Get to know our Vemarc Sport Ambassador, Simone Cornelisse.
Simone, living in Belgium – but Dutchie by heart, is passionate about cycling for her whole life. Why she’s so passionate? Find out more in the interview below.
“The ambition to go get the most out of sport has always been in be. But the step to become a professional cyclist was too big. Setting goals and achieving them gives me tremendous satisfaction” Says Simone. For the same reason, Simone started last year as an personal coach to coach others on a sporting level. Both novice athletes, top athletes, but also overweight young kids can contact her for coaching.
Simone, until a few years ago you took part in cycling races, until suddenly disaster struck and that competition dream was jeopardized. Can you tell us more about this?
Like I said, I always want to get the most out of sport, and when I felt during a training or mountain bike competition that I could no longer give myself 100%, I knew that something was physically wrong. Six months later I found out that I had contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite. As a result, I was forced to quit competitive sport.
That must have been a hard blow to you. How are you doing in the meantime?
Better, for a year now I have felt that my body is 90% the same again. That makes me really looking forward to new challenges. I set new goals step by step and I have already ran five marathons. I certainly do not rule out a future in the competition world, but we will see what the future will bring.
Riding in competition again remains a question mark, but cycling still charms you enormously. Why exactly is that? And do you have a favorite cyclist?
I just love looking at the team play, the beautiful landscapes and the course. But I also love to see the evolution within women’s cycling. It is so nice to see that women in this sport are more and more appreciated and more on TV. So I really like to watch the race, but I don’t have a favorite cyclist in specific.
Cycling is very popular, and more people are finding their way to the bicycle. What is the most important thing for you to take with you on a bike ride?
Most important to me is good quality clothing. You sometimes go out for a 4 hours ride and then you don’t want anything to rub or pinch. That is why I am so satisfied with Vermarc’s clothing. I always have other essential things with me, such as equipment for breakdowns, but also food and drinks.
You really spend some hours on the bike. Belgium is known worldwide for cycling. “The course is ours,” some even dare to pronounce. Throughout the country you can drive in different landscapes. In which region you do you prefer to go for a ride?
My favorite region is in and around the ‘Hageland’ in Flanders (Belgium), because of the many beautiful gravel routes. I also like to go to the Ardennes (Belgium) for more altitude. Or to my home area at the coast of Zeeland in the Netherlands.
Do you have any tips for the novice cyclist?
My tip for them is definitely not to buy the most expensive bike to start, but rather invest in good clothing, helmet and shoes. Enjoy nature and don’t expect too much from yourself. Find a buddy to ride with and discover fun new places.