Annemiek van Vleuten was not surprised that Anna van der Breggen stopped her legs on Sunday when they attacked together in the Tour of Flanders. It was not the first time that the Zwolle refused to cooperate with her compatriot.
“I am not frustrated at all. I have never had Anna want to ride with me, so that was no surprise to me. It does not matter to me either”, said Van Vleuten at the WE.
With 25 kilometers to go, Van Vleuten first drove away and she was soon joined by Van der Breggen. The European champion and the world champion had a nice hole, but Van der Breggen did not want to continue. She had already announced that she would play a serving role at Boels-Dolmans.
“I already asked her: you are not going to drive, are you?”, Said Van Vleuten. “Of course I hoped she wouldn’t come to me. Then I would have had a good chance. It was a really good time.”
Van der Breggen knew that a number of strong teammates were behind her, including Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and sprinters Amy Pieters and Jolien D’Hoore. In the end, it was Van den Broek-Blaak who managed to get away and solo to victory.
“This was the plan in advance. Those girls drive for me all season. For me it feels best when such a plan works. So it was very simple: if I come in front, I keep my legs still”, stated Van der Breggen.
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak celebrates her victory with Anna van der Breggen. (Photo: ANP)
‘I may be even happier for Chantal’
She got even more satisfaction from her teammate’s victory than if she had won herself. “Maybe I am even happier. It was one of the biggest dreams of her career for Chantal. So I am very happy if she succeeds.”
After thirteen participations and two podium places, a dream came true for Van den Broek-Blaak with the win in Flanders. “This one had been on my list for a long time”, the South Holland exulted. “It was one of my main goals this season. This is what I trained for recently.”
“Yesterday Anna already said: girls, I drive for you. But Amy and Jolien were also in great shape. They were just looking the same way and we really want each other. This was just very good teamwork”, concluded Van den Broek- Blaak.