Road race world champion Annemiek van Vleuten is considering her team options for 2021 and beyond, according to reports in the Dutch media, with her contract with Australian team Mitchelton-Scott set to expire at the end of the 2020 season.
At 37 years old, Van Vleuten said that she's in no hurry to think about retirement, and would like to keep racing for at least two more years after her contract with Mitchelton-Scott runs out at the end of this season. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Mitchelton-Scott's men's and women's teams have had to cut the salaries of both riders and staff.
"I think everyone should stop at a time that makes sense," Van Vleuten said on Maarten Ducrot and Steven Dalebout's podcast Crotcast, according to Dutch cycling website In De Leiderstrui. "My contract runs until the end of this year. It's no secret that my team has been up against it, and I've also been approached by other teams.
"I know I'll definitely continue for two more years, because I don't want to end in the Olympic year," she said, "so I want to sign somewhere for two years.
"I feel very much at home with my current team, but I'm going to consider where I can have the most fun."
Van Vleuten began the 2020 season strongly with victory in her new rainbow jersey as world champion at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad at the end of February.
"That was really cool," she said. "I'm normally a slow starter, but this year I really had the most amazing preparation ever."
Van Vleuten has retained that 100 per cent win record this year in that it was her only day of competition before the sport's shutdown due to the COVID-19 crisis, but she's keen to start racing again, which could be at Spanish one-day race Durango-Durango in late July, followed by Strade Bianche on August 1.
Additionally, In De Leiderstrui cited another Dutch cycling website, Cycling Online, to whom Van Vleuten outlined her entire proposed race programme, starting with Durango-Durango on July 27 and running through to the Madrid Challenge on November 6, via a packed period of competition that includes the Boels Ladies Tour and the Giro Rosa in September, and the Tour of Flanders and the new women's edition of Paris-Roubaix in October.
Annemiek van Vleuten's provisional 2020 race programme:
July 26: Durango-Durango
August 1: Strade Bianche
August 29: La Course by Le Tour
September 1-6: Boels Ladies Tour
September 11-19: Giro Rosa
September 22: World Championships individual time trial
September 26: World Championships road race
September 30: Flèche Wallonne
October 4: Liège-Bastogne-Liège
October 10: Amstel Gold Race
October 18: Tour of Flanders
October 25: Paris-Roubaix
November 6: Madrid Challenge
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