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Women’s Cycling Profiles: Melissa Van Neck

Melissa Van Neck

Date of Birth: 13th October 1991
Nationality: Czech
Team: BePink
Former Teams: Team Dukla Praha
Career Achievements:
3rd – National Championships Road Race (2017)
4th – Horizon Park Women Challenge (2017)
6th – Kiev Olimpic Ring (2019)
7th – SwissEver GP (2018)
8th – V4 Ladies Series – Pannonhalma (2019)

Who taught you how to ride a bike & how old were you?

I started cycling when I was in high school, and my grandfather on my mom’s side, who used to be a cyclist back in the 60’s himself, trained and coached me, and taught me a lot about cycling.

What was your first ‘proper’ road bike & what colour was it?

The first road bike I started riding on was a light blue Peugeot that actually belonged to my uncle and still had shifters on the downtube, and the very first bike that I got and started racing with was a Stevens, with a carbon fork, and this one was also blue.

What’s the most important piece of kit/advice that has helped boost your performance?

My grandfather told me that cycling is honest, everything about you, your dedication, attitude and personality shine through when you race, and that’s something I believe in and what makes me love the sport every day.

What’s your favourite routes/places to ride?

I really enjoy riding surrounded by nature, right now in Italy (my team is based near Bergamo, so I love training in the Alps) but when I am in the Czech Republic I love riding in the Krkonoše (literal translation: Giant Mountains) in the north part of the Czech Republic.

What tips do you have to keep the love of cycling going amidst all the training?

Variation is key, sometimes going out alone, other times with company, and changing your normal routes also really helps. I’ve noticed that more people are riding off-road, which offers you more potential training roads and is also just really fun 🙂

What experiences are still to do on your cycling ‘bucket list’?

Right now, I’d sign up for just the possibility to start racing again, but of course, I dream of racing in one of the Monuments or getting to represent the Czech Republic again.

Thanks for reading about Melissa Van Neck – more Women’s Cycling Profiles can be found here