Annemiek van Vleuten considering transfer away from Mitchelton-Scott

The world champion would be another big-name rider to make a change

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Annemiek van Vleuten is considering a transfer away from her Mitchelton-Scott squad.

The reigning world champion has confirmed she is in talks with other teams as her contract with the Australian WorldTour squad comes to an end this year.

Mitchelton-Scott has been through a turbulent 2020 so far, with riders having their wages cut because of coronavirus and management then being involved in a bizarre sponsorship debacle.

In an interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS, Van Vleuten said: “I am currently talking to other teams, but of course also to my current team.

“An important consideration is which team will best help me go for the medal in the Olympics, and which team will keep me happy as a rider?

“I perform my best when I am really enjoying myself.”

Van Vleuten, 37, has been dominant on the road in recent seasons, winning the World Championship time trial in 2017 and 2018, following up with the Worlds road race in Yorkshire last year.

She has also won two editions of the Giro Rosa and taken titles in Strade Bianche, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

But despite her remarkable winning record, Van Vleuten was forced to take a “substantial” pay cut as racing was suspended earlier this year due to coronavirus.

The Dutch rider admitted “it’s not nice to be the world champion and get a pay cut.”

Mitchelton-Scott has been hit by financial difficulty this year, which prompted management to search for new sponsorship.

Last month, the team announced they would be changing name and kit as Manuela Fundacion came on board as headline sponsor.

But a dispute then emerged over who would actually own the team, as current owner Gerry Ryan was convinced he would keep responsibility while Manuela Fundacion intended to take over the team. The deal was cancelled a week later.

Van Vleuten has admitted she was concerned about the deal and that she is relieved Ryan will still own the team.

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She added that she has not been contacted by any Dutch teams and that she has not yet made a decision on where she will ride in 2021.

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