Annemiek Van Vleuten: The UCI Women's WorldTour leader & UCI ranked number one rider in the worldFri 7 Sep 2018
Current world time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten has had a phenomenal 2018 season so far winning no less than ten UCI races. Her consistent and dominating performances has seen her move into the UCI Women's WorldTour series lead after winning the recent Boels Ladies Tour, claiming two stage victories along the way.
Along with this, van Vleuten now sits at the top of the leader board in the Elite Women's UCI world rankings, a motivating position to be in as she prepares for her world time trial championships title defence later this month in Innsbruck.
"It is cool to have such a good second part of the season, I feel stronger this year than last year so I feel confident to be going into a world championships like this," van Vleuten explained. "It is cool to be 35-years-old and feel like I still get stronger and stronger every year, I hope to be inspiring for other people."
"I am currently leading the Women's WorldTour standings, I was surprised after the Boels Ladies Tour to take the lead, it wasn't a goal for me or really for our team but in the end if you can take the jersey it is a nice reward for a very successful season."
Mitchelton-SCOTT women have achieved 25 UCI race victories so far this season and along with many other consistently high placings it sees the team move up to second place on the UCI World Team rankings, an impressive feat by the Australian squad.
"With the team it is also cool that we are second on the UCI rankings and that is not just because of me, but we have Amanda Spratt who is fourth in the WorldTour ranking, which is super high and a good sign for her," said van Vleuten. "Jolien D'hoore also had a great season so she is ranked highly and we have had many wins in the team from different riders, so I am proud to see we are second ranked in the world and close to the first team".
"I have been getting better every year but also the team has been getting better every year. All the girls in the team have been progressing so it is a development in not only myself but the whole team and I am really proud of this."
To be ranked number one in both the UCI Elite Women's world rankings and the UCI Women's WorldTour rankings is no accident, the Giro-Rosa winner has worked hard to be at her highest level this season and continues to get stronger every year thanks to the support of Mitchelton-SCOTT which has enabled her to be in this position.
"I worked very hard to be in the spring classics at my highest level and that didn't really work out but in the end it is a copy and paste of last year," van Vleuten continued. "The spring is always hard for me to be at my highest level but from May onwards I get stronger and last year I could stay at this level until the end of the season, but this year I have the feeling I am still growing and my level is continuously getting better.
"At the Boels Ladies Tour for example I checked and I had a better time trial on the same course, and in the prologue finishing more seconds ahead of the other riders, so it gives me a lot of confidence going into the world championships to try and defend my title but also the road race I am feeling good. We will have a strong team with the Netherlands so that will be advantageous for us.
"I just focus on what I can control by being at the best level and the Boels Ladies Tour gave me the feeling that I am on the right path."
With two WorldTour races left, the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta and the Tour of Guangxi, van Vleuten and Mitchelton-SCOTT are in a promising position, with the opportunity to finish the 2018 season as the top ranked team and individual rider.
UCI World Ranking - Elite Women
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 1968.86 points
2. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals) 1859.88 points
3. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 1772points
UCI Women's WorldTour series (two rounds to go)
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 1411.86 points
2. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals) 1394.88 points
3. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 1323.33 points
UCI Team Rankings
1. Boels-Dolmans 5104.38 points
2. Mitchelton-SCOTT 4942.33 points
3. Team Sunweb 3732.73 points
Annemiek van Vleuten race wins (1/1/18 - 7/9/18)
Boels Ladies Tour - General Classification
Boels Ladies Tour - Stage 6
Boels Ladies Tour - Stage 2
Boels Ladies Tour - Prologue
Veenendaal Veenendaal Classic
La Course by Le Tour de France
Giro-Rosa - General Classification
Giro-Rosa - Stage 10
Giro-Rosa - Stage 7
Giro-Rosa - Stage 2
Emakumeen Bira - Stage 2
Photos courtesy of Getty Images