With almost 110 professional wins, Kirsten Wild is a well-known name in the peloton. In our latest Q&A in collaboration with Voxwomen, find out some little-known facts about the Dutch sprinter, who used to work as a teacher before turning pro.
Where are you from?
I’m from the Netherlands, born in Almelo.
Where do you live?
I currently live in Zwolle, in the Netherlands.
How did you get started in cycling?
My brother was a cyclist and inspired me. I always loved competition and also did swimming when I was younger. I bought a bike aged 12 and started competing against my father and brother, and then later in a club where I started racing against women my age.
At what point did you realize that cycling was more than a hobby?
When I was selected for the World Championships in Salzburg. It was at that time that I started getting paid for cycling and was able to stop working as a teacher.
What’s your most cherished memory in your sporting career to date?
Worlds track in Apeldoorn, my home track. I was able to win three world titles in front of my friends and family.
What are your goals for the Olympics?
What will your training look like as the Games approach?
It’s a mix between road and track racing and training, and also a lot of strength training. This sounds complicated, which is true. But I have good help from my road team Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling as the national team coaches.
Which athletes inspire you?
Kristin Armstrong. I met her when she was my teammate at Cervélo, and she is such a professional athlete, and always determined to achieve her goals.
What keeps you motivated during difficult times?
My rainbow jerseys and also having a clear goal, in this case the Olympics, and remembering why I do this sport—because I like it and still have fun on the bike.
Advice for younger riders striving for the Olympics?
Have fun in what you do. Work on your strengths, and try to become the best in that.
If you weren’t a pro rider, what would you be doing now?
I’d probably be a physical education teacher at a high school.
Favorite coffee ride snack?
Favorite coffee ride stop?
It’s doesn’t really matter, as long there is good company.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
A lion, who springs into action when needed.
One thing you can’t live without on the road?
A good book.
For more coverage of women’s cycling, head to voxwomen.com