Anna van der Breggen lines up as the defending champion and odds-on favourite to win Amstel Gold Race, the seventh round of the Women's WorldTour. The Dutchwoman says that Boels Dolmans has shown they can be successful even if she is not the rider winning the races.
"I am really looking forward to coming week," said Van der Breggen, who won all three of the Ardennes Classics - Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège - last year.
"I think they are all really nice races, whether I win or not. You can still keep certain races and enjoy them, even if you do not win. I am happy as long as it goes well. Then we see how the course itself goes."
Van der Breggen has had an undeniably strong start to her season, with solo victories at Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders. But she isn't the only rider on her team to have early-season success.
Amy Pieters won Ronde van Drenthe, placed second at Tour of Flanders, and won the overall title at the Healthy Ageing Tour. At that stage race Van der Breggen won the opening time trial, Pieters won stage 2, Boels Dolmans won the stage 3 team time trial and Chantal Blaak won stage 4, her first victory in the world champion's jersey.
At Amstel Gold Race, Boels Dolmans will also field Pieters and Blaak, along with Megan Guarnier, who was recently 10th at Tour of Flanders, Karol-Ann Canuel and Jip van den Bos.
Last year, the team enjoyed 1-2 finishes in all three of the Ardennes Classics, with Lizzie Deignan securing second places. Deignan announced in March that she is pregnant and is taking a temporary leave from the sport.
"We will certainly miss Lizzie," Van der Breggen said. "But we have known for a while that she will not be there anymore during the competitions this year, so we will catch up with the rest of the team. If you see how we are doing at the moment, I think it will be all right."
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