Annemiek van Vleuten: A Farewell Race at the World Gravel Championship
A Post-Retirement Race for Fun
Annemiek van Vleuten, a renowned Dutch cyclist and a member of the Movistar team, has recently announced her intention to participate in the upcoming World Gravel Championship in Veneto, Italy, despite having recently declared her retirement. The decision, taken in a moment of whimsy, has been warmly received by her team and sponsors. However, the 40-year-old professional cyclist has stated that she does not intend to make regular appearances at the World Gravel Championship. Instead, her participation in this event is more about enjoyment than serious competition.
Part of a Farewell Tour
Van Vleuten views the upcoming tournament as part of her farewell tour, an idea that her team instantly supported. The World Gravel Championship is scheduled to take place on the 7th and 8th of October. She jokingly mentioned that she would like to take a picture with Alejandro Valverde, a fellow cyclist who also shifted to gravel racing after ending his road cycling career in 2022.
A Glittering Career and a Final Race
During her illustrious career, Van Vleuten secured numerous victories. She won four World Championships and emerged victorious in prestigious races such as the Tour de France Femmes, Vuelta a España, and Giro Donne. She also won the gold medal in the time trial at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Despite her recent retirement announcement, fans will have the chance to see her in action once again at the World Gravel Championship.
Not A Comeback, Just A Fun Experience
Van Vleuten has underlined that her participation in the World Gravel Championship should not be interpreted as a comeback. She has no ambitions for a gravel career and is clear that this is just a fun experience to close out the season. She is looking forward to the race, not as a competition, but as a chance to enjoy the sport she loves in a less pressured environment. Her participation in the World Gravel Championship is a fitting tribute to her career and a chance for fans to see her in action one last time.
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