Way back at the 2011 Tour of Flanders, a relatively unknown Dutch rider by the name of Annemiek van Vleuten took the biggest win of her fledgling career. The 28-year-old, just a couple years into life as a pro cyclist, got into the winning move of two in the final kilometres, then handily won the sprint.
A decade later, at Sunday’s 2021 Tour of Flanders, Van Vleuten snagged her second victory at ‘De Ronde’. Nowadays Van Vleuten is anything but anonymous in the bunch – she’s a former world champ, the reigning European champion, and the winner of more than 75 pro races. So when she soloed clear on the Paterberg with less than 15 km to go, it was always going to take something pretty special to pull her back.
As is so often the case, there was a lack of cohesion behind, and 38-year-old Van Vleuten rode to yet another big win, this one just days after her last at Dwars door Vlaanderen.
Joris Knapen was at the race shooting for Rhode.Photo, and Laura Fletcher was there for The Peloton Brief. Along with the Cor Vos photo agency they bring you the terrific photos you see below.