Riejanne Markus reacts to Olympic non-selection

Ellen van Dijk, Demi Vollering, Marianne Vos, and Lorena Wiebes have secured their spots for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. However, some top riders have been left out, including Riejanne Markus. Speaking on the podcast In het Wiel for Algemeen Dagblad, Markus expressed her disappointment, saying, “It is, of course, a real blow.”

The selection process for the Paris Olympics has been a significant dilemma for some time. With only four spots available for the road race and two for the time trial – and those selected for the time trial also needing to ride the road race – the speculation over the selections has been rife. National coach Loes Gunnewijk has ultimately chosen a team with multiple leaders.

Markus had been hopeful for an Olympic selection but will not be going to Paris. “You’re obviously waiting for a phone call. You discuss with those around you the scenarios that could happen. I did consider the possibility of not being selected. But when you actually get the call saying you’re not going, it is a disappointment. It really does hurt,” she said.

“We knew in advance that we would be called on the 29th (Wednesday, 29 May). I’m currently in Andorra with Marianne Vos, and we often talked about it during meals. I also discussed it with a friend of Marianne’s. Who would you call first? The riders who aren’t going or the ones who are? Would you deliver the bad news first or the good news? We all thought: bad news first, so you can end on a positive note. Five minutes later, my screen showed: Loes Gunnewijk. Then I knew…”

Markus explained the reasoning behind her non-selection, stating, “There are different scenarios outlined, considering both defensive and offensive racing. These scenarios were all discussed with a committee. The aim is to maximise the chances of winning medals. From there, the decision was made that I’m not among the best four. The road race apparently carries significant weight.”

Despite the disappointment, Markus recognises the tough competition. “A decision has to be made, and the chance was simply very high that I would be left out. I hoped for it, but it’s not to be. I am still a reserve, so there’s always a chance. But I do genuinely wish the other riders who are going the best. If you’re honest: there is a lot of quality. The riders who have been selected deserve their spots. But personally, I had hoped for a selection.”

Photo credit: Billy Ceusters, ASO

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