Let us introduce you to Marion Borras, a 20 year old track racer dreaming of competing in the Olympic Games for the French team. Originally hailing from Grenoble, Marion is now living in a city a bit outside of Paris. She is studying to be a physiotherapist in addition to pursuing her track racing career.
Text: Kaitlyn Bové / Mari Oshaug
BV: Marion, thanks for talking with us. How did you first get into cycling?
MB: I’ve been cycling for 13 years, and I actually got into it completely by chance. My father has always been athletic, and my mother an avid skier ever since I can remember. I just happened to try out cycling and haven’t stopped since!
BV: Do you remember cycling as a little girl?
MB: When I was young I remember that all the little things would scare me. In general I was reserved, shy and scared of other people, especially in the races. They seemed so strong to me. But now, race after race, I see that I, too, have the ability to be just as strong, even if it took me a while to realise.
BV: What is it about cycling that excited you?
MB: Ultimately I love the competition. In this setting, we as competitors have to better ourselves day after day. The level of difficulty is always rising, so we have to match it. I love this sort of challenge.
BV: Could you tell us more about the track racing? Do you race in team and solo?
MB: I absolutely love track racing, more than road. I find it to be a very special atmosphere. It’s so exciting. Well, I do both team and solo. Most of the time I do team pursuit, but sometimes I do individual pursuit in other races, like Omnium and Madison. I really like to race, and team gives me a strong feeling when all goes well.
BV: So you do ride road races as well, or just track racing?
MB: No I do road race, too. It’s a little bit more difficult for me because I don’t do enough road to be good at it. But I do hope one day that I will be better! For road I generally prefer individual time trial.
BV: Did you attend any sport racing school?
MB: No, never. BV: How does a normal training go about? MB: A normal day would be like musculation throughout the morning, followed by track training in the afternoon.
BV: You’re young, but could you tell us a bit about your results so far?
MB: My best results so far were on junior. I got 2nd for individual pursuit at worlds and the European championship. Then I received 3rd at the Omnium, and 3rd at the team pursuit. I also have six titles for French championships for track.
BV: What would you say is the best and the scariest thing about the sport?
MB: The scariest thing is to see in person how so many cyclists risk their lives just to do what they love. Yet on the other hand, that side of emotions and passion is the best thing about it, too. The best thing is by far to see all of the emotions that we can live. It’s just wonderful. We meet some great people along the way who become real friends. Cycling is a big family.
BV: What’s the funniest story from a race that you can remember?
MB: Ha! My first race, for sure. It was when I was seven years old. I was in the front of the race, specifically the first girl. So, the guy at the starting point told us to follow the U19 for the circuit, but it went too fast and I got completely lost. I decided to take the easiest way to get back to the finish line, and I was declassed! BV: What’s your ultimate goal? MB: Olympic Games! I want to compete with the French team.
BV: What do you think about the progress of women in the sport?
MB: Overall I think that it’s much better., but there is still a lot of work looking ahead. On the plus side, we have more races and we are more publicised than we have been historically speaking. Yet comparatively there is still a big difference with the men.
BV: What would you tell the others who want to get into professional track racing?
MB: Hard work and always believe in your dream.