Annemiek van Vleuten: 'I'm still improving'

Annemiek Van Vleuten has achieved nearly everything there is to achieve in cycling but this summer she’s eyeing one that hasn't been done for over 20 years - the Giro-Tour double. Adam Becket finds out what keeps her coming back for more at 39, why training with male teammates is integral to her improvement and whether she really is "an alien"

Annemiek Van Velueten
(Image credit: Atila Manrona for Future)

This article forms part of a week of women's focused stories, in celebration of our Women's Special edition of Cycling Weekly Magazine, one sale from Thursday, March 10. See the full schedule of upcoming articles here.

If you are into board games, then you may have played Ticket to Ride, the game where you build an empire across a continent using railway lines. If so then you have something in common with Annemiek van Vleuten, who is one of millions of players worldwide. But the difference between you and her is that in the past few years, the Dutchwoman has also been building a very real empire across Europe, not with little plastic trains or wooden blocks on a board but with win after relentless win. 

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Adam Becket
News editor

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s news editor – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing. He's usually out and about on the roads of Bristol and its surrounds. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.