Ellen van Dijk on peak form in time for the Olympics: “The biggest challenge of my career”

Dutch cyclist Ellen van Dijk faced a major setback ahead of the Paris Olympics. Earlier this month, during a training camp in Spain, she broke her right ankle. The 37-year-old was in Spain fine-tuning her form for the national time trial championships, a key event leading up to the Olympic time trial. Unfortunately, she had an unfortunate collision with a trailer, leading to her injury. The main concern now is whether she will be fit in time for the Olympics and if she can realistically aim for a gold medal.

On the day she would have participated in the national time trial championships, Van Dijk shared the latest updates on her condition in the AD podcast In het Wiel. “The surgery went very well. It was a challenge for the surgeon, but I was in very good hands,” said Van Dijk, who mentioned she has begun to “pedal a bit” cautiously. However, she must wait for her wounds to heal before resuming serious training.

“In my mind, it’s certainly possible”

But how realistic is it for Van Dijk to compete in top form at the Olympics? The Olympic time trial is scheduled for 27th July, with the road race on 4 August. “In my mind, it’s certainly possible. But I can’t train fully yet. I’ll only know for sure in about three weeks. Is it truly feasible, or is it just wishful thinking? Right now, I’m focused on making it feasible.”

Van Dijk draws hope and confidence from her previous experiences. “This is the way to do it. I saw how quickly everything came back after my pregnancy. This is a completely different situation, but it gives me hope and confidence. I don’t know if my dream is shattered yet. I’ve already decided: this is the biggest challenge of my career.”

“My sole focus is to recover as quickly as possible and get back to my level. It’s obviously not ideal, but the situation is what it is. I’m solely focused on getting to Paris in the best way possible.”