World champion Annemiek van Vleuten has said she’s planning on competing in the Giro d'Italia Donne, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift and La Vuelta Femenina in 2023, having won all three stage races this season.
“I am clear I want to race both the Giro and Tour again,” the Dutchwoman told Spanish publication El Pelotón. “It is something that I’ve already been talking about with my coach and with my team. I still love racing in Italy, and I want to ride one more Giro.
“It would be a first big block of competition from Flanders to the Vuelta, and a second block including Giro and Tour.”
Next year, the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta will be renamed ‘La Vuelta Femenina’ and moved from September to May in the calendar. The race will also be extended from five to seven days.
“Stage races reward consistency, which is something that suits me well,” Van Vleuten said. “I’m very consistent in the Classics, too, but the level is so high on the day that it’s harder to win them. And the climbs that are in them are often too short for me. I still like them, though.
“Compared to the Classics, the Giro and the Vuelta are less stressful,” she added. “The Tour was crazy this year. Each stage was as demanding as a Classic.”
Despite battling a stomach bug, Van Vleuten convincingly won the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes in July, beating her compatriot Demi Vollering by almost four minutes.
Speaking about next year’s race route in Paris last month, the Movistar rider said: “I’m happy to see famous climbs in the route for next year, with the Tourmalet finish. It’s made me excited already. It was important that we have an uphill finish with a climb that has a big name.
“I’m also happy to see a time trial in this Tour de France. I would say that last year we had an awesome start. This year they’ve fine tuned the parcours a little bit and I think they did a good job.”
Van Vleuten is due to retire from professional cycling at the end of 2023, by which time she will be 41 years old.
The Vuelta Femenina will take place in the first week of May, with the Giro Donne starting almost two months later on 30 June. The Tour de France Femmes will begin in Clermont-Ferrand on 23 July, two weeks after the Italian race’s conclusion.
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