A new recruit in 2023, Daniek joined the Women’s program after some steady year-on-year progression through the junior ranks and at the early stages of her elite career; combining the road and track disciplines – where she is Dutch record holder in the latter in the individual pursuit.
Not from a cycling family, Daniek tried her hand at a few sports and played volleyball for a long time. When she was younger, she took part in a race in her local village on a kids bike – which she won. After that she was always racing her friends to school so with a “why not, let’s try it” response to when her parents asked if she wanted a bike, Daniek found a new passion. Originally combining volleyball and cycling, at around the age of 15 her volleyball coach made her make the decision of which sport to focus on.”
“My volleyball coach was pretty strict and wanted me to focus on only that, so as a teenager I wanted to do the opposite and chose cycling – I’m glad I did!”
Not looking back since then, Daniek has encouraged her dad to also take up the sport and they often would go out for training rides together in her younger years. Her time on the volleyball court wasn’t in vain though as she learned some valuable lessons about teamwork and doing things together while also making sure that it remained fun.
Like many, it’s the “freedom” on the road that Daniek enjoys when she’s out training, and all the incredible places you get to visit, race, or train in with Paris and Portugal two particular former highlights.
Talkative and outgoing, Daniek’s smile shows her “empathetic” disposition and she says that she is often the “mum of the group”, always being the person looking out for the others. That also highlights her “team-player” attitude but behind all of that she describes herself as fiercely “competitive”. At camps the riders would often play games together in the evening to relax but Daniek would pick and choose on what evening she played as she says she: “doesn’t like losing and isn’t good at all of them!”
Wearing her heart on her sleeve, and her hair, Daniek concedes that her appearance gives away a lot about how she’s feeling as if she’s sporting new jewellery or a new hair style then “you know I’m not feeling too great”.
A talented cook, Daniek went to cookery school for four years and her favourite dish to make is a mean homemade pizza; something she enjoys sharing with family and friends. Away from that, she also likes to socialise with others but equally she also enjoys vibing to music and relaxing.