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Eleonora van Dijk

Eleonora van Dijk, Team Columbia and Netherlands National Team

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Ellen has had an interesting 12 months since becoming World Track Champion in the Scratch race in 2008. 


WCN: How have the last 12 months been for you since winning the World Championship title in 2008?

EVD: ."My life has not really changed. Right after winning [the World title on the track] I went straight onto the road. I had a good season on the road and decided in the winter I wanted to prove myself on the track. I wanted to do better than last year in the pursuit and perform better than last year. Yesterday was not as good as I had hoped. I was very disappointed."

WCN: You have been juggling the road and the track already this year between Qatar and the Copenhagen World Cup track event how did you adjust?

EVD: "This was the first time I have switched between the road and the track so quickly. It worked out quite well. There was a lot of time between Qatar and the Worlds so I thought that would not be a problem. Qatar went really well and I went to Copenhagen and that was a good race too. So actually it turn out really well to ride first on the road and then on the track. I like the difference too."

WCN: How did you find the cultural shift in Qatar and the fact that it was the first women's race in a Muslim country?

EVD: "It was really strange actually, because the culture is so different from the European culture. It was nice for us to experience the difference. To ride there was very cool and to have a women's race in such a country was incredible.

WCN: How difficult has it been to switch from the palatial 5* hotel to the more reserved hotels you are used to during the season?

EVD: "It was an incredible hotel. I don't think it would be possible to have that luxury all season. It was the first race of the season and the best hotel all season, so I think we have to enjoy it and keep it in mind for the rest of the season."

WCN: These World Championships clash with the first of the World Cup races on the road, if they had not clashed would you have like to have ridden the Italian race?

EVD: "The World Cup in Italy is really my type of race. I could have done some work the other members of the team but for me personally it is not a good race. I prefer the track to the hills in Italy."

WCN: What does the rest of the season look like for you?

EVD: "After this I start in Drenthe [three days of racing including a World Cup] and then I will do some other races up to May. I plan to take a rest after that before the National and European championships. I will do a few more races before the end of the season. I hope to them perform well enough for the Time Trial at Worlds at the end of the season, if I get selected of course."

WCN: What are the Netherlands doing to bring so many women into cycling right now?

EVD: "When we were juniors we had a very good group and those riders are coming through now as seniors. Marianne [Vos] was good in her first year of course but we have a lot of junior races in Holland. We have talent ID programmes and races for little girls as young as 12. There are a lot of races for them. I think that is great to see so many riders come through in the future."

Thanks to Ellen for taking time out to do this interview all the best for 2009 with Team Columbia from WomensCycling.net

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Ellen at the 2009 World Track Championships in Poland 2009 and in Qatar

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