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Anna van der Breggen completes UCI sports director course

 Anna van der Breggen
Anna van der Breggen (Image credit: Getty Images)

Recently retired Anna van der Breggen has completed the UCI’s sports directing course as she prepares to take on a role as sports director at SD Worx in 2022.

Van der Breggen will join SD Worx as a DS next season, the team she has spent the last five years with as a rider.

After finishing her final professional race at the World Championships in September,  Van der Breggen undertook the week-long course at the UCI headquarters in Switzerland in November.

“I’m actually busier than I was when I was an athlete at this time of year,” she said. “But I didn’t want to have a long break. I am excited about this new job and wanted to get going straight away.”

Before officially retiring in September, Van der Breggen had already been taking steps in her transition to directing, including driving the SD Worx team car on a stage of the Simac Tour, and shadowing DS Danny Stam during the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Introduced in 2009 and held once annually, the UCI course is open to existing sports directors in WorldTeams or ProTeams and covers topics such as team administration, rider safety, technical regulations, anti-doping, UCI governance and judicial bodies. The week of study culminates in an exam.

Van der Breggen was one of 84 participants of the sports director course this year, of which 13 were women.

In 2015, the UCI introduced a scholarship to encourage more women to attend the course. 

“It’s been very good,” Van der Breggen said. “As an athlete you don’t know all the rules. You don’t need to know them. Now I have done this course I feel more competent and have more knowledge. It was also great to meet so many sports directors from men’s and women’s teams.”

Van der Breggen will officially start her role as sports director this month as she joins the SD Worx squad on their winter training camp, where she is looking forward to being on the other side of the team. 

“I’ll take my bike to training camps and when I get tired I can jump in the car,” she said. “I think it will be a relief, especially when they have to get back on the bike and go again and again and again.”

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Matilda Price is a freelance cycling journalist and digital producer based in the UK. She is a graduate of modern languages, and recently completed an MA in sports journalism, during which she wrote her dissertation on the lives of young cyclists. Matilda began covering cycling in 2016 whilst still at university, working mainly in the British domestic scene at first. Since then, she has covered everything from the Tour Series to the Tour de France. These days, Matilda focuses most of her attention on the women’s sport, writing for Cyclingnews and working on women’s cycling show The Bunnyhop. As well as the Women’s WorldTour, Matilda loves following cyclo-cross and is a recent convert to downhill mountain biking.