‘I don’t want to be arrogant, it’s unbelievable to win these races’: Annemiek van Vleuten unbeaten since World Championships

The Dutch star has extended her winning streak to five races

Annemiek van Vleuten wins the women's road race at the Yorshire World Championships (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Annemiek van Vleuten has returned from the season break utterly dominant, as she has extended her winning streak to five races.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider is undefeated since the 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire, after she took a clean sweep of wins in Spain as racing returned last week.

After a five-month lay-off due to coronavirus, the women’s peloton returned to racing on Thursday (July 23) with a trio of one-day races in the Navarre region of Spain, with 37-year-old Van Vleuten taking solo victories in all three.

She said: “I don’t want to be arrogant, it’s unbelievable for me to win these races. I never believed this would have happened.

“To win every race in the [World Champion’s] jersey; for sure I can’t keep this record but for now it’s nice. At first, they wanted to interview me about the curse of the rainbow jersey, but I am really happy I don’t have that curse.”

Van Vleuten’s winning streak started with her 100km solo break during the World Championships last September and continued with her first race of 2020 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which she won alone 42 seconds ahead of Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana).

The coronavirus pandemic then stopped all racing shortly after, but racing returned with the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa in the Navarre region of Spain on Thursday (July 23), with Van Vleuten taking victory 18 seconds ahead of Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana).

The following day Van Vleuten rode away from her rivals again in the Clasica Femenina to finish 1-14 up on Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo).

Sunday saw Van Vleuten do battle with her compatriot and rival Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) in the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria with the reigning world champion crossing the line 18 seconds ahead.

Van Vleuten said: “Anna was just behind me between 10 and 15 seconds so I had to go full gas on the descent. I had a bit of a flashback to La Course and last year in the Giro, so it was a really interesting fight between Anna and me. I could not relax on the descent or really enjoy it, but it was a beautiful final.”

>>> Watch: Big crash in one-day race due to road furniture 50m before finish line 

She now continues her season in Italy on Saturday (August 1) with the first WorldTour race of the new season, Strade Bianche.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.