My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

More will come later

Category: Life

I have not had the chance to write much in the last days, because of my holiday. But I will catch up with earlier events as soon as I'm back in Tallinn, which is on Monday. So more will come.

Belkin extends Martens, Garate and Bol's contracts

Category: Cycling

Belkin Pro Cycling Team has extended the contracts of Paul Martens, Juan Manuel Garáte and Jetse Bol.

Martens has extended the contract for two years. The German first joined the Rabobank team in 2008. This season he won he overall title in the Tour of Luxembourg, and also took a stage win at the Volta ao Algarve.

“This year, Paul established himself as one of the best riders in his field. He was really strong in the hilly stage races,” said sport director Paul Verhoeven. “On a WorldTour level Paul, he has also shown that he is someone to be reckoned with in the one-day races.”

The 24-year-old Jetse Bol will stay with the team for at least one year.

"In the shadow of the team’s leaders, Jetse did a great job the last two years. He clearly made progress," said Verhoeven. "Jetse is a strong domestique in the classics and in other difficult one-day races, but he also stands his ground in stage races and in the sprint train. Jetse can finish a race off himself, as well. He’s still young and developing and we expect that he will be of value for the team again next year.”

Juan Manuel Garáte has also extended for one year. He joined the Rabobank team in 2009.

“In the Grand Tours and major stage races, Juanma is a real captain. He hasn’t been at the front of many races this year, but behind the scenes we know exactly how important he is.”

For the coming season, the team will look pretty much the same as this year. Only two riders have left – Mark Renshaw and Tom-Jelte Slagter. Two new riders will arrive - Barry Markus and Nick van der Lijke.

There is a problem with Luis Leon Sanchez, as he is suspended by the Dutch team during an investigation into his possible links with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. We have to wait and see what will happen with him.

Vos takes third elite road race rainbow jersey

Category: Cycling

In 2004, Marianne Vos won the junior road world championship in Verona. She broke away in the final of five laps and she stayed clear. I sat at home, watching the race at the television. I knew at that time that we would see her again. But I could never imagine how successful she would be.

Since starting to ride in the elite ranks, Marianne Vos has finished no lower than second place in the UCI road race world championships. She now has three elite road race rainbow jerseys to go with her five silver medals.

Yesterday, she took her third gold medal.

Vos had just one teammate in the leading group, Anna van der Breggen. But sometimes it does not take more to claim victory. Van der Breggen marked the multiple attacks by the three Italians Tatiana Guderzo, Rosella Ratto and Elisa Longo Borghini. And Vos could just sit down and wait for her attack on a short, steep ascent with 5km to go.

"She was so good," Vos said of van der Breggen. "She did a great job to keep it together to give me an opportunity to attack on the last climb.

"Last year she did the same great job. She was the one we wanted to have in the final. Of course she can be good, but still - when we were there with two [of us] and three Italians and you have to react."

Vos took her 11th career elite world title. In addition to her three elite road race wins, she has six consecutive rainbow jerseys from cyclo-cross, and two on the track - one in the points race, one in the scratch race, plus two Olympic medals. She took victory at the road race in London and a points race gold from Beijing. I hope to see her race for many years to come. She is absolutely fantastic.