With the continued professionalisation of women’s professional cycling, we have seen an enormous surge in racing talent.
The women’s peloton has boasted a wealth of habitual winners over the last 10 years.
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Dutch riders have absolutely dominated the calendar, but the British have also punched above their weight on the continent.
We’ve put together a collection of six of the best riders (the size of a Giro Rosa squad) from the last 10 years, but luckily we don’t have to balance the personalities and ambitions of this lot.
Here is our definitive fantasy team from the last 10 years:
The obvious choice for a reason, Vos’s palmarès tells you all you need to know – 228 wins, three World Championship titles, Olympic gold, 25 Giro Rosa stages, plus any other number of achievements.
Now 32, Vos could continue to dominate the next decade as well having claimed 19 victories this season, including La Course and four stages of the Giro Rosa.
Annemiek van Vleuten
This list is bound to be dominated by Dutch riders, as the Netherlands continues to perform as the cycling superpower in women’s racing.
The next selection for the team is Annemiek van Vleuten, whose specialism is almost impossible to pin down.
Van Vleuten has two World Championship tie trials to her name, has triumphed overall in the Giro Rosa twice and this year finally claimed the rainbow bands in the road race.
Her versatility and unparalleled dedication make Van Vleuten the next most dominant rider after Vos.
Deignan is the most accomplished rider to come from these isles in the last decade, having put in some mesmerising performances since 2010.
Most significantly, Deignan claimed the World Championship road race title in Richmond in 2015 with an absolute masterclass of tactics and strength.
Add the world title to a silver medal from the 2012 Olympics in London and the evidence is clear the Deignan is among the best one-day racers of her generation.
This year, Deignan returned from pregnancy to win a nail-biting edition of the Women’s Tour – her second GC win in the event – so don’t expect her to slow down next year.
Australian Amanda Spratt’s palmarès really doesn’t reflect her talent, as she consistently find herself at the front of races and is so often ready to fight for victory only to narrowly miss out.
That being said, Spratt has a strong collection of GC victories – including three editions of the Women’s Tour Down Under – and has been on the World Championship road race podium in the last two editions.
Her most impressive performance this season came in La Course, when Spratt went on a huge solo mission of the front of the race and came within 400 metres of victory, only to be swallowed up and forced to settle for sixth.
Italian sprinter Giorgia Bronzini may have retired late in the 2018 season, but her string of results from the last 10 years still earn her inclusion in this fantasy squad.
Her back-to-back victories in the 2010 and 2011 World Championships secure her as one of the greatest sprinters of the last 10 years, cemented by 81 other victories she picked up over her career.
Anna van der Breggen
Anna van der Breggen rides in a similar mould to her compatriot Van Vleuten – an immensely strong all-rounder who can win just about any race.
Most impressive in her string of results are five consecutive victories in Flèche Wallone, World Championship road race glory last year, and of course her unforgettable gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Van der Breggen may not be as a prolific winner as Vos or Van Vleuten, but she is still among the very few best riders in the world from the last decade.