Anna van der Breggen’s historic Ardennes Triple has been voted the women’s cycling moment of the year in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll, securing 28 per cent of the votes.
Van der Breggen’s feat secured 1500 more votes that Chantal Blaak’s surprise victory in the road race at the World Championships. Coryn Rivera’s Tour of Flanders victory claimed third spot in the poll with a 16 per cent share.
The 2017 season was the first time that the women’s peloton had the opportunity to ride a so-called Ardennes Week. Fleche Wallonne Feminine has been a part of the calendar since 1998 while the Amstel Gold Race had a women’s event for three years before reviving it this season. New to the calendar was the women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege a 135km version of the La Doyenne.
After a rocky start to the season, Van der Breggen found her form just in time for one of her favourite parts of the season. Providing more than capable back-up for the Dutch rider was her former world champion Boels Dolmans teammate Lizzie Deignan. At the Amstel Gold Race, Van der Breggen made her move when she shut down an attack from Annemiek van Vleuten. She was shadowed by Deignan and WM3 Pro Cycling’s Kasia Niewiadoma but Van der Breggen’s win was by an emphatic 55 seconds over the chasers.
Three days later at Fleche Wallonne, Boels Dolmans used Deignan perfectly to mark all the moves. She followed an attack by Niewiadoma on the Cote de Cherave, which was quickly pegged by Van der Breggen. Deignan tested their Polish rival on the flat run towards the Mur de Huy, forcing her to chase and setting Van der Breggen up for a run at the climb.
She had five seconds on the pair at the bottom and added a further 11 by the top as she claimed her third consecutive Fleche Wallonne. Deignan had the legs to distance Niewiadoma to take another second place.
With Boels Dolmans dominating the first two races of the week, Niewiadoma tried her best to upset their tactics at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and forced several moves down the road. However, the pairing of Van der Breggen and Deignan proved too tough to beat for the third time in as many races. The duo made it into a four-rider group that tagged onto Niewiadoma’s move and, as the chaser behind began to close them down, Van der Breggen took the opportunity yet again.
The advantage was never huge but it was enough to secure a historic full house in the Ardennes Classics, with Deignan making it a third straight 1-2. Niewiadoma took the final spot on the podium once again to round off a superb spring campaign.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Anna van der Breggen's Ardennes Triple||5584||Votes|
|2||Chantal Blaak's world championship win and Dutch Dominance||4034|
|3||Coryn Rivera's Tour of Flanders win||3140|
|4||Annemiek van Vleuten's win at La Course||2720|
|5||Anna van der Breggen winning Amgen Women's race by one second with time bonus||1980|
|6||Niewiadoma's solo win at OVO Energy Women's Tour to take stage and overall||1374|
|7||Amber Neben's US championships double road and time trial win||1143|