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Van Vleuten reveals massive year-end training tally

Annemiek van Vleuten
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former world champion Annemiek van Vleuten continued to clock big miles on the bike in 2020, putting in over 32,000 kilometres between training and racing. The Dutch rider, who will start 2021 with the Movistar Team, posted her end of the year tally on social media, revealing that she rode for over 1,229 hours - an average of three hours and 22 minutes of riding every single day of the year.

Compared with some of the men's tallies recorded on Strava, Van Vleuten trained just as much if not more than some WorldTour pros. Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) - who did some marathon riding during the coronavirus lockdowns - recorded 33,091.4km on Strava, while Milan-San Remo winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) recorded 31,775.9km of riding and 386.5km of running during the year.

Van Vleuten climbed 429,547 vertical metres - 48.5 times the height of Mount Everest - and burned 700,143 kilocalories - the equivalent of 307 dozen donuts, 235 large cheese pizzas or 1,243 Big Macs, for perspective.

Only about 2400km of the riding was racing in the coronavirus pandemic-shortened season, but Van Vleuten made the most of her hard work, winning five straight races, from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February to the trio of Basque 1.1-ranked races in July and Strade Bianche on August 1.

She won the European Championship title and was leading the Giro Rosa before a crash in the final kilometre of stage 7 left her with a broken wrist and out of the race. She returned nine days later to finish second to compatriot Anna van der Breggen at Worlds.

Van Vleuten's heavy training schedule was already apparent in January, when she made a list of riders putting in the most kilometres in January - clocking 2,636km over 18 rides, second only to then-defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal. She put so much time in because she trained with the Mitchelton-Scott men's team during the squad's training camp for the second year in a row.

"Were all those kilometres needed? The answer is no; I don't think so," Van Vleuten wrote in her Cyclingnews blog. "The length of our races is a maximum of 160km, and races that are shorter than that are harder for me to make a difference in the final... The level of recovery and general fitness is not so important when it comes to winning those races. But the harder the race, the more I will benefit from my general fitness level, which is high because of the volume I do on the bike."