Defending champion Van Vleuten returns to the Boels Ladies Tour

Sat 31 Aug 2019

Mitchelton-SCOTT will return to happy hunting ground as they line-up for the five-day Boels Ladies Tour in the Netherlands on Tuesday.

World time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten has claimed the overall victory in the previous two editions and the Giro Rosa champion will be back to put on a show in front of her home fans once again.

A powerful outfit will take to the start line in Geleen, with triple Tour Down Under champion Amanda Spratt, recent Clasica Femenina Navarra winner Sarah Roy and local rider Moniek Tenniglo amongst the strong Mitchelton-SCOTT squad.

Mitchelton-SCOTT Team:
Gracie Elvin (AUS, 30)
Sarah Roy (AUS, 33)
Amanda Spratt (AUS, 31)
Moniek Tenniglo (NED, 31)
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 36)
Georgia Williams (NZL, 26)

The Course

The race will get underway with a prologue once more, this time around the 3.8-kilometre long Tom Dumoulin Bike Park. The first road stage will then take the peloton 123-kilometres from Stramproy to Weert where the day will conclude with three laps of a technical finishing circuit.

The following day will be contested over four loops around the city of Gennep and stage three will have a similar theme with five laps of a route on the outskirts of Nijverdal. The penultimate stage gets kicks-off in Arnhem and will take the pack on a number of changes in direction on the run to Nijmegen with crosswinds a possibility. The bunch will then head back to Arnhem on the fifth and final stage, with longest stage bringing the racing to a close.

The Past

Van Vleuten has claimed the overall title in the previous two years, taking the victory in the prologue and holding the race lead for the rest of the race. The 36-year-old added a further two stage victories last season as she won the opening road stage before powering to the win in the final stage time trial. Van Vleuten also took the TT win in 2017 as she cemented her place at the top of the general classification.

Roy sprinted to glory on stage four of the 2016 edition, taking the team back to winning ways after Emma Johansson’s win on the final stage of the 2014 race.

Annemiek van Vleuten:
“After San Sebastian I had to start building up again for the Worlds, so what I did is come to Italy, to altitude to prepare for the World Championships. I’ve been training hard but enjoying it. I’m super motivated to race again because I can’t believe the season is almost over, so I’m still very hungry and eager to race.”

“I’ve won here the last two years, but this time they have changed the course, it’s a bit disappointing to be honest. They took out the time trial and they took out the hilly stages and it’s in my advantage if there are more hills.”

“But the beauty of the Boels Ladies Tour starts on the first day, I get to wear my rainbow jersey, which is special because I haven’t done many time trials this year. So, to pin number one on the rainbow jersey will be special in my home country.”

“With the Friday stage, which is the Queen Stage, I think it could have some ingredients to race hard on, so I can take that opportunity to at least give it a try and you never know. Then on Saturday and Sunday the race finishes very close to where I live now and it’s actually my training area in Arnhem, so I’m motivated.”

Martin Vestby (Sports Director):
“I think with the course change this year we will be looking to be aggressive and go for stage wins. We miss a really hard stage and there’s no time trial. The prologue is quite technical and there are a lot of corners on the course, I think it will be one for explosive riders, so of course Annemiek is a strong card, but most of our riders can go well there.”

“At the moment we have quite a lot of riders in really good shape and with possibilities to do well in the stages, so we will look to be aggressive and give opportunities to more riders. Then we can see how that plays out, go with the flow and if we can put ourselves in a situation towards the end of the tour to go for a good GC result, we can do that too.”

Boels Ladies Tour Race Details:

Tuesday, 3rd September: Prologue, Geleen – Geleen, 3.8km
Wednesday, 4th September: Stage 1, Stramproy – Weert, 123km
Thursday, 5th September: Stage 2, Gennep – Gennep, 113.7km
Friday, 6th September: Stage 3, Nijverdal – Nijverdal, 156.8km
Saturday, 7th September: Stage 4, Arnhem – Nijmegen, 135.6km
Sunday, 8th September: Stage 5, Nijmegen – Arnhem, 158.8km

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.