The historic year of Annemiek van Vleuten, world champion and winner of the three Grand Tours

Finally at the start, the Dutchwoman showed a keen sense of race to stylize the ten runners a priori stronger than her on the cable this Saturday. A rainbow jersey on her shoulders, the second after 2019, which concludes an incredible year between her three Grand Tour wins, her monument to her in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and this almost surprise victory in Wollongong.

Arriving in Liège, the Movistar climber is especially frustrated. If he won the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and the Het Nieuwsblad at the beginning of the season, Annemiek van Vleuten then points to the places of honor.

Outsprinted by Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) on the Strade Bianche and the Tour of Flanders, as well as Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) on the Flèche Wallonne, the Dutchwoman also flopped to fourth place at home in the Amstel. Gold run.

Coming back like a bogeyman after these “disappointments”, the Dutchwoman first attacked on the Côte de la Redoute before returning to Roche-aux-Faucons to triumph with a 43” lead on goal over Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle -Aquitaine Futuroscope). Her second success in Belgium after 2019 and the basis of her rise to power.

At the end of June, the Giro d’Italia Donne brings together the best cyclists for ten stages. Double winner of the event in 2018 and 2019, the Dutchwoman spends the first few days quite flat hidden in the peloton. But from the fourth stage in the mid-mountain, the Batave blew everything up. She won the sprint ahead of Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ) and Marta Cavalli at 43”. The fourth, Silvia Persico (Valcar – Travel & Service), is relegated to 4’51″…

She will increase her advantage at the top of Passo Maniva (second behind Juliette Labous, who escaped) and will triumph for the second time the next day with almost a minute of advantage over the Italian Marta Cavalli. Pink jersey and points classification jersey earned, the gluttonous Van Vleuten is only at the beginning of her foray.

It was the highlight of the women’s cycling season: 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 remains low-key in sprinter-friendly profiles, she splurges on talent in the final two hilly stages.

Winner on the roads of Markstein with abysmal slopes (Demi Vollering second at 3’24”, the tenth at more than 10 minutes), she did it again on Sunday at the top of the super Planche des Belles Filles. Total victory with almost 4 minutes ahead of compatriot Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) in the most publicized test, a season that has already been a success.

Less prestigious than the other two Grand Tours, the women’s Tour consisted “solely” of a team time trial followed by four stages. With only one really hilly stage profile, Annemiek Van Vleuten knows that she doesn’t have much room for maneuver if she wants to win.

Thus, the Dutchwoman took matters into her own hands during the 106 kilometers around Colindres and won easily with a lead of more than two minutes over Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek – Segafredo), Liane Lippert (Team DSM) and Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx). ), reduced to the rank of puppets. The rest is just a procedure to preserve the crown of her acquired the previous year.

Marked by her fall during Wednesday’s mixed team time trial, the Dutchwoman left doubts about her participation in Saturday’s road test. Announcing suffering a fracture in his right elbow, Van Vleuten rushes anyway at the service of their peers she says.

A bit tight on bumps, she is dedicated to bringing her sprinter Marianne Vos back to her head. On the final lap, she showed off her race science to catch up with the lead pack with 900 meters to go, attack with a steady pace and hold a one-second lead over the finish.

Adding to each year his path of many linesAnnemiek van Vleuten has decided to continue her career for one last season in 2023. Her long resume is still in danger of undergoing some changes…

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