One of the great pleasures in watching and savouring a sport is seeing the performance and comportment of the greatest of them, the heroes and the game changers whose style on and off the bike is a model for all.
One of the riders I have had the privilege of seeing both live and on the box over the years is Marianne Vos. The first time I saw Marianne live was in Salzburg at the 2006 Road World Championships, where a 19 year old took on and beat the world's best. Clearly an amazing rider from the get go, here was a junior who suddenly had to deal with overwhelming attention and expectations along with the day to day of being a teenager. I am not sure how well I would have coped, but Marianne has grown over the years into a perfect model and representative for the sport we love so much.
The second time for a live meeting was at the Tour of Margaret River in WA. This is a marvellous event by the way, a pro-am model that brings pro, amateur, sport and corporate world together in a stunning locale. 2016 was my first time at the event and indeed at Margaret River and I will be back! Check it out here.
Marianne and her teammate Moniek Tenniglo were the headline guests at the event, along with our own rockstar Robbie McEwan and the inimitable Matt Keenan. Marianne, as well as being rather ace on the bike, was a super person and the best possible ambassador for the event and for the sport. Friendly, warm, genuine and fun to boot - it just proves the saying, 'if it ain't Dutch, it ain't much!
With role models like this, cycling has a bright future.
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