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by Matt de Neef
June 5, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Thomas De Gendt wins stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine; Greg Van Avermaet wins the Tour of Luxembourg; Team Sky takes narrow win in the inaugural Hammer Series event; Mathieu van der Poel victorious in the Boucles de la Mayenne; Andrew Suzuki leads the Trans Am Bike Race; Chaves “so happy” to return to racing at the Dauphine; UCI president Brian Cookson announces bid for second term; India launches its first bike-share scheme; Peter Sagan’s newest TV commercial.
Annemiek van Veluten (Orica-Scott) has had an impressive start to the year and now the 34-year-old is looking ahead to the biggest stage race on the women’s calendar: the Giro Rosa.
Van Vleuten has been spending time at altitude, getting herself prepared for what she hopes will be a successful week.
“I quite missed the Giro last year,” Van Vleuten stated. “I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Giro Rosa, as the stages are usually for real sprinters or real climbers.”
The first jersey-wearers of the 2015 Giro Rosa (from left to right): Roxane Knetemann (Rabo Liv) in green (mountains), Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo Liv) in white (youth), Annemiek van Vleuten (Bigla) in pink (general classification), Lucinda Brand (Rabo Liv) in purple (points) and Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) in blue (best Italian).
Van Vleuten’s qualities meanwhile lie in time trialling and power climbs, which has earned her a short stint in the pink leader’s jersey twice before, after winning the prologue in 2014 and 2015.
Whereas in previous years, Van Vleuten had to hand off the coveted Maglia Rosa to a new leader once the roads went up, in Rio last year, she showed tremendous improvements in climbs.
In fact, on the gruelling Vista Chinesa, she outclimbed everyone – including two-time Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbott. She was well on her way to an Olympic medal before her unfortunate and scary crash.
Related: Losing gold: Annemiek van Vleuten’s first tv interview since her Olympics crash
“I’m really eager to do well,” Van Vleuten said. “I’ve recharged my batteries and I’m extremely looking forward to both nationals and the Giro Rosa. I will be fierce and hope to do even better than what you’re used of me.”
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