Annemiek van Vleuten is a professional for Movistar Team. She is spoken of as one of the most successful female riders of all times, having in her palmarès several World Championships titles, monuments, Grand Tours and countless other high-level wins along most of the women's calendar.
Name: Annemiek van Vleuten
Born: 8 October 1982
Birthplace: Vleuten, Netherlands
Turned Pro: 2008
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Annemiek van Vleuten was born on the 8th of October 1982 in the town of Vleuten in the Netherlands. Over her long career in pro cycling, she has most famously grown into the sport's top climber, having in 2022 one of the most successful seasons ever by any rider - male or female - which has earned her incomparable amounts of success.
Van Vleuten has an ongoing contract with Movistar Team that will end in 2023, the year she is set to retire from pro cycling. Her salary is of €250.000, one of the biggest in women's cycling. An estimate from this year's Tour de France Femmes saw her ride 5.27W/Kg on the Col du Platzerwasel, which could indicate an FTP of around 5-5.1W/Kg.
It all started in 2007 when she joined the amateur Therme Skin Care team. Before taking part in pro cycling she he has graduated with a master's degree in epidemiology, and first took up cycling at 23 to recover from a football injury. Little did she know that small step would lead to great things. In 2008 she signed her first pro contract with the Vrienden van het Platteland and rode an international calendar, however without wins to show for, but several results that had her place in the peloton secured.
From 2009 to 2014 she entered larger ranks, racing for the team that was initially termed DSB Bank - Nederland bloeit but would end up transforming into the the Rabobank-Liv team - which currently still stands as the Liv Racing Xstra team, and in her first season she kept up a set of consistent results. She took her first pro win in April 2010 at the Eurocup Ronde van Drenthe (the day after finishing second at the World Cup race). She backed that up with wins at the Gracia - Orlová race, Iurreta-Emakumeem Bira and at La Route de France where she also won her first overall classification.
2011 was her breakthrough season however, opening up the year with strong results in the classics, and winning the Tour des Flandres in great form. Van Vleuten would be one of the top riders of the season, further succeeding in the World Cup races, as she won aswell the Open de Suède Vargarda and the GP de Plouay. In 2012 she would go on to become Dutch national champion for the first time, taking 7 more wins throughout the season however not being able to match her success of the previous season.
In 2013 the Dutch rider finished on the Top5 of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Tour des Flandres, aswell as taking 2 wins throughout the year, but it was another modest campaign in comparison to what she was to reach in the future. In 2014 she won the Dutch time-trial national championships and the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour alongside three stage wins, in addition to one at the women's Giro d'Italia.
2015 saw her chance structure, as she signed a one-year contract with the Bigla Pro Cycling Team. The collaboration wasn't a massive success however, with two prologue wins throughout the season added to her palmarès. She would go on to finish 2nd at the Flèche Wallone, 4th at Tour des Flandres and 3rd at the European Championships time-trial. It was a short-lived move however, with van Vleuten moving to Orica - AIS in 2016 (the team that would later become Mitchelton-Scott, which worked directly with the men's Autralian squad.
Van Vleuten won the time-trial national championships this year, aswell as three other time-trials throughout the season which made up 5 of her wins. The other 2 came as the Lotto Belgium Tour which she had won before. This season could've been yet another breakthrough as she was bound to win the Olympic Games Road Race in Rio de Janeiro, but crashed on the final descent whilst leading the race, suffering three lumbar spinal fractures and a severe concussion. That didn't prevent her from raising her game however.
In 2017 van Vleuten won the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, followed by Top5 results at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche, Ronde van Drenthe, Tour des Flandres, Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Her consistency payed off however with further wins at Emakumeen Bira, time-trial national championships and twice at the Giro d'Italia, where she also finished third. Van Vleuten won the Boels Rental Ladies Tour later in the year alongside both time-trials, and her prowess against the clock also saw her become World Champion in Bergen for the first time. In addition, she took advantage of a mountainous La Course by Le Tour de France to take another very meaningful win.
The bar was set high, and in 2018 she had another incredibly consistent spring, however with wins in the stage-races only - Women's Herald Tour and Emakumeen Bira. It would be in the summer however that she would turn that around, winning the Giro d'Italia alongside three stages, taking a second win at La Course by Le Tour de France, the Veenendaal Veenendaal Classic, the Boels Ladies Tour alongside three wins and finally a second consecutive rainbow jersey at the time-trial World championships.
2019 saw van Vleuten capitalize on her form to turn it into wins in the spring, winning Strade Bianche and Liège-Bastogne-Liège - alongside 2nd places at the Tour des Flandres, Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallone. 2019 saw her win the time-trial national championships and the Giro d'Italia where she won all classifications and two stages. She won a stage at the Boels Ladies Tour before the Yorkshire World Championships where she took an impressive win with a long-range attack of 100 kilometers in the 150-kilometer long race.
In the rainbow jersey,2020 started with a massive run of wins, winning her first five races of the year including Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche. After the covid-19 lockdown she became European champion, and then went on to finish second at the World Championships behind Anna van der Breggen. 2021 was another big year, now with Movistar Team, with early wins at Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour des Flandres, alongside the Vuelta Comunitat Valenciana to name a few. Van Vleuten became Olympic Champion in the hilly Tokyo time-trial, and finished second in the road race, celebrating as she crossed the line unaware of a shocking winner out front in Anna Kiesenhofer - who, due to the lack of radios, was unknown to the peloton.
She won the Clasica San Sebastian, Ladies Tour of Norway and Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta in the following months however. 2022 however would be her ultimate season. Van Vleuten was heavily challenged in the spring, but managed to take wins at the Volta Comunitat Valenciana, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It would be her achievements over the rest of the year that would have her stand out from the field.
Van Vleuten won two stages at the Giro d'Italia and the overall classification. With the return of the Tour de France Femmes, she went on to obliterate the two mountain stages and win the overall classification. And then in the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta she succeeded the same way, winning a stage and the overall classification - effectively bagging all three Grand Tours. Her season was accomplished, but her most impressive feat was yet to come.
In the 2022 Wollongong World Championships she crashed at the start of the Mixed Relay TTT, with a chain snap causing it. She suffered a fracture in her elbow, but still started the road race 3 days later. Van Vleuten was not a prime contender and was injured, but benefited from a sneaky attack inside the final kilometer of the race out of a reduced group, and soloed her way into another world title.
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