“I have Milano Sanremo in my mind!” – Interview with Marijn van den Berg

Marijn van den Berg is a rising name in the international peloton. Despite already having good results in his junior years, it was in the 2021 Tour de l’Avenir that he showed himself to the world, winning two stages, one of them ahead of Arnaud de Lie, and the points classification. That year, van den Berg was already racing for Groupama – FDJ Conti and raced the Volta ao Algarve in May. The Dutchman became one of the peloton’s great promises, and since then he has constantly improved.

In 2022, van den Berg moved to EF Education – EasyPost, where he still races today. Regularity has always been one of his strong points, and his first victory would come at the Trofeo Alcudia, in 2023. Marijn highlights that 2023 “was a really good year! I made a big step in the winter, I trained a little bit more and a little bit harder, and I think that paid off with some good results. I had three victories, and of course, my first on the World Tour. The Dutchman also highlights going to the Vuelta. “I did a Grand Tour, but unfortunately I didn’t win a stage there, which was my goal, but I’m still thrilled with last season!

His first World Tour victory, on stage 5 of the Tour de Pologne, was a special moment for van den Berg. For the Dutchman, “beating Matej Mohoric, who had just won a stage in the Tour de France, João Almeida or Michal Kwiatkowski it shows, I hope, that I’m in a good direction with my shape and how good I am performing“.

Marijn van den Berg was superlative in the Tour de Pologne stage 5! (Foto: Szymon Gruchalski)
Marijn van den Berg was superlative in the Tour de Pologne stage 5! (Foto: Szymon Gruchalski)

The look in 2024

Taking the 2023 retrospective as a starting point, we asked Marijn van den Berg what his goals are for 2024. The Dutchman quickly replied, “I want to win more and I really want to start good again!“. Regarding his characteristics, van den Berg wants “to improve my sprint a bit more but still focus also on the harder races, because I think if I have a hard race that suits me better. If it’s like a small peloton and I can do a sprint, that, I think, it’s my biggest strength!“.

For Marijn van den Berg, “The races I have in mind for this year, but also for coming years are Milano Sanremo and Gent – Wevelgem. I think those races will suit me on paper. Those are big races obviously, so if it’s not for this year, it’s a plan for the future”. The Dutchman’s goal for the coming years should be to go through this type of races, “classics that are harder races, and which can end in a sprint”.

Going to a Grand Tour in 2024 is still uncertain. “It will depend on me, my form, and if any leader wants to fight for the general classification, but it’s a team decision. I really want to go to a Grand Tour, but I’m not sure yet.”

Figueira Champions Classic and Rui Costa as a teammate

Marijn van den Berg (the EF right behind the winner) is the only rider to finish both editions of Figueira Champions Classic in the top10!
Marijn van den Berg (the EF right behind the winner) is the only rider to finish both editions of Figueira Champions Classic in the top10! (Photo: João Fonseca Photogapher)

We also asked about the Figueira Champions Classic, a race in which Marijn was third in 2023. The Dutchman addressed all the difficulties of the route, with one more lap to the circuit, and also the rain and wind. In terms of participants, the peloton was also now stronger. Everything made van den Berg expect a tougher race. The proposal was to hold on with the best and then hope for the best scenario in the end. Despite all the constraints of the day, van den Berg delivered an excellent 7th place finish.

EF Education – EasyPost hired Rui Costa for the new season, and we had to ask Marijn van den Berg about what it’s been like to have the 2013 World Champion in the team. The Dutchman did not hide his admiration and confessed that they were roommates during the December training camp. “It’s super special to have him on the team, he has a lot of experience and we all can learn from him! I remember the sign-in on the podium in Mallorca, and it’s impressive to hear what he’s done in his career!”.

What to reach to have a successful 2024?

We ended the interview with a straightforward question. What would make Marijn van den Berg happy at the end of the season? The answer was concise: “That I have many victories, I hope! (laughs) I just hope to be better this year than I was last year. I want to feel that I made a big step again. I don’t know if I can put numbers to it, but I will be happy if I can achieve more than the three victories of 2023!”

On behalf of the Ciclismo Mundial team, we would like to thank Marijn van den Berg for his availability for this interview! We wish him and his team the best possible season.

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