THE BEST IN THE WORLD. No discussion. Such is the level of achievements Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten has attained for most of the past decade. Her work ethic, commitment and extreme competitive spirit have brought her to break all barriers and reach sensational results well past 30 (don’t forget she only took up pro racing at the age of 26). Looking only at the past five years, she’s notched up one Olympic title -the 2021 Tokyo time trial-; three rainbow jerseys -two ITT Worlds (2017, 18) and one road race title (2019)-; two Giro Rosa overall victories (2018, 19); one Ronde van Vlaanderen -2021, to add to her first one ten years before-; one Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2019); two Strade Bianche (2019, 2020); two La Course (2017, 18) and the European road race Championships from 2020.
WENT THROUGH EVERYTHING. Van Vleuten’s career comprises four team changes -she’s been part of the renowned Rabobank organisation, Bigla and Orica / Mitchelton, the latter propelling her to brilliant wins in the five years prior to becoming a Movistar Team rider-; two iliac artery surgeries; injuries as complicated as the one she sustained at the 2021 Paris-Roubaix -a double pubic bone fracture- or quickly to recover from as one from the 2020 Giro Rosa -which she had all but won, and from which she returned, only one week after with her wrist bandaged, to take silver in the 2020 Imola Worlds-; and an almost endless palmarès, with more than 80 UCI victories. She took out last July she huge grudge she held with regards to the Olympics, as close as she was to conquering gold in Rio (2016) when she crashed heavily while going solo for the win in the road race. That incident changed her sporting career – for the immensely better. “There, I realized I could be the best climber in the world, and that’s what made me work even harder to come back stronger.” She changed with time -even from a physiological standpoint-, returned into racing only a month later to win her first race back – and the rest is history.
SEEKING FOR NEW CHALLENGES. Owner of a Degree in Animal Science from the University of Wageningen -specialised in epidemiology and zoonoses-, a field so different to sports which speaks loads about her adaptability, Annemiek had the Movistar Team as a reference well before the women’s program was set up in 2018. She trained with members of our men’s team for the first time in 2014, at one of her regular altitude camps -back then, at Sierra Nevada; currently, at Foscagno most times-, and started to soak in a latin culture she has made a huge part of herself -Spanish is steadily improving-. She spends long periods of time across Spain and in Colombia, where she carefully prepared for every challenge. She was the undisputed World No. 1 in 2021, with 12 victories (Norway, La Vuelta, Valencia, Navarra, Dwars door Vlaanderen), and took all members of the Movistar Team a few steps further, the Blues so in need of a reference like her only a couple of years ago. The big goal for 2022 is chaining -and, of course, contesting the win at- the Giro Donne and the brandnew Tour de France Femmes. How far will she get?
2021: Movistar Team
2009-14: NL Bloeit / Rabobank
2008: Vrienden van het Platteland