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Shirin van Anrooij: I learned to suffer more than ever at Tour de France Femmes

PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES FRANCE JULY 31 Shirin Van Anrooij of Netherlands and Team Trek Segafredo White Best Young Rider Jersey crosses the finish line during the 1st Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 8 a 1233km stage from Lure to La Super Planche des Belles Filles TDFF UCIWWT on July 31 2022 in Planche des Belles Filles France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Shirin van Anrooij (Trek Segafredo) secured the white jersey of the Tour de France Femmes at the top of La Super Planche des Belles Filles (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Trek-Segafredo may not have walked away from the Tour de France Femmes with the hoped for GC podium spot but thanks to the youngest member of the team, Shirin van Anrooij, they still left with a jersey in hand and plans for the future bolstered.

Van Anrooij was part of the Dutch clean sweep of the race jerseys, riding her way into white on the tough terrain of stage 7, taking 17th place on the stage which shredded the field with three category one climbs. That gave the 20 year old a lead of more than five minutes on the second-placed rider in the youth category, Mischa Bredewold of Parkhotel Valkenburg. Still even with that solid gap there was no easy way through the final 123.5km stage ending with the brutally steep finishing ramp on top of La Super Planche des Belles Filles. 

“Today was extremely hard for me, I just felt shit from kilometre zero,” said Van Anrooij in the post stage interview.

Bredewold fought to stick to Van Anrooij’s wheel but couldn’t keep pace, let alone reduce the gap, so the Trek-Segafredo rider took the white jersey with an extended margin of 5:41.

“I was just surviving until the top,” Van Anrooij said in a team statement. “I was really just looking for the white jersey today, I was just fighting, and in the end, it was enough, so I am happy.”

Van Anrooij, who was riding in support of Trek-Segafredo's overall contender Elisa Longo Borghini through the race, finished the final stage in 22nd place while her Italian teammate came sixth on the stage and sixth overall. 

“This was my first long stage race; it was so hard. I really just tried to be there for the team, and it was really cool to race together for Elisa [Longo Borghini],” sVan Anrooij said. “In the end, I could go for the white jersey, and I learned so much again. I also learned to suffer more than ever – I think I can only grow from this Tour.”

Van Anrooij, who is signed with Trek-Segafredo through to the end of 2025, has clearly shown her potential this year with a string of top 20 results at top-tier races, and even top tens at others like Strade Bianche and Vuelta a Burgos Feminas. The young rider, however, is looking for a few more seasons of development before she tries to turn a white jersey at the Tour de France Femmes into a yellow one. 

“Now I just want to enjoy this jersey. I want to grow step by step and maybe, one day, in a few years time,” Van Anrooij said when asked about targeting yellow.

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Simone Giuliani

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.