Ellen van Dijk is making her return to racing this week! – Trek Race Shop

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“I am very excited to finally rejoin the Team and be back racing after around 18 months without it,” she says. “I have been training for most of that time but a lot has happened in between and so much has also changed in my life outside cycling. While I am really happy to finally go back to racing, I am also, of course, curious as to where I stand at the moment.
Even though training has gone well and everything is going according to plan, returning to racing after any amount of time off is always a bit of an unknown and I will always be a little nervous to go back into the peloton and have this feeling again.”
Ellen’s last competition was the Chrono des Nations, a race she won in October 2022. In March 2023 came the news of her pregnancy and, in October, Ellen and her partner Benjamin welcomed their son, Faas.

A post shared by Ellen van Dijk (@emvandijk)

When looking at the parcours for Vuelta Extremadura Féminas, it will come as no surprise to those who know Ellen why she is looking forward to returning to racing there.
“We picked this race as my first race back because it has a nice time trial in it, so that’s my main goal of these three days,” explains Ellen. “I really want to get back into TT mode and see where my level is at this moment. We have trained a lot for it already and I am excited to ride a time trial again, especially in my first race back. It’s the discipline I love the most so I am really happy that I can get back to it straight away. After that, it’s all about easing into it again, getting back into the peloton, getting that race feeling back and being a part of the Team. This is a smaller race than the Spring Classics so I am really happy that I can start here and build towards the bigger races.
“However, at the same time, it also comes with a bit of a heavy heart because I will be leaving home again. I have been together with my partner Benjamin, and Faas, who was born five months ago. This will be the first time I really have to leave them alone and being apart will mentally be a challenge.”
As Ellen prepares for her first race back with the Team in the Lidl-Trek colors, she reflects on what she can take with her from her experience of becoming a mother.
“For sure, the pain which I experienced when I was giving birth was something that I have never ever felt before or could have ever described beforehand. So, when I am suffering on the bike I can always think back to that and remember that it could be 10 times, or more, worse. That’s, for sure, something I will take with me. I think I have also learned that you can function with a lot less sleep than I could have imagined before so, if I ever have bad night’s sleep, I won’t worry again.”

A post shared by Ellen van Dijk (@emvandijk)

“When I was pregnant, we made an ideal plan, which in fact was to come back for this race. We thought this was the earliest I could come back to racing and that was also factoring in that I wanted to breastfeed. We knew that there could be setbacks and anything could happen, but so far, very fortunately, everything has gone according to plan so, it’s now time to go back to racing.
I do feel really ready. I have trained a lot and once you start to get sick of training, you know it’s time to start racing again, so bring it on!”
Pedersen came close with another second place in Paris-Nice, taking the Green Jersey as a consolation

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