Marijn de Vries: “It is a shame that Van der Breggen quits, but I understand her” | Cycling


With gold in the World Championship road race and in the time trial, Anna van der Breggen may have experienced the last highlights in her cycling career, because next year the Dutch top rider will stop racing. “She wants to start having children”, says journalist and former professional cyclist Marijn de Vries. “And she will do great as a sports director.”

A selection from the impressive track record of Anna van der Breggen

  • 1x Olympic champion: 2016
  • 2x world champion: 2018 and 2020
  • 1x time trial world champion: 2020
  • 1x European champion: 2016
  • 1x European time trial champion: 2020
  • 1x Tour of Flanders: 2018
  • 2x Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 2017 and 2018
  • 2x Tour of California: 2017 and 2019
  • 3x Giro Rosa: 2015, 2017 in 2020
  • 5x Walloon Arrow: 2015-2019

Anna van der Breggen (30) has won almost everything that could be won. And all that for the past 5 years.

“She started cycling a little later because she was following a nursing course and also opted for an internship in Africa,” explains Marijn de Vries, “but since 2012 she has put everything into cycling.”

“Everything seems to go by itself”

“Anna van der Breggen looks like a sphinx on a bicycle”, Marijn de Vries continues. “Her style is incredibly beautiful. Everything seems to go by itself and you never see anything on her face: it seems as if nothing takes her effort.”

“But make no mistake, she also had to train very hard for it and of course she is full of talent.”

“Olympic time trial title still”

Ann van der Breggen is only 30 and yet she wants to quit next year after Tokyo. Annemiek van Vleuten (37) and Marianne Vos (33) nevertheless prove that on your 30th your expiration date is still far from passed.

“But she has already won everything”, Marijn de Vries answers. “Winning everything again: that’s not how Anna works.”

“The only thing she still wants to win is the Olympic time trial, but that will not be easy. She will certainly not start there as a top favorite.”

Anna van der Breggen on the podium of the World Championship time trial.

“She wants to start having children soon”

Anna van der Breggen is already looking forward to a life without heavy sacrifices for her sport. “Heavy training, always having to pay attention to your food in such detail. She is a bit tired of that”, Marijn de Vries knows. “The holy fire has gone out, that’s why it stops.”

“With her husband Sierk Jan De Haan, sports director at Jumbo-Visma, she doesn’t want to wait long to start having children. Because for Anna, life besides cycling is also extremely important.”

The sacred fire has gone out, that’s why it stops.

Marijn de Vries

Van der Breggen has already indicated that after Tokyo she will become sports director at SD Worx, the successor of Boels-Dolmans.

“And she will also do a great job of that,” says de Vries. “She will be passionate about it and will be more than happy to pass on her experience to the riders. She has ridden and won all races, so you cannot imagine a better experience expert.”

“Of course it is a shame that she is going to stop next year, but I can follow her.”

Marijn de Vries

Marijn de Vries: “Anna van der Breggen will be just as passionate as a sports director.”

“Most complete road cyclist”

With Anna van der Breggen, one of the standard bearers of Dutch cycling will soon end her career. “On the road she is the most complete rider ever for me”, says Marijn de Vries.

“The very best ever, I wouldn’t dare say. Marianne Vos was superior in all areas and I also estimate Leontien van Moorsel a little higher. But Anna comes pretty close.”

Today Anna van der Breggen will start in the Flèche Wallonne. She can win that match for the 6th time in a row.

Anna van der Breggen

Anna van der Breggen won the last 5 editions of the Walloon Arrow.

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