Belle de Gast

I was born and raised in Utrecht, and my love for cycling began during my student days when I would combine it with beer-drinking on the terraces ;). After winning some student races, I wanted to start a professional cycling career and compete at the highest level. I was lucky enough to get a contract and embark on my journey as a professional cyclist at the World Tour level. Throughout my career, I maintained a strong connection with the cycling community, particularly in Utrecht and Limburg. I engaged with schools, inspiring children to take up cycling, and I regularly conducted cycling lessons for people who may not have had the opportunity to cycle otherwise, such as those in Asylum Seeker Centers. Additionally, I provided training to youth cyclists in Utrecht. As I approached the end of my career, I realized that the bicycle held much more significance than simply a tool for racing. Its social value became increasingly apparent to me. One notable project I undertook was a cycling expedition from Doorn (WW1) to Ypres, aiming to raise awareness about peace and war. I am very much looking forward to working on projects that harness the social value of cycling for the next two years!

What are your plans as Bicycle Mayor?

Collaboration is at the core of my approach, and I am eager to partner with the health care sector to promote active mobility, recognizing the immense benefits it brings to creating a healthier society. By organizing engaging events that celebrate the joy of cycling, I aim to not only inspire the younger generation but also change the perception of cycling as a whole. Additionally, I am committed to facilitating the collaboration of cycling advocates in Utrecht, bringing together their collective efforts to create a unified and stronger voice for positive change.