Team SD Worx's Demi Vollering has expressed her desire to achieve a victory over Annemiek van Vleuten before the Dutchwoman's long and storied career comes to an end following the climax of the 2023 campaign.
"I need years, but I don't have years now anymore – Annemiek will stop now after this year. That's a bit of a pity for me because I really want to beat her," Vollering reveals to Cycling News. "I think [her retirement] is also a pity for women's cycling because she brings it to a whole new level. We all need to train as hard as she does to be there, of course."
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Van Vleuten of course was all-conquering in 2022, claiming victories at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Giro Donne, the Tour de France Femmes, the Ceratizit Challenge, and the World Championship road race. Vollering however has had plenty to shout about herself over the last twelve months.
"I can be really proud of my season," Vollering said. "I think I missed in spring a little bit the big win that I really wanted in the big three Classics. I was always very close. "Then the Tour de France Femmes was a big, big highlight for me, and I think how I rode there was the best I could do so again there was nothing to regret there. I was in my best form ever so that's also nice to know and feel that you did everything for that race."
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Looking ahead to her 2023 season, Vollering is determined to keep improving. "My first focus is the Classics and then for sure the Tour de France. After the Tour, of course, the Worlds is a really nice race. Those three are my biggest highlights of the year." she reveals. "Last year I did more VO2 Max training, which was new, and that worked out well. If I keep doing it then I'll be better and better, for sure."
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