Inge Roggeman (1981) Arendonk (Belgium)
I am Inge Roggeman, born on April 13th 1981 in Flanders. I divide my time between Arendonk (Belgium) and Estepona (Spain), although I would like to be in Spain more often because of the sunshine and good food!
As my grandfather, uncle and husband had been pro-cyclists, it might look evident that I have been as well, but it has not always been like that. I started gymnastics when I was three, I did not need to say that as a teenager I got a little bored being in a gym hall every day, I switched to swimming competition until I went to university.
During my journalism studies I met my husband, Peter Wuyts, who was a pro rider at that time. I joined him as many races as possible and got my degree after an internship at Sporza Radio, the national radiostation. During that time I took up sports again, I got myself a cyclocross and a road bike and went out to discover the world. It did not take much time to notice I had a talent for this sports and I felt I should have tried it sooner.
When my husband finished his career as a pro cyclist, I made my entrance in the women elite peloton. Age 27 it was now or never. I joined UCI women’s team for a few years and raced Tour de Flanders, Flèche Wallonne, the World Championships TTT … But after 5 years the combination of an international program and my fulltime job I became very much and I quit racing.
That does not mean I lost my passion for the bike. It’s simply shifted from the road to the mountainbike. And off course, you might guess what happened. As I am a competitive spirit, I soon discovered the marathon races and took off again. I still need to work on my technique, but learning so many new things, seeing so many new places and faces.
As most sports, learning goes with ups and downs, so I experienced again beginning of last year. Now, as a cyclist, I know a little about crashing, but it was never as nasty as this one. With 15 broken ribs, a broken collarbone and bruised lungs I spent several weeks in hospital. But I fought back and only 3 months later I was on the podium of my first marathon again. At the end of the season I became provincial champion XCO. A great way to end the year and work better and harder for the future.
But most importantly, do it with passion or not at all!