Track to race on: 2016 Papendal track Favourite Race: Frejus Food: Pizza or a good hamburger Gym: Papendal gym Person on Instagram: Not one in particular Travel destination: California and South America People to ride with: My brother and other friends I grew up riding with Trainer/Coach: Rob & Raymon, and my longtime coach Bas Pump track: Any concrete one Car: VW Polo, but hopefully a Range Rover Evoque in the future! Movie: What happens in Vegas….
Name: Merle van Benthem Sponsors: Team: Meybo, Box, Tioga, HT Pedals, Nederlandse Loterij, WLM Design, Pro-Gate. Personal: Van Benthem Metselwerken Mechanic: Willie Meijer
When's the last time you raced your BMX bike? Merle van Benthem: The UCI World Cups in Shepparton were my last races and they were at the first weekend of February.. Hopefully the world gets all healthy again so we can go back racing!
Name: Merle van Benthem Number in Rio: 75 Country: The Netherlands Result: Semi final
How big was your struggle even making it to the Olympics? Merle: To be honest it was a pretty rough road to Rio. Had to deal with a fractured back, a torn ACL and a pretty bad concussion but once I made it, it was all worth it.
What were your personal goals two weeks before the Olympic race? Merle: My goals were to medal.
How much different did the track look when you saw it for the first time? Merle: The track looked a lot different during the Olympics than the first time we saw the track at the test event. Not just the green asphalt turns but the track looked way smoother and faster than during the test event.
How big was your team arond you in Rio? (mechanic, coach, nutrition, physio, family/friends, etc...) Merle: My parents and brother came out to Rio to support. My best friend who is a Dutch track cyclist and other couple Dutch athletes were in the stands to support. And of course the Dutch staff.