Annemiek van Vleuten: I just wasn’t able to finish it off at Strade Bianche

Anna van der Breggen (Movistar) suffers on a climb at Strade Bianche
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the winner of the last two editions, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) started the women’s Strade Bianche wearing the bib number 1. Her rival, world champion Anna van der Breggen (Team SD Worx), was the other big favourite after soloing to victory at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the previous weekend. But in the end, neither stood on the top step of the podium – though Van der Breggen could still pump her fist as she crossed the finish line in third place, celebrating the victory of her teammate Chantal van den Broek-Blaak.

“I had everything I needed - I just wasn’t able to finish it off," Van Vleuten said after the race, thanking her Movistar teammates.

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.