Annemiek van Vleuten has successfully managed to defend her title at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. Van Vleuten has won the title two years in a row, making her the star player at Team Movistar. Annemiek has won all the big titles in the 2022 season namely Tour de France Femmes, Giro d’Italia Donne, and Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta.
Although Sunday’s stage 5 was won by Elisa Balsamo (Trek–Segafredo). The rider sprinted her way to victory followed by Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) and (Marta Bastianelli) in second and third place. Van Vleuten wore the leader’s red jersey all the way up to stage 5 from stage 2.
Annemiek won the title with a lead of 1:44 on Elisa Longo Borghini and 2:11 on Demi Vollering (SDWorx). Van Vleuten praised her teammates for putting in the hard work to secure her win:
It was a very nice race, especially because during this week we have made a great team effort. In the end, a team time trial like the one on the first day is the best example of teamwork, but above all, on the second day the girls did a great job, preparing the ground perfectly so that I could get everything I had
Nevertheless, Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) was satisfied with her achievements at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. Her speed was unmatchable on Sunday’s stage 5. After the race was over, Elisa said:
I’m extremely happy
She continued to thank her teammates:
This was my last race with the [world champion’s] jersey and so there is not a better way to end such a wonderful season for me. My teammates did a great job today. We really were the strongest team and chased all day. I have to say thank you to everyone in the team
Annemiek van Vleuten has an outstanding record. She has won the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 3 times. Annemiek rode 3950 km in the last 34 days. Van Vleuten ranks first in the UCI World Ranking as well as the PCS Ranking. She has been riding with the team Movistar since 2021. Annemiek will retire on 31st December 2023.
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Featured Image Via YouTube/ Canyon Bicycles