Anna van der Breggen

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Anna van der Breggen
Anna van der Breggen 1 Ladies Tour 2016.jpg
Anna van der Breggen during the 2016 Holland Ladies Tour
Personal information
Full name Anna van der Breggen
Nickname Queen of the Ardennes[1]
Born (1990-04-18) 18 April 1990 (age 28)
Zwolle, Netherlands
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight 56 kg (123 lb)
Team information
Current team Boels–Dolmans
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Professional team(s)
2009 Team Flexpoint
2012–2013 Sengers Ladies
2014–2016 Rabo–Liv
2017– Boels–Dolmans
Major wins

Stage races

Giro d'Italia Femminile (2015, 2017)
1 individual stage
Tour of California (2017)
Ladies Tour of Norway (2014)
Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs (2014, 2015)
Tour de Bretagne (2012)

One-day races and Classics

Olympic Road Race (2016)
Tour of Flanders (2018)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (2017, 2018)
La Flèche Wallonne (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Amstel Gold Race (2017)
Strade Bianche (2018)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (2015)
La Course by Le Tour de France (2015)
National Time Trial Championships (2015)
European Road Race Championships (2016)
European U-23 Time Trial Championships (2012)

Anna van der Breggen (born 18 April 1990) is a Dutch professional road bicycle racer, currently riding for Boels–Dolmans cycling team.[2] She won the gold medal in the women's road race at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,[3] and has won the Giro d'Italia Femminile on two occasions.[4]

Considered one of the most versatile riders of her generation, van der Breggen excels in both the one-day classics and stage races, particularly when run on a hilly terrain. Apart from the Olympic road race title and two Giro Rosa titles, other notable wins include La Flèche Wallonne on four consecutive occasions, Liège–Bastogne–Liège two times, the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Strade Bianche, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the European Road Race Championships.[5][6][7][8][9] In addition, she has won the general classification and numerous stages in smaller stage races.

In 2017 she won all three Ardennes classics races in one week, which earned her the nickname Queen of the Ardennes.[1] She went on to secure her second Giro d'Italia win the following summer.[4]

Career[edit]

Early life and amateur career[edit]

Anna van der Breggen was born in Zwolle into a cycling family. She has three brothers and a sister who all practiced cycling at some point.[10] She started bike-racing at the age of seven with the local club WV Noordwesthoek and became more serious about it in the juniors category.[11] In 2007, aged 17, she was fifth in the juniors world championship road race in Aguascalientes but had a difficult transition to the elite category.[12] She considered quitting the sport after she suffered in the back of the peloton during the Grote Prijs Gerrie Knetemann.[10]

2012–2013: Turning professional[edit]

Van der Breggen turned professional in 2012 with the Sengers Ladies Cycling Team. In July, she won the Tour de Bretagne Féminin. She won three of the four stages and secured the overall classification with a lead of almost three minutes over Sofie De Vuyst. She also won the time trial at the Tour Féminin en Limousin as well as the gold medal in the women's under-23 time-trialling event at the European championships. As a result, she was selected for the 2012 World Championships. Whilst playing a domestique role for her team leader, Marianne Vos, she managed to finish fifth herself in the road race.[13]

In 2013 she devoted herself to finishing her studies and rode a low-key season, with the highlight of the year a fourth place at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. After she obtained her nursing degree,[10] she became a full-time professional cyclist and finished 18th in the Giro Rosa in the summer. She was selected to compete in the World Championships in Florence where she finished fourth in the road race.[14] In preparation for the 2014 season, she announced she would be joining the Rabo–Liv team.

2014: Stage race success[edit]

Van der Breggen's first season on the Rabo team proved highly fruitful. She opened the year with top-10 finishes in the Ronde van Drenthe,[15] Trofeo Alfredo Binda,[16] and the Tour of Flanders,[17] and started showing her stage racing potential throughout the season. She claimed notable wins in the overall classification of both the Ladies Tour of Norway and Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs in Luxemburg;[18] as well as a runner-up spot in the Belgium Tour and third places in the Emakumeen Euskal Bira and the Giro Rosa, in a podium made up entirely of Rabo-Liv riders.[19]

Her season came to an abrupt end when she broke her pelvis at the 2014 Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain. Her team mate Annemiek van Vleuten crashed just before the finish of the Women's Team Time Trial after clipping the roadside barriers and brought down van der Breggen and two other riders.[20] Van der Breggen broke her ilium and was transported to hospital.[21]

On the podium in Ghent after winning 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

2015: First Giro Rosa win[edit]

She recovered from her pelvic fracture in the winter of 2015 and won her first major classic, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, in late February. Van der Breggen had broken away from a lead group together with Ellen van Dijk on the Molenberg, at 30 km from the finish. She beat her fellow Dutch in the sprint.[6] The following week, she was second in Le Samyn des Dames.[22] In April she won La Flèche Wallonne with an attack at the foot of the Mur de Huy, and recorded several podium positions in one-day races.[23] She highlighted her stage race potential again by taking the overall classification at the Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs, which she led from the prologue to the end of the race.[24]

In June, she won the bronze medal in the women's road race at the inaugural European Games in Baku. She was part of a four-woman breakaway together with Ellen van Dijk, Kasia Niewiadoma and Alena Amialiusik, when an acceleration by van der Breggen caused her team mate van Dijk to be dropped, for the race to be decided in a three-up sprint. Van der Breggen led out the sprint from afar but was passed by both Amialiusik and Niewiadoma.[25][26]

Van der Breggen soloed to victory at the second La Course on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Van der Breggen claimed her greatest career victory in July when she won the general classification at the Giro d'Italia Femminile, the most important stage race on the women's calendar and the only female Grand Tour.[27] She finished fourth in the prologue and second in stage 2,[28] after which she remained in the top-three until the Alpine stages. Van der Breggen was in third position overall behind maglia rosa wearer Megan Guarnier, when she moved into the race lead on the penultimate day after winning the individual time trial to Nebbiuno.[29] She won the time trial more than one minute ahead of Guarnier and secured her overall win with a second place in the final stage.[27] Later she won the second edition of La Course by Le Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées;[30] and she won the final stage of the Belgium Tour in Geraardsbergen.[31]

At the World Championships in September in Richmond, she claimed the silver medals in both the individual time trial and the road race.[32] She finished at two seconds from Linda Villumsen in the time trial,[33] and was narrowly beaten by Lizzie Armitstead in the road race after she started the sprint from afar.[34] She ended the year as second in the UCI Road World Cup, behind Armitstead, and was awarded the Gerrit Schulte Trophy for best female Dutch cyclist of the year.[35]

2016: Olympic and European champion[edit]

Van der Breggen opened the 2016 season with 5th place at the Strade Bianche, 4th at the Ronde van Drenthe and 6th at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in March;[36][37] but failed to claim a victory until she successfully defended her title at the Flèche Wallonne. She counterattacked a move by Kasia Niewiedoma on the Côte de Cherave, at 10 km from the finish, and was followed by only four others over the top. She broke clear again with Evelyn Stevens at 3 km from the finish and powered away from the American on the finishing Mur de Huy to claim her second victory in succession.[38]

In July, she finished third overall in the Giro Rosa.[39] She was third in the prologue,[40] but lost time in the mountain stages in the Dolomites.[41] She climbed back to third place after finishing second in stage 7's individual time trial and held on to her podium place until the finish.[42][39] During the Giro she announced she would leave Rabo–Liv to join Boels–Dolmans for the 2017 season onwards.[43]

Anna van der Breggen during the podium ceremony of the Olympic road race in Rio after winning the gold medal.

On 7 August 2016, Anna van der Breggen won the gold medal in the women's road race at the Rio Olympics.[3] On the final climb, the 9 km long Vista Chinesa, five riders had remained in the front: van der Breggen and her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten, American Mara Abbott, Italian Elisa Longo Borghini and Sweden's Emma Johansson. Van Vleuten jumped away shortly before the top and only Abbott managed to join. In the sinuous descent that followed, van Vleuten distanced Abbott and looked on her way to win the race, when she crashed into a concrete banking with 10 km to go and needed to be transported to hospital. Suddenly Mara Abbott seemed on her way to olympic glory but she was caught back by the three upcoming riders at 500 m from the finish. Van der Breggen beat Johansson and Longo Borghini in the three-up sprint on Copacabana Beach to become Olympic road race champion.[44] The worn-out Abbott finished fourth. Three days later she won the bronze medal in the individual time trial, 11 seconds behind winner Kristin Armstrong.[45] Following her Olympic success, she was knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau.[46]

Mid-September, she took part in the 2016 European Road Championships. She finished second in the time trial behind Ellen van Dijk.[47] In the road race she followed an acceleration of Kasia Niewiadoma on the final climb, together with Longo Borghini, Alena Amialiusik and Rasa Leleivytė. Van der Breggen launched the five-woman sprint from afar and became the first ever professional European road race champion.[48] At the World Championships in October, she was a disappointing 13th in the time trial and 87th in the road race,[49] telling reporters she "didn't have the legs anymore after a long season".[50]

2017: Ardennes Trio and second Giro win[edit]

Van der Breggen ended 2017 as winner of the Women's World Tour (pictured in the World Tour leader's jersey at the 2017 Holland Ladies Tour)

After placing 15th in both the Ronde van Drenthe and the Tour of Flanders, and finishing second overall in the Healthy Ageing Tour in early 2017, van der Breggen became the first woman to win all three of the Ardennes classics in a single year. She won the rebooted Amstel Gold Race with an attack at 8 km from the finish.[7] Three days later, she secured her third straight Flèche Wallonne win after powering away on the Mur de Huy,[51][52] before emerging triumphant at the first ever Liège–Bastogne–Liège the following Sunday.[8][53] Her dominance in the climbers races earned her the nickname Queen of the Ardennes.[1] Three weeks later she won the Tour of California,[54] after she surpassed Katie Hall during the last stage thanks to bonus seconds won at an intermediate sprint.[55]

In summer, she won the Giro Rosa for the second time.[4] Her Boels–Dolmans team had won the opening Team time trial,[56] and van der Breggen moved into the race lead after placing second in stage 2.[57] She won the final general classification with more than a minute over Elisa Longo Borghini and Annemiek van Vleuten.[58] After Tom Dumoulin's win in the men's Giro d'Italia, it was the first time a grand tour was won by both a Dutch man and woman in the same year.[59]

Later van der Breggen won one stage and was second overall in the Holland Ladies Tour,[60] which secured her lead in the final standing of the 2017 UCI Women's World Tour ahead of van Vleuten.[61] At the Road World Championships in Norway her Boels–Dolmans team finished second to Team Sunweb in the team time trial event.[62] She also placed second in the individual time trial behind Annemiek van Vleuten,[63] and eighth in the road race.[64]

Van der Breggen (pictured at the Amstel Gold Race) won four World Tour races in the spring of 2018.

2018: Queen of the Classics[edit]

As world number one, she kicked off the 2018 season at the Strade Bianche. She won the race, in abysmal weather, after an attack on the penultimate gravel sector of Colle Pinzuto at 17 km from the finish.[65] Three weeks later she won the Tour of Flanders after a 27 km solo breakaway. Van der Breggen made her decisive move on the Kruisberg and increased her lead over the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg to claim her first Tour of Flanders win.[66][9] The following week she won the opening time trial and finished fourth overall in the Healthy Ageing Tour,[67][68] before defending her titles in the Ardennes classics.[1] She finished 38th in the Amstel Gold Race after an early crash,[69] but won her fourth consecutive Flèche Wallonne three days later, on her 28th birthday.[5] She concluded the Ardennes week with her second win in Liège–Bastogne–Liège, after she powered away from Amanda Spratt on the uphill drag to the finish line.[70]

Personal life[edit]

Van der Breggen lives in Hasselt, in the northeast of the Netherlands.[71] She comes from a religious family and is a member of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.[11] Apart from cycling, she plays the piano and enjoys painting and knitting.[10]

Major results[edit]

2007
UCI Junior Road World Championships
5th Road Race
2008
UEC European Road Championships
8th Road Race
10th Parel van de Veluwe
2009
2nd Overijssel Regional Road Race Championships
2nd Ronde van Noordhorn
4th Profronde van Surhuisterveen
6th Ronde van De Westereen
8th Profronde Stiphout
9th Ronde van Heerenveen
2010
1st Ronde van Noordeloos
1st Ronde van Oudewater
2nd Ronde van Waddinxveen
3rd Overijssel Regional Road Race Championships
5th Gouden Pijl
6th Omloop van Strijen
9th Profronde van Surhuisterveen
2011
2nd Ronde van Noordeloos
5th Berkelse Wielerdag
6th Profronde Stiphout
8th Profronde van Surhuisterveen
9th Overijssel Regional Road Race Championships
2012
1st UEC Champion Jersey.svg Time trial, UEC European Road Championships
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour de Bretagne
1st Jersey green.svg Points classification
1st Jersey white.svg Young rider classification
1st Stages 1, 2 (ITT) & 4
1st Duo Normand
1st Ronde van Noordeloos
2nd Overall Trophee d'Or Feminin
1st Stage 2 (ITT)
2nd Omloop van de Ijsseldelta
2nd Wenduine
2nd Aalten Regional Time Trial Championships
3rd Ronde van Noordhorn
4th GP de Plouay - Bretagne
4th Luttenberg Regional Road Race Championships
4th Belsele (Sint-Niklaas)
4th Profronde van Surhuisterveen
5th Overall RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden
5th Overall Tour Féminin en Limousin
1st Jersey white.svg Young rider classification
1st Stage 2 (ITT)
National Road Championships
5th Road Race
7th Time Trial
6th GP Comune di Cornaredo
6th Ronde van Luyksgestel
7th Overall BrainWash Ladies Tour
9th Ronde van Vlaanderen
2013
1st Omloop van de IJsseldelta
2nd Overall Trophée d'Or Féminin
2nd Ronde van Zuid Oost-Friesland
2nd RaboRonde Heerlen
3rd GP de Plouay
4th Overall Emakumeen Euskal Bira
4th Overall Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen
Open de Suède Vargarda
4th Team Time Trial
5th Road Race
4th La Flèche Wallonne Féminine
4th Boels Rental Hills Classic
4th Profwielerronde Etten-Leur
4th Berkelse Wielerdag
5th Overall Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs
5th Overall Tour Languedoc Roussillon
6th Le Samyn des Dames
7th Overall Boels Rental Ladies Tour
7th Ronde van Vlaanderen
8th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
9th 2013 Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio
10th Overall Energiewacht Tour
2014
1st Jersey violet.svg Overall Ladies Tour of Norway
1st Jersey green.svg Points classification
1st Stage 1
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs
1st Stage 1
2nd Ronde van Drenthe World Cup
2nd Open de Suède Vårgårda
2nd Overall Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour
1st Jersey blue.svg Mountains classification
1st Stages 2 (TTT) & 4
3rd Overall Emakumeen Euskal Bira
1st Jersey polkadot.svg Mountains classification
3rd Overall Giro Rosa
2015
1st MaillotHolanda.svg Time trial, National Road Championships
1st Jersey pink.svg Overall Giro Rosa
1st Stage 8
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs
1st Prologue
1st La Flèche Wallonne Féminine
1st Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
1st La Course by Le Tour de France
1st Open de Suède Vårgårda
Energiewacht Tour
1st Jersey blue.svg Combativity classification
1st Prologue & Stage 4
UCI Road World Championships
2nd Road race
2nd Time trial
3rd Team time trial
2nd Overall UCI Women's Road World Cup
2nd Le Samyn des Dames
3rd Overall Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour
1st Jersey polkadot.svg Mountains classification
1st Stage 4
3rd Trofeo Alfredo Binda
3rd Tour of Flanders for Women
2016
Olympic Games
1st Gold medal olympic.svg Road race
3rd Bronze medal olympic.svg Time trial
UEC European Road Championships
1st EuropeanChampionJersey(2016).png Road race
2nd Time trial
1st Omloop van de IJsseldelta
1st La Flèche Wallonne Féminine
3rd Overall Giro Rosa
3rd Overall Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs
3rd Open de Suède Vårgårda
2017
1st Jersey violet.svg Overall UCI Women's World Tour
1st Jersey pink.svg Overall Giro Rosa
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour of California
1st Amstel Gold Race
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
2nd Overall Healthy Ageing Tour
2nd Overall Holland Ladies Tour
1st Stage 5
UCI Road World Championships
2nd Time trial
UEC European Road Championships
3rd Time Trial
2018
1st Strade Bianche
1st Tour of Flanders
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria
1st Overall Cyprus Sunshine Cup
1st Stage 2
3rd Overall Emakumeen Euskal Bira
1st Jersey orange.svg Points classification
4th Overall Healthy Ageing Tour
1st Stage 1 (ITT)

Results timelines[edit]

Grand Tour results timeline
Stage race 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Giro d'Italia Femminile DNF 43 89 18 3 1 3 1
Stage race results timeline
Stage race 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs 20 5 1 1 3
Tour of California Race did not exist 1
Emakumeen Euskal Bira 40 4 3 8
Giro del Trentino Alto Adige-Südtirol 97
The Women's Tour Race did not exist DNF 12
Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen 49 4
Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour Race did not exist 2 3
Ladies Tour of Norway Race did not exist 1 5
Holland Ladies Tour 7 7 7 2
Classics results timeline
Classics 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 8 16 1 14
Strade Bianche Donne Race did not exist 5 5 1
Ronde van Drenthe 61 49 11 2 22 4 15 21
Trofeo Alfredo Binda 21 9 4 3 6 DNF
Gent–Wevelgem Race did not exist 17 43
Tour of Flanders 9 7 6 3 24 15 1
Amstel Gold Race Race did not exist 1 38
La Flèche Wallonne 67 12 4 12 1 1 1 1
Liège–Bastogne–Liège Race did not exist 1 1
GP de Plouay 60 4 3 5 6 19
Open de Suède Vårgårda 62 5 12 5 19
Major championships timeline
Event 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Olympic Games Time trial Not held Not held 3 Not held
Road race 1
World Championships Time trial 2 13 2
Road race 5 4 2 87 8
EuropeanChampionJersey(2016).png European Championships Time trial Event did not exist 2 3
Road race 1 70
– = Did not start
DNF = Did not finish

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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