The young Dutch classics prospect on going French and following the family path


ADutch rider on a French team?

Marijn van den Berg is a 21-year-old who rides for Groupama-FDJ’s Continenta­l team. He’s from De Meern in the Netherland­s, on the outskirts of Utrecht, which is not far from where his illustriou­s compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten comes from. This is his first year with FDJ, and his final year at under-23 level.

What kind of rider is he?

He’s a classics rider with a bit of a fast finish, so looks good for the one-day races. He told Procycling: “I’m more of a classics rider, but a little bit all round. I can do small climbs too, 10 minutes max. I like Flanders and races like that.”

How is he finding FDJ?

Pretty good so far, he says. Marijn’s older brother Lars is at the Groupama-FDJ WorldTour team having followed the same path through the U23 squad, so he’s treading good ground. He says: “It is really nice here. I changed teams for this year, I was at a Dutch Continenta­l team before. That was also really good, but I got the opportunit­y to come to FDJ, which was a good idea to develop and go to some really nice races, and get in the picture a bit more.”

Has he had some good results?

He has already won a race this year, so yes. He was victorious at the GP Adria Mobil in Slovenia. Marijn says: “I won from a small group, 30 guys in the sprint. It was pretty hard, there were two big climbs and two short, steep ones. A lot of guys couldn’t follow, and were dropped. It wasn’t really like we were a break, people were just dropping out the back. That kind of sprint is good for me, a small group after a hard race. And the team worked really well with the leadout. With the Carpathian Couriers Race I won when I was at Metec, this is the biggest win of my career.”

How did he get into cycling?

He followed his brother. He said that he has never stopped cycling: “It was always my dream to become a pro, and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen.” Pandemic permitting, Marijn wants to prove his worth this year and get a pro contract for 2022.

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