Blanka Vas was already a mega-talent when she was contracted by Team SD Worx-Protime in 2021. After a fabulous start to her pro career with fourth place at the Olympic mountain bike competition in Tokyo and fourth place at the World Road Championships in Leuven, she experienced a difficult 2022 season. Last season she recovered. "I needed an adjustment period," the Hungarian champion looks back. "Everyone immediately expected a lot from me. I certainly did too. I also had to learn to deal with the pressure I felt from my homeland. I wanted to make everyone proud, but it didn't come out right away. So I set myself the goal of gradually taking steps by 2023. That definitely worked out. I knew I had a fast sprint, but I didn't expect to win a bunch sprint at WorldTour level like I did at the Giro Donne."
Sports manager, Danny Stam, acknowledges that expectations went up steeply for Blanka Vas. "Blanka is extremely talented and so everyone expected a lot. But the results were disappointing in 2022. To get into a top team like ours as a young talent is not easy. More riders of that calibre are riding here. So the focus was no longer just on her. She also had to work in a helper's role herself at times. But she worked steadfastly and reaped the rewards of that resilience in 2023. She more than proved that she can really stand her ground at the very highest level with nice wins in the Tour de Suisse and the Giro Donne. She has made a lot of progress."
Witness also her world road title at U23 in Glasgow. "I didn't expect that, but I'm proud of that title," Vas said. "The fact that I got to wear the rainbow jersey gives a lot of motivation to hopefully win that world title one day with the pros as well. But for that I still have to work hard and grow. Starting in 2024.