Road world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) has auctioned off a collection of signed cycling kit to raise money for her local cycling club, WV in Ede.
The 37-year-old whose emphatic list of 2019 palmares also includes winning the Giro Rosa, Strade Bianche and Liege–Bastogne–Liege sold off eleven years worth of old cycling kit.
The total of the fundraising push comes to around €10,000, or £8,600 in UK sterling – and there’s still some kit left going spare.
Much of the money raised will go to providing mountain bikes for children, the local club has a waiting list of youngsters now in breathless anticipation of new wheels to begin their cycling adventures.
The club has a tour, youth and race department, with an HQ in Ede’s Horsterweg.
The sell off happened at Roel Peerenboom bike shop, in Wageningen, with Van Vleuten setting up a signing table and spending around 90 minutes scrawling her initials onto kit and posing for over 100 photos, for an extra 5 euros each.
The breakaway specialist who won the Yorkshire World Championships with a 100km solo effort told Dutch newspaper De Gelderlander: “I had been planning to tidy up my house for some time. I always looked in the attic and thought: what should I do with all those things? I always tried to make friends happy with it, but not everyone has my size. “
She added: “Maybe I could have gotten more money for [the kit] online… but I found this much nicer. This way the buyers could also meet me, for a signature and photo.”
Tweeting the final total from the bike shop sale, Van Vleuten confirmed that the remaining kit will soon be available to buy on the club’s website.
The reigning world champion has not been resting on her laurels since her heroic win, tackling the cyclocross season and winning in Rhenen on Saturday.
Commenting on her experience meeting fans whilst selling of the kit, Van Vleuten said: “Some people had really shaking hands when signing or at the photo opportunity. [It was a] very strange to experience. Because I don’t feel that I have changed, but people have started to look at me differently.”