As a seven-year-old I came into contact with cycling and from an early age I started winning races. Before I was eighteen, this was more than 250 victories. As seemed to be prospering as an international talent, but it was only in the years after I turned eighteen that I got to know myself.
It is the setbacks that really make you stronger. Over the past ten years, it has ranged from parents who had no income to my girlfriend who had a brain tumor. External factors that made it difficult to perform optimally, but fortunately not impossible. I still rode my prizes together, was on the podium several times during Dutch championships and rode as an intern at the highest level of cycling. But injuries also threw a spanner in the works, I had to slow down (which I personally find the hardest thing to do) and rebuild everything step by step. But as long as you keep feeling that progression, even if it's just small steps, I had that fire inside me somewhere to keep going. Partly thanks to the support and peace I had around me. Because with every setback there was that safety net of family and friends who gave me the time and space I needed.
The trust of teams and sponsors was also important in this, if people continue to believe in you, it becomes a lot easier to believe in yourself (again). The steps you then take are steps that create certainty, because more people think along about the direction and offer the confidence that you are going in the right direction. In the meantime, I am at a point where I am in the prime of my life and would like to highlight this within my sports career. Every choice I make is now important and every detail weighs heavily, which is why I no longer make any compromises based on recovery and competition performance and rely 100% on Victus.