At the end of the start, the Dutchwoman showed a keen sense of the race to style the wire with ten runners stronger than her this Saturday. A rainbow jersey on the shoulders, the second after 2019, which ends a remarkable year between his three Grand Tours wins, his monument in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and this almost shocking victory in Wollongong .
Arriving in Liège, the Movistar climber was particularly disappointed. When she won Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and Het Nieuwsblad at the start of the season, Annemiek van Vleuten immediately subscribed to the places of honor.
Beaten in the sprint by Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) in Strade Bianche and the Tour of Flanders as well as Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) in Flèche Wallonne, the Dutchwoman also failed to finish fourth at home in the Amstel Golden Race.
Back like a cuckoo after these “disappointments”, the Dutchwoman attacked for the first time on the Côte de la Redoute before returning to Roche-aux-Faucons to win with a 43” lead over Grace Brown ( FDJ Nouvelle -Aquitaine Futuroscope). His second success in Belgium after 2019 and the basis of his rise to power.
At the end of June, the Giro d’Italia Donne brings together the best cyclists for ten stages. A double winner of the event in 2018 and 2019, the Dutchwoman spent the first few days flat out hidden by the peloton. But from the fourth period in the middle mountains, the Batave exploded all over. He won the sprint ahead of Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ) and Marta Cavalli in 43”. The fourth, Silvia Persico (Valcar – Travel & Service), was relegated to 4’51″…
He increased his lead over Passo Maniva (2nd behind Juliette Labous, who broke away) and won for the second time the next day almost a minute ahead of the Italian Marta Cavalli. The pink jersey and points classification jersey won, the glutton Van Vleuten is just at the beginning of his raid.
This is the event of the season in women’s cycling: the return of the Tour de France, after years of absence, in the form of a stage race. If the veteran loses 34” on the second day and stays smart with the profiles favorable to the sprinters, he will spread his talent on the last two mountain stages.
Winning the Markstein roads with bad gaps (Demi Vollering second in 3’24”, the tenth in more than 10 minutes), he did it again on Sunday at the top of the super Planche des Belles Filles. An overall victory with almost 4 minutes ahead of his compatriot Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) in the most publicized event, his season has been successful.
Less prestigious than the other two Grand Tours, the women’s Vuelta consists “only” of a team time trial followed by four stages. With only a mountain profile on the stage, Annemiek Van Vleuten knows she won’t have much rest if she wants to win.
So the Dutchwoman took matters into her own hands during the 106 kilometers around Colindres and easily won with more than two minutes ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek – Segafredo), Liane Lippert (Team DSM) and Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx), reducing the ranks of the stooges. The rest is just a formality to keep his crown won last year.
Marked by her fall during the mixed team time trial on Wednesday, the Dutchwoman left doubts about her participation in the road race on Saturday. Announcing that he was suffering from a broken right elbow, Van Vleuten rushed everything to serve his colleagues he said.
A little tight on the bumps, he dedicated himself to bringing his sprinter Marianne Vos back to his head. On the last lap, he showed his race science to overtake the leading group 900 meters from the line, attacking the pace and maintaining a one-second lead at the finish line.
Adding several lines to her list every year, Annemiek van Vleuten decided to continue her career for the last season in 2023. Her long-sleeved CV is still in danger of undergoing some changes …