Were you able to celebrate your victory, Marianne?
“After having eaten in our rooms, I went to the corridor to see everyone and say hello, wished the riders who had to ride today good luck and had a glass of champagne. It was different from usual, but the most important thing is that the World Championships could take place, despite all the restrictions, and that the Dutch cycling union KNWU could make sure we could participate. It was an extra big challenge this time.”
It probably was the first time you became world champion without your family being there?
“We opted for this in advance, and of course, it was different. But we called and texted after the race. I’ve had lots of messages from people anyway. There were a few Dutch fans present to cheer us on. I also had to get used to the fact that there was an audience. I had experienced this already at the American World Cups and the Italian World Cup in Val di Sole, but here, the people stood shoulder to shoulder sometimes. I had mixed feelings about it because this was not possible in Europe. But during the race, I wasn’t thinking about it.”
How did you wake up this morning?
“The jersey and the medal were on my bedside table as a nice, tangible memory of the title. But I have to admit I hardly slept last night. I had to process so many impressions and that kept me awake. I had been looking forward to this for a long time and I had to let the race sink in. But luckily, I have enough time during the flight to catch up on sleep.”
After all these years, what does it mean to you to be a world champion again?
“For me, it didn’t feel like a very long time ago. But it was special putting on this rainbow jersey again. Every season I tried to get the maximum out of myself and some years, I did better than others. The past road season gave me a lot of confidence and the cyclocross season was good too. You hope things will work out on the day of the World Championship. I knew there would be an exciting battle and I was right.”
Will you be riding in the rainbow jersey this winter?
“I have a tight schedule and making choices has also led to the successes of recent times. I like to race, but sometimes it is better to find a balance to realise your goals. It also means I will stick to the schedule and go on an altitude training trip concerning the road season. In the new cross season, I would like to show the rainbow jersey.”