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Annemiek van Vleuten linked to Movistar move in 2021

Annemiek van Vleuten, of the Netherlands, takes the rainbow jersey after winning the elite women’s road race at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire
Annemiek van Vleuten (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Annemiek van Vleuten is reportedly close to signing a two-year agreement with the Movistar Team Women, according to the Dutch news outlet Wielerflits. The current road race world champion's contract with Mitchelton-Scott expires at the end of this year and she has been in negotiations with other teams. 

Van Vleuten told Cyclingnews on Monday that she could not confirm the news reports that link her to Movistar.

"No, I can't confirm this," Van Vleuten wrote in an email response to Cyclingnews, reiterating that she has not, yet, signed a contract for next year.

Van Vleuten has also been linked to the new Jumbo-Visma women's team in recent weeks. According to a report by Dutch website Cycling Opinions, Jumbo-Visma will create a women's team for 2021 and initial reports suggested the team was eyeing Van Vleuten and Marianne Vos to co-lead the new programme.

Vos has reportedly signed a two-year contract with the new Jumbo-Visma women's team that begins in 2021, according to the Dutch news outlet AD, however, there has been no further news about Van Vleuten's potential team for 2021.

Wielerflits reports that, according to a number of their reliable sources, Van Vleuten is closer to signing with Movistar Team Women for 2021 and 2022 than with Jumbo-Visma.

Van Vleuten accepted a substantial pay cut this season to help keep Mitchelton-Scott afloat during the impacts of COVID-19 coronavirus on cycling events, teams and sponsors. There was also a period of uncertainty during the failed sponsorship takeover from Manuela Fundación, however, team owner Gerry Ryan has committed to financially backing the team for a reported two more seasons.

Van Vleuten confirmed in a Zoom interview with international press last month that she has not yet renewed her contract with Mitchelton-Scott and that she was in negotiations with other teams.

Van Vleuten has flourished as a rider since joining the Orica-AIS team, now Mitchelton-Scott, in 2016. Over the last five years she has twice won the overall title at the Giro Rosa, in 2018 and 2019, and the individual time trial world title, in 2017 and 2018, along with the road race world title in Yorkshire last year. This season she has gone undefeated across five one-day races.

She confirmed that she hasn't renewed her contract with Mitchelton-Scott, which expires in December, and that she's in discussions with both Mitchelton-Scott and other teams for 2021.

"At the moment, I am talking with my current team and other teams," Van Vleuten said at that time. "At the moment, I am not sure where I will be next year, but I'm confident I will be fine."

As for Movistar Team Women, they have made steady progress in their first two seasons racing in the top-tier of women's cycling. Acquiring a four-year WorldTeam licence this year shows that the management is committed to developing their women's programme.

Cyclingnews reached out to Movistar Team Women to request confirmation of the reports that Van Vleuten is in advanced stages of signing with the Spanish outfit, however, the team declined to comment rumours about transfer negotiations, as per team policy.