Annemiek van Vleuten again masters the injury comeback

VISTABELLA DEL MAESTRAT SPAIN FEBRUARY 19 Annemiek Van Vleuten of Netherlands and Movistar Team celebrates winning the orange leader jersey on the podium ceremony after the 6th Setmana Ciclista Valenciana Vuelta Comunidad Valenciana Feminas 2022 Stage 3 a 135km from VilaReal to Vistabella del Maestrat 1245m VoltaCVFemines22 on February 19 2022 in Vistabella del Maestrat Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) claims the leaders jersey at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana 2022 (Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

It was a devastating early end to last season for Annemiek van Vleuten, crashing hard at Paris-Roubaix and facing up to a challenging recovery, but again the Movistar rider has proved how adeptly she can deliver a speedy and powerful comeback by starting 2022 with overall victory at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.

Van Vleuten set the foundation for the overall win on stage 3, with its trio of category 1 ascents, showing there were no weak links or signs of being underdone as a result of the recovery from two fractures to her pubic bone as she attacked on the final climb and rode away solo to accrue the stage victory and a minute on her nearest key rivals. That meant it was just a matter of defending through the final stage, which looked like one for the sprinters as the key climb was a less imposing category 3 which crested more than 30km from the finish.

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Simone Giuliani
Australia Editor

Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.