After concussion, Van den Berg is no longer an outsider for Sanremo: "Bettiol makes a good spearhead" Cycling

After concussion, Van den Berg is no longer an outsider for Sanremo: "Bettiol makes a good spearhead"

After concussion, Van den Berg is no longer an outsider for Sanremo: "Bettiol makes a good spearhead"

Had he not taken a fall a few weeks ago, he would undoubtedly have been on the list of outsiders for Milan-San Remo. However, a concussion threw everything off course for Marijn van den Berg, who is currently just happy that he can start in La Primavera this Saturday. In an interview with, the 24-year-old Dutchman of EF Education-EasyPost talks about a good winter, a great start to the season, and that nasty fall in the Tour of the Algarve...

"I was out for quite a while with that concussion, which was pretty shitty," begins Van den Berg, who crashed hard onto the asphalt in the third stage in the Algarve. "After ten days, I was able to pick up training again, making me fit enough to start Milan-Turin on Wednesday. Just to feel how the body was holding up. It wasn't really top-notch towards Saturday, but that was to be expected. I hope to be better by Saturday because I've put in the hours."

Nevertheless, the recovery process after a concussion is always delicate. For instance, Taco van der Hoorn has been out for almost a year, so Van den Berg and EF Education-EasyPost proceeded with caution. "I just noticed that I wasn't sharp. In cases like that, we always do a baseline test, where you have to do various tasks that they also had you do when everything was normal. You have to do those with a concussion as well. Immediately, I noticed I had to concentrate more and I started getting headaches."

"You have to take it easy, but the doctor also said that you shouldn't lie in a dark room all day. I did that for the first few days, but then you have to get your circulation going again with a bit of walking and such," he continues. "I've also heard those stories about Van der Hoorn, that you have to be super careful, and the team was too. Only after a week was I allowed back on the bike, but then it was really just for fifteen minutes. Very calm, and if I felt anything, I had to go back and stop immediately. Fortunately, the headache went away fairly quickly, because that was what bothered me the most. After that, when you're back on the bike, you're constantly thinking about whether you're fully sharp or not. That's difficult."

Continue reading below the photo!

After concussion, Van den Berg is no longer an outsider for Sanremo: "Bettiol makes a good spearhead"

Van den Berg took "step back" after fall

When things started to improve after a week or so, Van den Berg could look toward the future again. However, in our interview with him, we first look back. Because after the young sprint sensation made an impression in 2023 with victories in the Trofeo Ses Salines, La Route d'Occitanie and the Tour of Poland, he started 2024 excellently with a fourth place in Trofeo Ses Salines-Felanitx, third in the Trofeo Palma and a seventh place in the Figueira Champions Classic. "That fall was really a crappy moment, because I really felt super good up until then, and it felt like a victory was on its way. So, that fall was indeed a step back. A race like Milan-Turin should normally suit me, but it didn't go as I had wanted. That's quite frustrating, but it takes time, and then it will be alright again. I try to stay positive."

The fact that Van den Berg is immediately listed for Milan-San Remo on Saturday speaks volumes about his status within the team. Despite his concussion and ruined preparation, he will participate. "I was really looking forward to this race, so I also wanted to ride myself. I won't be at my best, but it's also an experience for the future, I hope. I was supposed to ride Gent-Wevelgem next week, but since I've had few racing days now, I'm doing the Tour of Catalonia instead. To get a bit more into shape and maybe compete in the sprints. After that, we have to see what the plan will be."

With an impressive solo victory by Alberto Bettiol in Milan-Turin, EF Education-EasyPost heads towards the first Monument with confidence. "That was quite nice. We had many guys in the sickbay, and things were not going well. So, it's extra nice when that victory comes, at a good time. The way it happened was also quite impressive, giving us a good focal point for Saturday with him. Alberto is a really nice guy, who wants the best for the team. You can tell that from how he is, he really wants to help others when needed. That makes him a great rider."

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments

More Cycling News