When the three-rider breakaway with Femke de Vries (GT Krush RebelLease), Margaux Vigié (Lifeplus Wahoo) and Amalie Lutro (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) was caught with 28 km to go on stage 1 of the Simac Ladies Tour, few would have expected De Vries to go on the attack again in the final. That, however, is exactly what the 29-year-old from Nijmegen did, jumping from the peloton with one lap of a 16.3-kilometre finishing circuit to go.
“It was more to a give it a try and see what happens, a lot can happen. And the race was on my training roads, so it was really nice to be in the front today with all the encouragement along the road,” De Vries told Cyclingnews.
After being reeled in the first time, she initially had no thoughts at all of going again on stage 1, more than busy with just staying in the peloton as it went up the day’s only classified climb.
“When I was caught, I could only think about following the peloton because it went fast uphill, but luckily, I got help from my teammates. It was a little bit later that I recovered a bit and with the combativity jersey in my mind, I saw another good moment for an attack,” De Vries said.
She quickly built an advantage of ten seconds and stayed ahead of the peloton for some time before being caught again 9 kilometres from the line. Nonetheless, De Vries’ aggressive racing paid off with a trip to the podium where she received the red jersey for the most combative rider.
De Vries came into cycling relatively late, taking up the sport during her medical studies at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
“I started cycling at NSWV Mercurius, a cycling club for students. I fell in love with it immediately and was curious what I could do in competition. I did some running and field hockey during my high school, but nothing really dedicated like cycling,” she explained.
From 2019, De Vries raced with the Dutch amateur outfit Team Loving Potatoes, the women’s team of well-known cycling club De Jonge Renner. For 2022, she joined UCI Continental Team GT Krush Tunap, now GT Krush RebelLease. Until recently, she combined her cycling career with working as a doctor, but De Vries then decided to concentrate fully on cycling for the time being.
“I worked in geriatrics part-time until last winter, then I had the opportunity to do cycling full-time. I thought that I can be a doctor the rest of my life and this is what I love to do, so the decision was made. It is my dream to race a Grand Tour,” De Vries said.