Annemiek van Vleuten joined the point-to-point Mitchelton-Scott men’s winter training camp for the second year in a row, logging in back-to-back 200km training rides for ten consecutive days in January.
The new road world champion is preparing for a three-pronged attack on the Classics, Olympic Games and the World Championships in 2020.
The Mitchelton-Scott team are documenting Van Vleuten's training and racing in a new video series called 'Annemiek van Vleuten – What it takes'.
The first episode 'One of the boys' provides a behind the scenes look at the motivations, struggles and impact her presence has at the Mitchelton-Scott men’s team training camp.
"For sure I will think ‘what am I doing here?’, but I know it makes me stronger and that is the driving force for me," Van Vleuten said of the training camp.
Mitchelton-Scott men's team have been united for this early-season training camp since 2018. The camp is ten days of rides that are roughly 200km each day. It is meant to simulate the routine of a stage race, with different roads, transfers, and hotel locations each day.
Mitchelton-Scott says the purpose of the camp is to 'empty the tank' with load, but without intensity. Van Vleuten joined the camp last year at the recommendation of her sports director Gene Bates. During that camp, she logged in 1,800km and 30,000m of climbing.
Van Vleuten went on to a successful season in 2019 with victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Giro Rosa, and then her outstanding win in the elite women's road race after a 105km solo attack at the World Championships in Yorkshire.
The kilometres that she put in during the training camp contributed to her 2020 early-season training mileage being higher than all other elite male riders except Egan Bernal (Team Ineos). Those stats were calculated from the Velofacts list of Strava training uploads beginning in January.
Future episodes in the video series will take you further inside the world of Van Vleuten - the levels she takes herself to in training, fuelling and preparing, and what controls and powers the mind of one of the world's best female riders.