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Anna van der Breggen to Giro d’Italia Donne as prep for Tokyo Olympic Games

Anna van der Breggen of Team SD Worx
Anna van der Breggen of Team SD Worx (Image credit: Getty Images)

Anna van der Breggen (Team SD Worx) has confirmed that she is targeting the Olympic Games in Tokyo above the Giro d’Italia Donne in July. The double world champion is currently preparing for the two events at an altitude training camp in Tignes, France.

“I think it can be both [important]. Of course, the Olympics are more important but the Giro is a really nice stage race and mostly, if you have a stage race that long, it’s making me also better after,” said Van der Breggen. “So I think it’s a good combination just to try [to do] well in the Giro and then have a good preparation for the Olympic Games.”

Although both races are important on her calendar, Van der Breggen revealed that she will start the Giro d’Italia Donne, held from July 2-11, but use the 10-day race in
preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games, where she will compete in the road race on July 25 and the time trial on July 28 for the Dutch National Team.

Van der Breggen is preparing for the upcoming races this summer at an altitude training camp with some of her SD Worx teammates in high mountains in Tignes. She said that it was her “first time in Tignes, and also, the first time with the team, so yeah it’s going really good, we had good weather...training goes well so it’s really nice.”

Asked if she thought altitude training was a necessary part of her programme ahead of the Giro d’Italia Donne and Olympics, van der Breggen said, “I think it helps, and if you do it more times it’s also, for me, a good place to have good training and to relax and to train well and rest well. Of course you can do it at sea level but they also say that it brings a little bit extra if you do it at altitude, so why not? I mostly respond well to it and I feel good after[wards] so the places are not bad to go to, so yeah, I like to do it.”

After a phenomenally successful career and an equally impressive start to the 2021 season, Van der Breggen also gave some insight into how she achieves her success.

“I don’t really have a secret, it’s just a lot of hard work. After a couple of years you know better and better how to do it, how to prepare well, what’s working for you, what’s not working,” she said.

“I just like to do it and I think that’s the most important part, if you like training and you like being with the team, and if you’re motivated for the races. And of course, if you have some talent then it can go well.”

Van der Breggen’s mind was firmly set on next month's Olympics Games where she will line up in the road race as the defending champion, but she is also enjoying her last season before retirement.

"You always think about it, that it’s coming up, and it’s a lot in the news and it’s not that sure always if it goes on [due to COVID-19] and there’s a lot happening in Japan at the moment. But for me, Tokyo is not the only thing, it’s my last season and it’s great that the season is going very well so far and actually that’s the main point for me just to enjoy also [being] here [at] my last altitude camp and hopefully it continues like this and then I’m very happy.”