Date of Birth: 29th May 1991 Nationality: Belgian Team: Ciclotel Former Teams: Doltcini-Van Eyck, Lensworld-Kuota, ParkHotel Valkenburg & Boels-Dolmans Career Achievements: 1st – Dwars door de Westhoek (2012) 3rd – Stage Dubai Women’s Tour (2020) 5th – 7-DorpenOmloop Aalburg (2014) 6th – GC Tour of Chongming Island (2015), Stage Tour of Chongming Island (2014 & 2013) Omloop van Borsele (2015), Erondegemse Pijl (2013)
Who taught you how to ride a bike & how old were you?
I was 6 years old when I got my first bike, to be honest, I was so small that they had to create wooden blocks on my pedals because there were no smaller road bikes yet…
My brother was riding the bike already (later sub pro, name – Arjen de Baat) & we got it from the ‘blood’. My uncle had ridden as the yellow jersey in the Tour de France & my mom was Dutch Champion in 1977 (Teun & Nita van Vliet). So, not a big surprise I wanted to ride a bicycle from this younger age. In Holland we could race once you get to 8 years old, so this was my luck…
PS: I was a Dutchie before, I changed my nationality a few years ago to become Belgian. I’ve been living already here for 11 years this summer since I was 18 years old. I live in the city, where Tour of Flanders starts & finishes: Oudenaarde
What was your first ‘proper’ road bike & what colour was it?
Then after I got my first proper road bike: a Green Bianchi, and oh was I proud to be on this bike, as I remember 🙂
What’s your favourite routes/places to ride?
My favourite or most spectacle race experiences are the Tour of Flanders, because of all these amazing crowds, but also my participation 3 times in the Giro Rosa…just Italy, the people, the race, everything around, it has something special.
I was/am already in love with Italy since I was a kid, where we always went on holiday every year with my parents and brother. We took our bikes with us, since we were young, and in the morning we would go for a ride and in the afternoon we play at the campsite or beach.
But to come back to the races…. the Tour of Flanders, it is amazing. It is my hometown, and even though I didn’t participate the last 2 years because I wasn’t in a good level, I came to watch and saw it at a different way.
I have one word for it: WOW!
What tips do you have to keep the love of cycling going amidst all the training?
The last 2 years as I said I wasn’t in good shape. My life changed, I divorced, start working full time, kept on training at the same pace & even you know, there comes a day you can’t keep that pace but you try to keep going….
After a while, I started to find the right balance, rest in my body, rest in my head & I knew I had to change things to keep doing what my heart is full of – cycling. I’m maybe not the most talented rider around, but sacrificing things & working hard can take you far…
A lot of people gave up on me already, which is their right…but I am happy I didn’t give up. Together with my trainer, we had a plan. It took me more than a year to get me back in a shape but at the end of last season, I felt the ‘old me’ back and worked hard this winter to get even better.
How far will it go? I have no idea!!! I really love doing what I’m doing now. I try to improve myself every time & then we will see if this is enough for results later. I am a team captain in our team in the first place and really like working/riding for another teammate.
Thanks for reading about Kim de Baat – more Women’s Cycling Profiles can be found here