Defending world champion Anna van der Breggen will not compete in the time trial at the World Championships on Monday. The 2020 time trial and road race world champion will only race one more event in her career, the World Championship road race on Saturday, September 25th. According to Van der Breggen’s Instagram she decided to skip her final time trial long ago and is looking forward to some much needed rest after she riders in support of her Dutch teammates in the Worlds road race.
After a confusing Olympic road race and third in the Olympic time trial, Van der Breggen took over a month away from racing. She returned to the peloton for the GP de Plouay but didn’t finish the race. Next she went to Spain to race the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta where she again struggled to find her usual form.
After the Ceratizit Challenge Van der Breggen withdrew from the European Championships, stating that her fitness wasn’t quite there. “I have no idea why I am not reaching my level at the moment. We will be conducting several investigations in the coming days,” Van der Breggen said of the decision.
The Dutch team is still able to field three starters for the Worlds time trial on Monday, but since Van der Breggen’s spot was a product of her 2020 world champion title, the Dutch team will not be able to fill her absence with a fourth rider.
Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten, recent Tour of Norway stage winner Riejanne Markus, and the recently crowned European road champion Ellen van Dijk, who finished second in the European Championship time trial behind Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) will be the three Dutch women competing for the title of 2021 time trial world champion.
Van der Breggen is still expected to race the road race alongside 2019 road world champion Van Vleuten, 2017 road world champion Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, 2021 cyclocross world champion Lucinda Brand, three time road world champion Marianne Vos, Amy Pieters, and Demi Vollering. In short, there are plenty of potential 2021 world champions on the Dutch road team, even without Van der Breggen on top form.
The road race on Saturday will be a sweet send off to a rider who has animated so many women’s races for the last nine years, but it won’t be the last time the professional peloton sees Van der Breggen. SD Worx, the team she has been part of since 2017, will gain a new director when Van der Breggen steps off her bike after racing into Leuven.