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Annemiek van Vleuten completes 400km training ride

World champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Image credit: Mitchelton-Scott)

World champion Annemiek van Vleuten is the latest rider to combine her training with adventure riding, completing a 400km ride around the Netherlands on Monday. 

Van Vleuten rode with track and road rider Jan-Willem van Schip, covering the 400km in around 11 hours, at an average of 35.7km/h. Other riders joined them for sections of the ride.

"Today my neighbour Jan-Willem van Schip got me into this crazy 400km plan…. Thanks guys for a nice day out," Van Vleuten wrote on social media, while documenting the long ride and revealing some of the data involved.

"400km, 7,125 calories, 35.7km/h average, 11 hours and 15 minutes of fun together."

Van Vleuten is known for her long training rides. She again joined her Mitchelton-Scott male teammates at their training camp to log long pre-season rides. Velofacts published data in January indicating she had ridden 2,636km over the course of 18 rides, putting her in the second position on a leaderboard just behind Tour de France winner Egan Bernal. Van Vleuten revealed in her blog with Cyclingnews that she spent December in Colombia, riding 30 hours a week.  

A number of riders have added a sense of adventure and personal challenge to their training as they work on their base fitness and endurance before focusing on more specific work outs in the weeks before a possible return to racing in July and August.

US road race champion Alex Howes (EF Pro Cycling) rode 355km from his home in Colorado through the state to Kansas on the other side of the border last week, tackling the ride as an "ode" to the postponed Dirty Kanza gravel ride.

Wout van Aert completed a mainly off-road 320km ride on Saturday as part of retired pro Laurens ten Dam's 'Dirty Kanzelled' event, set up to replace Dirty Kanza. Ten Dam, who retired from professional cycling at the end of last season, came up with the concept of the Dirty Kanzelled, and invited riders to take on their own gravel or off-road rides over the same distance of 200 miles (321.2km).

Lachlan Morton (EF Pro Cycling) set a new record of 11 hours and 14 minutes for the 140km Kokopelli Trail from Moab, Utah to Loma, Colorado on Saturday. The Australian set off before sunrise in an attempt to beat the heat and despite some mechanical issues he would beat the previous record of 11 hours and 52 minutes, set by Kurt Refsnider.

Junior world champion Quinn Simmons completed a multi-stage ride around Colorado before riding his own version of Dirty Kanzelled around Durango.

For many riders, June 1 marked the start of more structured and more disciplined training.