Annemiek van Vleuten ‘very fit and very motivated to race’

The Dutch world champion's season will begin with Strade Bianche and La Course.

Photo: Getty Images

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It comes as no surprise that world champion Annemiek van Vleuten has been racking up some mega miles on the bike now that the UCI has a revised 2020 calendar. The Dutchwoman was poised to make a strong showing this spring and admitted to journalists on a Zoom call in April that she was less motivated to train without races on the calendar. Today, in a blog post on her personal website, van Vleuten said she now has a competition calendar.

“My program starts with the Strade Bianche,” she wrote. “After that, I go on a training internship, in preparation for that very busy course block. I then start it with La Course.”

Van Vleuten went on to talk about how and how much she’s been riding during the racing shutdown. She attributes her current form to a pivot in goals from being race-ready back in February to staying as fit as possible through the coronavirus shutdown.

“My goal was to keep fit and train whenever I felt like it,” van Vleuten wrote. “That worked out well. I am still very fit and now very motivated to race.”

For the world champion, training whenever she felt like it meant the occasional 400 km ride and many kilometers of mountain biking with friends. The former project was the brainchild of van Vleuten’s neighbor, and she said that when he first proposed the idea, she wasn’t into it. She then decided that, if the weather was fine, she would go. In the end, van Vleuten said that both she, and her coach, were happy with the effort.

“We didn’t ride as fast as possible, but in the end I have eleven hours and thirteen minutes of cycling time,” she wrote. “In addition, I rode 235 kilometers on my time trial bike, to the delight of who had to be in my wheel.”

Van Vleuten said that she’s also been using the time to optimize her position on the time trial bike which should play well into her current schedule. After La Course, van Vleuten heads to the Boels Ladies Tour and the Giro Rosa in very short order. After that, it’s on to the world championship races, where van Vleuten hopes to defend her rainbow jersey.

Although the dearth of racing prior to worlds has many athletes concerned, van Vleuten said that she’s realized that the metric she considers most important for success isn’t necessarily winning races.

“I don’t think it’s the competition that I miss,” she wrote. “What I really miss is biting into a goal, going for it and doing everything possible to determine it.”

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