons. The stage's first intermediate sprint is located at the end of this road.

Beach at Al Khawr
(image credit: Martin Belam CC BY-SA 2.0)
Having turned north-east, the route proceeds 8.37km through the desert to a left turn (25°47'22.08"N 51°12'53.71"E) where the riders head east past Muzraat al-Suwairiyat. They pass two cross-roads and an army camp, then gradually downhill to the second intermediate sprint leading to the Al Shamal Road 64km from the start of the race. Here, they turn north again and continue for 5.39km to a large motorway intersection and follow the slip-road leading east then south-east past Simsima, 6.5km ahead. 9.2km after Simsima is a roundabout (25°45'14.34"N 51°28'31.30"E) where they will continue straight ahead towards Al Khawr - a sculpture on the the roundabout looks like a huge, bright blue herring pointing at the sky. Hundreds of pylons carry power cables away over the desert and numerous gas drilling flares in the distance can be seen - the chimneys themselves are often obscured by haze, leaving the uncanny illusion of flames burning in the sky.

5.62km to the south-east, the race arrives at a roundabout on the far edge of an industrial development and turns south-west to enter the final section of the stage. Along this section we get our first look at the Persian Gulf - a brackish inwater forms a natural harbour where traditional dhows can be seen moored alongside  enormous private yachts. After 4km, the riders arrive at the Al Khawr Corniche finish line, 97km from the start. The vast majority of Al Khawr's 31,500 residents are members of the Al Mohanadi, a Bedouin tribe consisting of seven families that continues to rule the city as it has done for long before Qatari independence in 1971. Local income comes mainly from the fishing industry, though the oil, gas and service sectors also employ many people; and the city is famous for its vast number of beautiful mosques, some very ancient and some built within the last few years.

Stage 1 altimetry (click for enlargement)
Stage 2
Stage 2 (click for enlargement)
(image credit: © www.letour.fr)
Stage 2 visits the beautiful and largely unpopulated north of Qatar, a land characterised by wide expanses of desert broken up by rocks and occasional small communities. Riders may be assisted by strong tailwinds for the first part of the stage, whereas strong crosswinds could cause problems during the latter half once the route turns north. We'll also see the nearest this race comes to a mountain during this stage - the parcours climbs 25m from 8m to 33m in the first 18km, but as the remainder of the route is fairly flat total elevation gain is approximately the same as Stage 1.

The stage sets out from Al Zubara Fort, which looks medieval but was in fact constructed in 1938 on the foundations of an earlier fort. It remained in military use until the 1980s, also serving as a coastguard station, before being restored as a museum - visitors are asked to make a donation on entry. 2km to the west is the ruined, deserted 18th Century city of Al Zubara - once Qatar's most important community and a centre of the pearl fishing industry. Qatari ownership of this region was disputed by Bahrain for many years following Independence in 1971. Murair Fort, some 1.5km from the remains of the city, is of similar antiquity.

Al Zubara Fort
(image credit: Rafeek Qatar CC BY-SA 2.0)
Once the fort is left behind, the race sets out eastwards into the empty desert and passes by the little towns of Lisha and Musaykah after 5km - really just a few small buildings scattered around irrigated fields - then continues for 20km to the first intermediate sprint (25°51'16.05"N 51°15'27.73"E), just north of Al Ghuwayriyah and 23.5km from the start. Just north of the road a short way after the sprint ends is a modern farm with the peculiar-looking circular fields that are the most efficient for mechanised irrigation.

34.5km from the start, the riders arrive at the North Road and turn left before arriving after 5km at Madinat al Ka'ban, a rather unlovely little town in the middle of nowhere. To the south-east is - of all things - an ostrich farm, though at 3km from the road those of us fortunate enough to be able to get footage of the race won't be able to see anything. The road is arrow-straight for the next 17.6km with little to see other than the desert and an occasional small farm. This section is far enough inland to escape the worst of the crosswinds blowing in off the Persian Gulf, but with little between the road and the coast winds may still be an issue. February is Qatar's rainiest month (receiving an average of 17.8mm) but, with an average temperature of 23C, it may still be hot ; especially in direct sunlight - and there's absolutely no shade at all along this route.

After 56.5km from the start of the race, the North Road begins to curve gradually to the west, then the riders come to the entry point of the final circuit (26° 2'41.27"N 51°19'52.34"E) near Athba. The circuit is 56.5km in length, accounting for half the entire length of the stage, and riders will cross the finish line once before the race ends. Almost immediately after turning right to head towards Al Ghariyah, there is a ruined fort a short way from the road. Much of it has been all but reclaimed by the desert, but one restored tower is the highest point for many kilometres. The road runs straight for 2.84km, then bends gently to the west as it passes by the modern beach resort - the old town, which is a few kilometres north along a crumbling road that follows the coastline, is probably far more interesting than the resort.

Al Ruwais' three blue water-towers are a landmark
(image credit: ThorstenS CC BY-SA 3.0)
The road bends through 0.66km once the riders have passed by the turn for the resort, then enters a 10.5km section which, with the exception of two bends so gentle they're hardly noticeable, is perfectly straight. A bend takes the road north-west at a point where the second part of the circuit can just be seen 1km to the south; then the riders begin a 3.35km straight section to a left-hand bend and on towards Al Ruwais, one of the most important industrial sites in the Middle East. The residential area housing workers is a complete, self-contained community with shopping malls, schools, a hospital, mosques and everything else imaginable; yet it is so remote that inhabitants are unofficially known as Ruwaisians rather than Qataris. The port can be seen from the road - the traditional dhows look like paper boats as they bob next to enormous supertankers visiting the oil and gas refineries.

As the riders arrive at the residential area, they turn south-east back onto the North Road to complete the second half of the circuit and cross the finish line for the first time (26° 7'40.19"N 51°12'29.19"E). The second intermediate sprint begins here, the straight and slightly downhill road encouraging high speeds as riders compete for the points. They pass to the south of Madinat Al Shamal Park - a recreational area featuring a very rare sight in Qatar: tall, mature trees - then continue to the Ash Shamal Sports Centre where local teams are very likely to put on some sort of show as the race goes by. The following 13.4km are straight, traveling through the desert just south of the route already taken to Al Ruwais, and come to an end at the turning towards Al Ghariyah where the second circuit begins, following the same route back to the finish line.

Stage 2 altimetry (click for enlargement)
Stage 3
Stage 3 (click for enlargement)
(image credit: ©  http://www.letour.fr)
The third and final stage begins and ends at the Katara Cultural Village, an urban area in the north of capital city Doha, and begins to climb immediately. Like the earlier stages, the highest points only reach around 30m (Qatar's highest point, Qurayn Abu al Bawl, is only 103m above sea level); though the undulating nature - with some steep ramps - of the landscape makes this the hilliest stage of the race with a total elevation gain of 257m. The majority of the second half of the stage, as it heads back towards Doha, is within a few kilometres of the coast and as such is subject to crosswinds and dust.

The riders set off along Street 850 (25°21'29.04"N 51°29'13.67"E) past the CNA-Q University campus, heading west to the North Road where they turn north-west and continue for 13.2km out of the city to Umm Salal Ali with its famous fort. The North Road is a modern motorway, offering little to see other than an occasional interesting building along either side - the Barzan Towers, 9km from the point where the race first joined the road, are the highlight; a pair of defensive buildings in the traditional local style and of unkown antiquity. A third tower can be seen a short way off, part of a 19th Century fortified house that once belonged to a Mohammed bin Jassim - the Emir of Qatar and Prince of Doha for one year until he abdicated in 1914 to allow his brother to rule.

Barzan Towers
(image credit: Jungle Boy unknown licence)
At Umm Salal Ali, the parcours turns right and then left a third of a kilometre later to join a much narrower road leading north into the desert. The first 3km of this section pass farms, then it's more desert to Umm Jurn some 5.5km ahead with only one or two irrigated areas to break up the monotonous arid landscape. As the riders pass the little town, they have completed 27km since the start of the stage and will begin the first intermediate sprint.

2.2km after Umm Jurn, the race arrives at a tunnel leading under a road they'll use on the way back (25°33'58.35"N 51°25'7.14"E), and then 9.6km later to the second intermediate sprint ending at Umm Suwayia Farm. The riders turn south-west here for a 6km section leading back to the North Road. There are large numbers of semi-wild camels in this area, which sometimes bring traffic to a halt as they wander into the road - not a hazard regularly encountered in European races.

(image credit: Amjra CC BY-SA 3.0)
The interchange at the North Road is a busy route for trucks heading east towards the major industrial city of Al Khawr, where Stage 1 ended, which means there is a likelihood of slippery patches caused by spilled diesel - a particular hazard if the roads are wet (February is Qatar's rainiest month). Having turned south, the riders follow the North Road for 6.3km until they arrive at the tunnel they passed under earlier. This time, after turning east, they travel over it and continue for 4.36km towards Sumaysimah; as they're heading towards the coat along this section there may be strong headwinds. They then turn south along a gently curving desert road that leads for 8.16km past the other side of Umm Jurn to the Lusail International Motor-Racing Circuit which motorbike racing fans will recognise as the location of the Qatari MotoGP. At this point, the stage is 72.5km from the start with exactly 20km still to go and, as the coast is just a few kilometres away to the east, powerful crosswinds are likely.

Once the circuit is left behind, the route continues for 11.6km through open desert and to the west of a concrete manufacturing facility - a site that even its own architect would be hard-pressed to call visually appealing - before arriving at the Doha Golf Club. Just north-east of the golf course lies the Lusail Project, where an enormous artificial lagoon shaped like a 1km wide comma is being constructed - this will become the centre of a new city, planned to provide homes for more than 250,000 people when complete - the stadium will host the 2022 Soccer World Cup. Among the many ambitious features of the project is "district cooling," whereby entire sections of the city are artificially cooled to prevent the need for domestic/industrial conditioning (details of exactly how this will be achieved are scarce; however, the city is designed to be as sustainable as possible - hopefully, the environmental costs of the cooling will not be too great).

The Pearl
(image credit: Dereckson CC BY 2.0)
There is a roundabout at either end of the golf club - at the second, the race turns east for 2.15km, the south over a bridge towards the island in the centre of the West Bay Lagoon. To the east of the road are the twin ZigZag Towers, which look exactly as would expected, and beyond them The Pearl-Qatar. This four million square metre island was the first part of Qatar where land could be bought and owned by foreigners and, when complete, will consist of thirteen islands in the shape of a string of pearls. The architecture and community is intended to combine the best of Arabic, Mediterranean and European; doing so with varying degrees of success. Overall, it works as well as can be expected, though the effect seems rather synthetic and lacking the chaotic, vigorous and human feel of a genuinely multicultural town where people from different backgrounds have lived together for many years. The finish line is approximately half a kilometre beyond the second bridge (25°21'44.12"N 51°31'17.50"E), 92.5km from the start of the stage.

Stage 3 altimetry (click for enlargement)
Starters (subject to change)

001 VAN DIJK Ellen
002 BECKER Charlotte
005 HOSKING Chloe
006 WORRACK Trixi

011 BRONZINI Giorgia
012 ANDRUK Alona
013 BATAGELJ Polona
015 DONATO Giulia

021 WILD Kirsten
022 BRAS Martine
024 SPOOR Winanda
026 VAN DER KAMP Laura

032 DE VOCHT Liesbeth
033 DÜSTER Sarah
034 KITCHEN Lauren
035 KNETEMANN Roxanne
036 TALEN Rebecca

041 CROWELL Jacquelyn
042 OLDS Shelley
043 RIVERA Coryn
044 RYAN Kendall
045 SCHNEIDER Samantha
046 WILES Tayler

053 BORCHI Alessandra
054 CECCHINI Elena
055 GUDERZO Tatiana

061 BUBNER Janine
063 KASPER Romy
064 POHL Stephanie
065 SANDIG Madeleine
066 SCHNITZMEIER Anna Bianca

071 ARNDT Judith
073 CROMWELL Tiffany
074 MACLEAN Jessie
075 RHODES Alexis
076 SPRATT Amanda

081 CANTELE Noemi
082 BARTELLONI Béatrice
083 CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia
084 PATUZZO Eleonora
085 SCANDOLARA Valentina
086 VANNUCCI Chiara

091 HENRION Ludivine
092 DUYCK Ann-Sophie
093 HANNES Kaat
095 TAYLOR Cherise
096 VAN LOOY Katrien

101 BIANNIC Aude
102 CORDON Audrey
103 JEULAND Nathalie
104 JEULAND Pascale
105 LESUEUR Melodie
106 VERHOEVEN Aurore

111 BERGSETH Johanne
116 WAERSTED Froydis

SKIL-1t4i (SKI) 
121 BRUINS Regina
122 KANIS Janneke
124 TROMP Esra
125 VAN RIJEN Linda
126 VISSER Adriana

131 CHEN Li
132 HUANG Dongyan
133 LIU Xin
134 LUO Xiaoling
135 YUAN Yunyun

141 BEYEN Ine
142 BRULEE Latoya
143 CROKET Gilke
144 POLSPOEL Maaike
146 VEKEMANS Aniska

Sunday 29 January 2012

CX Worlds Results - Vos triumphant

It's been said that Marianne Vos versus the rest of the world is not as uneven a match as it at first appears (except to those who have followed her career and know that the world doesn't stand a chance). The 24-year-old Dutch cycling phenomenon proved this to be the case once again today with a record fifth World Cyclo Cross Championship on the challenging Koksijde sand dunes, breaking away early and leaving the rest of the pack to battle it out for the silver and bronze medals. Incredibly, she was not at her best - sand is not her ideal habitat and she revealed after the race that she hadn't been feeling 100%; but Vos running at 75% remains devastatingly effective. She rode with Sanne Van Paassen for a short while, then gained a lead and kept building on it by powering up the dunes with a slightly fudged dismount and late bike change having little impact on the ultimate outcome. Having now won five times, she becomes the joint second most successful rider in the history of the cyclo cross World Championships alongside André Dufraisse and Renato Longo - Erik de Vlaeminck is first with seven (but Marianne's only 24 - she has time to top that).

Daphny Van Den Brand is noticeably a better rider on this parcours, looking far more at home on sand than Vos though she can't match her for power; her technical skill allowed her to take a very well-deserved second place 37 seconds down. Sanne Cant also rode well, despite falling on a corner,  and crossed the line just a second after Van Den Brand.

Britain's Helen Wyman says she's been working on improving her starts and the fruits of her labours were very much evident today - she was fastest away from the start line and led into the first corner before being caught by the mighty Dutch and Belgians at the first dune. An unpleasant-looking crash later in the race sent her face-first over the handlebars, but she was back onboard and making up for lost time within seconds; unscathed but for a mouthful of sand. Unfortunately, she couldn't quite take the top ten finish that British fans were anticipating - luckily, Nikki Harris was there to take responsibility and finished a very impressive 6th, while Wyman took 13th..

The sight of Caroline Mani and Sophie de Boer, both initially feared to have sustained broken bones after a crash in the early part of last week's final World Cup round at Hoogerheide, will have been a welcome one for all fans of the sport regardless of their nationality. However, this race was not without upset - in a post-race interview, a UCI official caused controversy and disbelief by asking Vos if she felt that she was "killing the sport" by winning too many races: a question that many fans have declared insensitive out of a very reasonable belief that she should be allowed to celebrate her achievement.

The question was also stupid. Did Eddy Merckx kill cycling? Did Sean Kelly kill Paris-Nice? Did Lance kill the Tour? Of course not - each of them, through their excellence, brought new fans. Each, through their dominance, forced other riders to improve their own performances in order to match them - and men's cycling benefited. Now Vos is doing the same for her sport; and with the likes of Pat McQuaid claiming after the World Road Race Championship that women's cycling is insufficiently developed for female riders to deserve equal pay to their male counterparts, Vos' reign can only be a good thing - just as Beryl Burton was good for women's time trial racing in Britain. Helen Wyman summed things up perfectly last week when she said, "Despite missing two rounds, [she] has shown that she’s pretty much the standard setter for us all and we all need to raise our games."

Bring it on, Marianne. By winning so much, you're breathing new life into women' cycling. The sport needs you - and long may your reign continue.

Elite Women

  1 Marianne Vos Rabobank Ladies Team 00:41:04
  2 Daphny Van Den Brand WV Schijndel 00:37
  3 Sanne Cant Boxx VeldritAcademie 00:38
  4 Sanne Van Paassen Brainwash 00:49
  5 Katherine Compton Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 00:53
  6 Nikki Harris 01:03 (best British rider)
  7 Sophie De Boer WV Schijndel 01:05
  8 Katerina Nash 01:11
  9 Jasmin Achermann 01:12
  10 Lucie Chainel-Lefevre 01:54
  11 Pavla Havlikova 02:43
  12 Sabrina Stultiens Brainwash ST
  13 Helen Wyman 02:45
  14 Christine Majerus Team GSD Gestion 02:46
  15 Linda Van Rijen Skil - 1t4i 02:52
  16 Arenda Grimberg 03:01
  17 Gesa Bruchmann 03:30
  18 Caroline Mani 03:36
Best-placed British rider Nikki Harris
(image credit: Wielerpro.nl CC BY 2.0)
  19. Nicole Duke 03:40
  20 Meredith Miller 03:54
  21 Olga Wasiuk 04:52
  22 Martina Mikulaskova 05:04
  23 Amy Dombroski Cranckbrothers 05:21
  24 Joyce Vanderbeken 05:34
  25 Kajsa Snihs 05:39
  26 Kaitlin Antonneau Exergy Twenty12 05:41
  27 Rocio Gamonal 05:43
  28 Sabrina Maurer 05:56
  29 Nikoline Hansen 06:19
  30 Asa Maria Erlandsson 06:34
  31 Alice Maria Arzuffi 06:55
  32 Ayako Toyooka 00:01
  33 Sakiko Miyauchi ST
  34 Lise-Marie Henzelin ST -
  35 Genevieve Whitson Asptt Dijon - Bourgogne 00:02 - -
  36 Madara Furmane ST

Saturday 28 January 2012

Tweets from the Worlds

 Helen Wyman 

 nice work chap, looked pretty tought out there, hope you boys have left some good lines for the morning ha ha

Dear Belgium, I know you're looking for a new name for that Koksijde dune and all. The obvious choice:"

 Nikki Harris 

Amazing atmosphere already just riding round the course earlier ! Worlds TOMORROW please give me a big shout :-) !

 Nikki Harris 

Anyone wanting supporters pieces for me tomorrow come to the telenet womens bus .... They are free ! :-)

Vaughters and Pooley on the Slipstream/AA Drink merger

Jonathan Vaughters: "I’m glad that we were able to keep the core of the team together."

Emma Pooley: "I'm very happy to be on the AA Drink-Leontien team, and also very very happy to be able to continue to ride Cervélo bikes."

What's with... Evelyn Hamilton?

Left-right: Jesse Aitchison, Ethel Jermeat, Evelyn Hamilton
The history of cycling is populated by numerous larger-than-life characters from the early days (Maurice Garin, Henri Desgrange, Marshall Taylor) to the present (Jens Voigt, David Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Marianne Vos) and with so many in between (Louison Bobet, Missy Giove, Tom Simpson, Charly Gaul, Coppi, Anquetil, Hinault, Armstrong, Merckx, Jason McRoy, Firmin Lambot, Pantani and thousands of others) that it's practically impossible for any book to tell all the stories. Colourful lives, all of them - but few people ever lived a life quite like that of the British endurance rider Evelyn Hamilton.

Today, when women's professional cycling is almost entirely ignored by the media, it's so difficult for female cyclists to make their name as professionals that some of those who have done so warn others hoping to do the same that if it's fame they seek, they'll be better off looking elsewhere. If this is true in the 21st Century, is must have been all but impossible for a woman to get her achievements noticed in the first third of the 20th. Hamilton, born Eveline Alice Alexandra Bayliss on the 3rd of April 1906 in Westminster, London, was one who did.

Summarising Evelyn's life is a challenge to any historian because she was one of those people who seems to have believed that her past should be multiple choice, frequently recounting stories that cannot possibly have been true or are highly suspect - however, one fact that is in no doubt is that she won both the National Half-Mile Handicap and the Sporting Life Trophy at the Stamford Track in 1931. That success won her sufficient fame to be approached by the producers of the 1934 musical Sing As We Go, in which she can be seen acting as body double for Gracie Fields in a scene in which Fields' character Gracie Platt rides a bicycle. Around the same time, she appears to have befriended Claud Butler, head of the manufacturer that in those days built some of the finest bikes in the world. A photograph taken at the Paddington Track in 1932 depicts Hamilton astride her bike, dressed in a sleeveless Claud Butler jersey.

The Miss Modern Model of 1934 (the bike
shown is fitted with a Constrictor Osgear)
Butler sponsored Hamilton in 1934 when she set off on one of his bikes to become the first British woman to ride 1000 miles (1609km) in seven days - a feat she completed after 84 hours of riding. The bike was fitted with the brand new Constrictor Osgear, developed by the legendary Oscar Egg and manufactured under licence by Constrictor, a tyre company based in North London who would also introduce the first lightweight alloy wheel rims. The system featured either three, four or five cogs on the rear wheel with the chain moved between them by a cable-operated arm bolted onto the chain stay, while a jockey wheel fitted to the end of a sprung arm mounted to the bottom bracket maintained chain tension. Media attention was so great that Butler produced a commemorative bike named the Miss Modern Model, a high-end machine that sold well, notable for having a shortened top tube so as to be suitable for women (whose arms tend to be shorter in comparison to height than men's) and tweaked frame angles so as to maintain correct geometry - one of the very first female-specific bikes in history.

One year later, Hamilton was so famous that when she set off to ride from Land's End to John O'Groats (which she did in four days), she was presented to her fans by Ben Tillet who, before retirement a few years previously, had enjoyed enormous popularity as a Labour Member of Parliament and trade unionist. The event was filmed by Pathe News, and the recording still exists. In the coming years, her fame grew as she set more and more records, including riding 10,000 miles (16,093km) in 100 days aboard a Granby bike (fitted with the new Cyclo-Star gears that resemble a modern derailleur. This was the first time Hamilton used a non-Claud Butler bike for one of her long-distance journeys, but the reason for this is not known - had they fallen out or had Granby offered a tempting pay-cheque? We'll probably never know. She finished the ride - having embarked upon it to prove that women were capable of equalling men in terms of athletic achievement - on the 14th of August 1938. Another Pathe newsreel features Hamilton offering cycling safety and style tips.

That same year, Evelyn and husband Jack set up a bike shop under her name at 416a Streatham High Road, London - it would move briefly to 402a and then 398a (reason unknown, but the area suffered heavy bombing during the Second World War). The building still exists (51°25'21.21"N  0° 7'46.58"W) and is now occupied by a large homewares and furniture store, the shop front altered beyond all recognition. The Hamiltons ran the shop until circa 1968, but it continued as E. Hamilton under different ownership right up until 1984; by which time it also sold motorbikes.

Precisely what Hamilton was doing during the war is a mystery - all that is known is that she wasn't seen at the shop for the entire duration. One rumour suggests she had one to France to become a wall of death rider for a circus and was trapped in Paris when it fell to the Nazis - there is some evidence to support claims that she spent the war in France, but the truth about what she was doing there is rather clouded by her own mythologising. During interviews later in her life, she seems to have amused herself by inventing contradictory stories - she told one reporter that she had pretended to be French and found work in a cafe popular with members of the Gestapo and another that she had taken the identity of a dead woman and lived - and possibly bigamously wed - a local named Fernand Helsen. Once, she claimed that she had worked for the Resistance, using a tandem to surreptitiously transport wanted people in heavy disguise across the city until she was captured by the Gestapo - but was able to escape when she pulled a miniature gun from her hair, shot her captor and fled, later managing to get herself back to England. Whether the story is true is as good as up to one's own personal opinion, but the way she told it it was most certainly convincing - she was awarded the Cross of Lorraine by President De Gaulle after the war.

In fact, the truth about where Hamilton was and what she was doing during the War may be far stranger than even her tallest stories. According to some, the Hamilton shop operated as a front organisation for the Free French Forces (a partisan army that fought hard against the Nazis long after the country was occupied) and the British Special Operations Executive, the top secret intelligence and guerilla warfare organisation. Lending credence to the story is the fact that Helsen did exist but, far from living in France during the war, was an employee of the French Embassy in London - according to gossip, Hamilton was known to had affairs with a number of men other than her husband (one of whom may have been the father of her son John who died when he was ten months old and seems was not the child of either Jack or Helsen and, until proof of his existence was uncovered in 2011 was generally supposed to have been another of Hamilton's invented stories - she had been known to claim that the baby was taken by the Nazis when she was in France and never seen again) and it's just within the boundaries of possibility that the tale of a bigamous marriage (a crime for which she seems to have never been investigated) and the other stories were invented to cover up a more professional relationship and official, covert activities. Whether they married or not, she took Helsen's name and retained it for more than half a century after his death in 1950. Oddly, nobody knows what became of Jack - had they divorced, in which case her claimed marriage to Helsen was not bigamous? Did he die in the War? Did he even exist?

Evelyn Hamilton, 1935. Left - Ben Tillet, right - Claud Butler
While she was away during the War, Hamilton's shop was run by three Frenchmen and, as befits a woman who lived such a remarkable and strange life, their identity is unknown. However, at least one of them may have been one of the famous Pélissier brothers: Hamilton had been known to mention a distant cousin of hers who had won the Tour de France - as Henri Pélissier had done in 1929. Henri was shot dead by his lover Camille Tharault in 1935 and an older brother was killed during the First World War, leaving Francis and Charles who survived until 1959.

After relinquishing control of her shop, Hamilton moved to the Norfolk town of Swaffham where she lived for the rest of her life and served as president of the Breckland Cycling Club (and, according to locals, had more affairs). She died there on the 29th of May 2005 and is buried in the town, her gravestone bearing the name Evelyn Alice Helsen.

What's with... Marianne Vos?

Marianne Vos: what's not to like? Unless you
want to beat her in a race, that is.
(© Eddy Fever CC2.0)
Marianne Vos vs. The World. More evenly matched than one would think. (Jens, Podium Cafe)

She's affable, intelligent, articulate, attractive, polite and funny - you'd have thought that it would be impossible to not like Marianne Vos, but chances are there are one or two women on the professional cycling circuit who would much rather she wasn't around. That's because she also loves to win bike races and, as one of the most talented riders of either gender the sport has ever seen, she often seems unbeatable.

The thing is, she's really far too nice to be disliked: her dismay at taking second place for the fifth time in as many years (itself a record and notable achievement - only four other women have won the Worlds silver more than once: Rosa Sels in 1960/63, Baybe Tsaune in 1968/74, Morena Tartagni in 1970/71 and the incredible Jeannie Longo in 1981/93) after winning in 2006 was obvious, but moments later she seemed content as she saw her rival Giorgia Bronzini take the top step of the podium. That's Marianne: like Jens Voigt, the rider and the person are entirely different characters - on the bike, she's pure aggression, using every available gram of strength to attack, attack some more and then attack again. Off the bike, she's the perfect ambassador for the sport which plainly means a great deal more to her than her personal results.

Early Life and Promising Results
Marianne's dismay at
taking silver for the
fifth consecutive year
at the 2011 Worlds was
(public domain)
Born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in 1987, Vos began her illustrious career at the age of six after developing an interest through watching her older brother Anton, training with his team though she was too young to enter official races (in 2008, when she was listed 39th among the 100th Olympic Athletes to WatchTime  magazine reported that as a child she would ride 48km to and from school each day). She also took up inline speed skating; a sport that, when she was 14, she gave up in favour of mountain biking - using the skills she had already learned in cyclocross to become National Junior XC Mountain Biking Champion the next year. And Dutch Junior Women Road Race Champion. Oh, and she won silver in the National Time Trial championships, too. Her results remained every bit as promising the next season, 2003, when she retained her mountain bike title and once again came second in the Junior TT, beating the previous year's champion. Immediately, her name began to appear in cycling journals around the world - there was something that looked as though it might turn out to be rather special in this young Dutch girl.

Something Special
Vos' unassuming nature is well-known - noting that she was then still studying for a qualification in bio-medicine, that same Time article goes on to say that she referred to her sporting success as nothing more than "a big hobby." We all know that arrogance is among the ugliest of all human traits, but it can be fatal to downplay one's own achievements and that's a mistake to which someone with as unpretentious and humble a nature as Marianne may well have fallen victim were it not for the fact that she followed up those successes of the first couple of years by becoming nothing less than a phenomenon, winning events in a range of disciplines and rapidly building up the sort of palmares (which you can at the bottom of this page) that entire teams dream about.

Vos had been riding cyclo-cross events since her childhood, but it wasn't until 2004 that she wrote her name in unmissable muddy letters across the scene, winning a major international race at Gieten in which she beat the far more experienced riders Arenda Grimberg and Birgit Hollman; going on in the same year to defeat three-time World Cyclocross Champion Hanka Kupfernagel and nine-time Dutch champ Daphny van den Brand in a sprint finish. Then she won the National Junior MTB title for a third consecutive year, mounting a solo breakaway on a climb with five laps still to go and retaining her advantage all the way to the finish. The next season she made her mark on road racing too, crossing the line in first place in the Dutch Junior Road championshipsand adding a National Individual Time Trial bronze medal to her increasingly weighty trophy cabinet. To make sure the off-road world didn't forget who she was, she won the National Junior MTB title for an amazing fourth time too.

Vos leading Daphny van den Brand in the 2009/10 Cyclo-cross World Cup
(© Rolf van der Zwart/Blackpit Shooting CC2.0)
World Domination!
As we said earlier, off the bike Marianne is about the sweetest, gentlest, kindest person anyone could ever wish to meet (she's an official ambassador for a charity that provides services to disadvantaged young people in Sri Lanka) - but in the saddle, she transforms into a merciless Valkyrie. A rider with that attitude and, crucially, Marianne's talent to back it up, is always heading in one direction - towards becoming World Champion. That happened in 2006, the year in which nobody was left in any doubt that here was a rider of the type that comes along only once every other generation, one destined to dominate the sport. Having become Dutch National Road Champion she also won the European Road Championships, the Cyclo-cross World Championships, the Road World Championships and, in case that wasn't enough, a host of stages in various race including the Tour Féminin en Limousin in which she also took overall General Classification victory. From this point onwards, she added triumph after triumph - in 2007, the Women's Road World Cup, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, three stages at the Giro di San Marino, two at the Emakumeen Bira (she would win the event outright the following year) and one at the Giro d'Italia Femminile; in 2008, a gold at both the Track World Championships and the Olympics, first place wins at La Flèche Wallonne Féminine and the Dutch Road Nationals; repeating the last two for 2009 and adding World Cyclo-cross gold for good measure; Dutch National TT and World Cyclo-cross gold medals again in 2010 and overall first place in the Holland Ladies' Tour and then for 2011 she became Dutch and World Cyclo-cross Champion again, in addition to winning the Ronde van Drenthe, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs, Giro d'Italia Femminile and the Holland Ladies Tour.

Vos leading Kirsten Wild
(© Eddy Fever CC2.0)
The Future
In late September 2011 Rabobank - one of the world's most trusted, successful and ethical banks who have woven professional cycling into their very corporate structure - announced that they would be taking over sponsorship of Vos' team from Nederland Bloeit, providing the financial backing required to build up one of the strongest teams cycling has ever seen around her and propel her onwards towards ever greater success. As a result, it's very, very unlikely that we'll see disappointment either in her expression or anywhere in the Netherlands when she crosses the finish line at the 2012 Worlds in Limburg. At some point during her career, cycling pundits began to compare her to "the most accomplished rider that cycling has ever known" and asked the question is Marianne Vos the female Eddy Merckx? By this time next year, the question may have changed to was Eddy Merckx the male Marianne Vos?

In January, Rabobank management announced that, as she'd won so many races over the last year, Vos was becoming bored and that to keep her interested they were considering entering her in men's races. With a VO2max of 72.8ml/kg/min and an ability to produce 6.63w/kg of power - both in excess of figures recorded by many male athletes - there's a good chance she'll be winning those races too.

Stop Press!
Within an hour of this article being published, Marianne herself sent us a message via Twitter thanking us for it. That's how nice she is. :-)

Marianne Vos Palmares (podium finishes only)
1st, Harderwijk, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Erp, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Huijbergen, Cyclo-cross
3rd, Boxtel, Cyclo-cross
3rd, Woerden, Cyclo-cross 
1st, National Championship, Road, Novices, The Netherlands
2nd, Surhuisterveen Centrumcross
1st, Bakel, Cyclo-cross
3rd, Pijnacker-Nootdorp, Cyclo-cross
1st, Harderwijk, Cyclo-cross
1st, Almelo, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Koppenberg, Cyclo-cross
1st, Hilversum, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Gieten, Cyclo-cross
3rd, Kalmthout, Cyclo-cross
1st, Reusel, Cyclo-cross
1st, Zeddam, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Gieten, Cyclo-cross
1st, Surhuisterveen Centrumcross
(public domain image)
1st, Bakel, Cyclo-cross
1st, National Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross, The Netherlands 
1st, Vorden, Cyclo-cross
1st, Heerlen, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Pijnacker-Nootdorp, Cyclo-cross
1st, Harderwijk, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Woerden, Cyclo-cross
3rd, Torino, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Milano, Cyclo-cross
3rd, Koksijde, Cyclo-cross
2nd, Zeddam, Cyclo-cross
1st Gieten, Cyclo-cross
3rd National Championship, Junior Road
1st Surhuisterveen Centrumcross
2nd Hoogerheide, Cyclo-cross
1st Pijnacker-Nootdorp, Cyclo-cross
2nd Oostmalle, Cyclo-cross
3rd National Championship, Junior ITT, The Netherlands
1st World Championship, Junior Road
1st Milano, Cyclo-cross 
3rd Kalmthout, Cyclo-cross
3rd Overijse, Cyclo-cross
2nd Reusel, Cyclo-cross
2nd Oostmalle, Cyclo-cross
1st Omloop van Borsele
1st Berg en Terblijt
1st National Championship, Junior MTB XC
1st National Championship, Junior Road
2nd World Championship, Junior Road
3rd National Championship, Junior ITT
1st Harderwijk, Cyclo-cross
1st Wouden, Cyclo-cross
2nd Kalmthout, Cyclo-cross
2nd Woerden, Cyclo-cross
1st European Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
2nd Pijnacker-Nootdorp, Cyclo-cross
2nd Frankfurt a/Main, Cyclo-cross 
1st Gieten, Cyclo-cross
2nd Milano, Cyclo-cross
2nd Overijse, Cyclo-cross
1st Loenhout, Cyclo-cross
2nd Stage 3 RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
1st National Championship, Elite Road
3rd GP Gerrie Knetemann
1st Omloop van Valkenburg
1st European Championship, U-23 Road
1st Stage 1 Tour Féminin en Limousin
1st Stage 3 Tour Féminin en Limousin
1st General Classification Tour Féminin en Limousin
3rd in Acht van Chaam
1st Steenwijk 
1st Draai van de Kaai
1st Oostvoorne
1st Profronde van Pijnacker
2nd Holland Hills Classic
2nd Gouden Pijl Emmen 
2nd Stage 2 Trophée d'Or Féminin
1st Stage 4 Trophée d'Or Féminin
2nd Stage 5 Trophée d'Or Féminin
3rd Stage 6 Trophée d'Or Féminin
3nd Stage 3 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Prologue Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
3rd Stage 1 part a Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
2nd Stage 1 part b Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
3rd Stage 4 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
3rd General Classification Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
1st World Championship, Elite Road
2nd Kalmthout, Cyclo-cross
1st Fourmies, Cyclo-cross
1st Hénin-Beaumont, Cyclo-cross
1st Koppenberg, Cyclo-cross
1st Treviso, Cyclo-cross
1st Vossem, Cyclo-cross
1st Gieten, Cyclo-cross
3rd European Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
2nd Frankfurt a/Main, Cyclo-cross
2nd Veghel-Eerde, Cyclo-cross
3rd Loenhout, Cyclo-cross
1st Stage 3 Giro di San Marino
1st General Classification Giro di San Marino
1st Omloop van Borsele
2nd Berner Rundfahrt
1st Stage 1 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Stage 3 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Stage 4 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Stage 7 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
2nd Omloop Door Middag-Humsterland WE
1st Stage 2 Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 3 Emakumeen Bira 
2nd General Classification Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 1 RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
1st Stage 2 RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
1st General Classification RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
1st Noordwijk Classic
2nd National Championship, Elite Road
1st Stage 2 Giro d'Italia Donne
3rd Stage 5 Giro d'Italia Donne
3rd Stage 7 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st European Championship, U-23 Road 
1st Acht van Chaam 
1st Draai van de Kaai
2nd Maastricht Omnium
1st Oostvoorne
1st Holland Hills Classic
3rd Gouden Pijl Emmen
1st Stage 1 Holland Ladies Tour
1st Stage 4 Holland Ladies Tour
1st Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt
1st General Classification World Cup, Elite Road
1st Muizen-Mechelen
2nd World Championship, Elite Road
1st Beijing, Scratch
1st Beijing, Points race
1st National Championship, Elite Track, Scratch
2nd National Championship, Elite Track, Pursuit
1st National Championship, Elite Track, Points race
1st Stage 1 Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a el Salvador
1st Stage 2 Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a el Salvador
1st Stage 3 Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a el Salvador
3rd Stage 5 Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a el Salvador
2nd Stage 6 Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a el Salvador
2nd General Classification Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a el Salvador
1st Prologue Vuelta a Occidente
1st Stage 1 Vuelta a Occidente
1st Stage 2 Vuelta a Occidente
1st General Classification Vuelta a Occidente
3rd Dorpenomloop Wijk en Aalburg
1st Parel van de Veluwe
1st Stage 1 Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 2 Emakumeen Bira 
1st Stage 3 part a Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 4 Emakumeen Bira
1st General Classification Emakumeen Bira
1st National Championship, Elite Road
1st Stage 2 Krasna Lipa Tour Féminine
3rd Stage 4 Krasna Lipa Tour Féminine
1st Stage 3 Krasna Lipa Tour Féminine
1st Olympic Games, Track, Elite Points race
3rd Stage 1 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 6 Holland Ladies Tour
3rd General Classification World Cup, Elite Road
1st Stage 2 part a Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
2nd Stage 4 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
3rd in General Classification Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
2nd World Championship, Elite Road
2nd Frankfurt a/Main, Cyclo-cross
2nd Antwerpen, Cyclo-cross
1st Zolder, Cyclo-cross
3rd Loenhout, Cyclo-cross
2nd Pétange, Cyclo-cross
1st Bakel, Cyclo-cross
2nd National Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
3rd Heerlen, Cyclo-cross
1st Pétange, Cyclo-cross
2nd Liévin, Cyclo-cross
1st World Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
2nd Oostmalle, Cyclo-cross
1st Stage 5 Gracia - Orlova 
1st Omloop van Borsele
2nd Flevotour
2nd Lekkerkerk
1st Stage 1 Emakumeen Bira
2nd Stage 2 Emakumeen Bira 
3rd Stage 3 part b Emakumeen Bira
2nd Stage 2 RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden 
2nd Pétange, Cyclo-cross
1st Antwerpen, Cyclo-cross
2nd Hoogerheide, Cyclo-cross
1st Oostmalle, Cyclo-cross
2nd Laarne
3rd Ronde van Vlaanderen
3rd Ronde van Drenthe
2nd Damesronde van Drenthe
1st Ronde van Gelderland
1st Waalse Pijl
1st Dorpenomloop Wijk en Aalburg
1st Stage 1 Giro di San Marino
1st Stage 4 Giro di San Marino
1st Stage 2 Giro di San Marino 
1st Vierdaagse van Rotterdam
2nd World Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
1st København, Scratch
1st World Championship, Elite Track, Points race
1st Gran Prix International Dottignies
2nd Ronde van Drenthe
1st Waalse Pijl
3rd Omloop van Borsele
1st Stage 1 Gracia - Orlova
1st Stage 2 Gracia - Orlova
3rd Stage 4 Gracia - Orlova
1st Stage 3 Gracia - Orlova
1st General Classification Gracia - Orlova
2nd Omloop der Kempen
1st GP De Santa Ana
2nd Pétange, Cyclo-cross
3rd Vierdaagse van Rotterdam
1st World Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
1st Oostmalle, Cyclo-cross
3rd GP Costa Etrusca
1st Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio
1st Damesronde van Drenthe 
1st Waalse Pijl
2nd Omloop van Borsele
1st Stage 1 Gracia - Orlova
3rd General Classification Gracia - Orlova
2nd Berner Rundfahrt 
3rd Stage 1 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Stage 4 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Stage 7 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Stage 8 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
3rd General Classification Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
2nd Stage 1 Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale
3rd Stage 2 Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale
1st Stage 4 Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale
3rd General Classification Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale
1st National Championship, Elite Road
3rd European Championship, U-23 ITT
3rd European Championship, U-23 Road
3rd Stage 1 Tour de Bretagne
1st Stage 1 Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen
3rd Stage 2 Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen
3rd Stage 4 Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen
2nd General Classification Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen
1st Open de Suede Vargarda
1st Holland Hills Classic
2nd GP Ouest France
2nd Stage 1 Holland Ladies Tour
3rd Stage 2 Holland Ladies Tour
3rd Stage 3 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 6 Holland Ladies Tour
1st General Classification Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 3 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile 
1st Stage 4 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
1st Stage 6 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
2nd World Championship, Elite Road
1st European Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
2nd Nommay, Cyclo-cross
1st Koksijde, Cyclo-cross
2nd Gieten, Cyclo-cross
1st Frankfurt a/Main, Cyclo-cross
2nd Kalmthout, Cyclo-cross
1st Zolder, Cyclo-cross
2nd Loenhout, Cyclo-cross 
1st Pétange, Cyclo-cross
2nd National Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
3rd Roubaix, Cyclo-cross
1st Hoogerheide, Cyclo-cross
1st World Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
1st General Classification Gracia - Orlova
1st Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio
2nd Ronde van Vlaanderen 
1st Stage 1 Gracia - Orlova
2nd Stage 2 Gracia - Orlova
1st Stage 4 Gracia - Orlova
3rd Stage 3 Gracia - Orlova
1st Stage 5 Gracia - Orlova
1st GP Sankomij
3rd Prologue Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Stage 8 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
2nd Stage 9 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Points classification Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
1st Young rider classification Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin
2nd Teams classification Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin 
1st Emakumen Saria
1st Stage 1 Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 3 part b Emakumeen Bira
3rd Stage 3 part a Emakumeen Bira
1st National Championship, Elite ITT
2nd National Championship, Elite Road
3rd Stage 2 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st Stage 5 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st Stage 6 Giro d'Italia Donne
2nd Stage 7 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st Draai van de Kaai
1st Stage 2 Route du France Féminine
1st Stage 5 Route du France Féminine
2nd GP Ouest France
2nd Stage 1 Holland Ladies Tour 
1st Stage 3 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 4 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 5 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 6 Holland Ladies Tour
1st Stage 7 Holland Ladies Tour
1st General Classification Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 4 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
1st Stage 5 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
2nd Stage 6 Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile
2nd World Championship, Road, Elite
1st Melbourne, Elimination race
2nd Antwerpen, Cyclo-cross
2nd Kalmthout, Cyclo-cross
1st Loenhout, Cyclo-cross
2nd Zolder, Cyclo-cross
1st Pétange, Cyclo-cross
3rd Tervuren, Cyclo-cross
1st National Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
1st Pontchâteau, Cyclo-cross
3rd Hoogerheide, Cyclo-cross
1st World Championship, Elite Cyclo-cross
1st Valkenburg, Cyclo-cross
1st World Championship, Elite Track, Scratch
3rd Ronde van Vlaanderen 
1st Stage 1 Energiewacht Tour
1st Stage 4 Energiewacht Tour
3rd General Classification Energiewacht Tour
1st Drentse 8 van Dwingeloo
1st Ronde van Drenthe
1st Waalse Pijl
3rd Omloop van Borsele
1st GP Elsy Jacobs
1stn GP Nicolas Frantz
1st Dorpenomloop Wijk en Aalburg
1st Gooik
1st GP Ciudad de Valladolid
1st Emakumen Saria
1st Stage 1 Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 2 Emakumeen Bira
2nd Stage 3 part b Emakumeen Bira
2nd Stage 3 part a Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 4 Emakumeen Bira
1st General Classification Emakumeen Bira
1st Stage 1 RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
1st Stage 3 RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
1st General Classification RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
1st National Championship, Elite ITT
1st National Championship, Elite Road
1st Stage 1 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st Stage 3 Giro d'Italia Donne
2nd Stage 5 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st Stage 6 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st Stage 7 Giro d'Italia Donne
2nd Stage 8 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st Stage 9 Giro d'Italia Donne
1st General Classification Giro d'Italia Donne
3rd Stage 10 Giro d'Italia Donne
2nd Stage 1 Trophée d'Or Féminin
1st Stage 4 Trophée d'Or Féminin
3rd GP Ouest France
1st Stage 1 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 2 Holland Ladies Tour
2nd Stage 3 Holland Ladies Tour
1st Stage 5 Holland Ladies Tour
1st Stage 6 Holland Ladies Tour
1st General Classification Holland Ladies Tour
2nd World Championship, Elite Road