Procycling

ANNA VAN DER BREGGEN

WINNER I N 2 0 18

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Anna van der Breggen won everything there was to win before ret i r i n g at the end of 202 1 , she won Flanders with a solo move.

We made a plan in advance of the race. I noticed from previous editions that there is always a really hard moment after the Kruisberg, so we agreed I should try to go for it there and if it didn’t work, we always have a team with girls who can try later.

It’s the point of the race where the final really starts, and so everybody is tired already. I started behind the others so I had some speed compared to them when I attacked. And once you have gone, you don’t think that much. It’s just about keeping the right pace, not too fast and as fast as possible.

On the Oude Kwaremont you always go really deep but if you are riding alone you can pace yourself more evenly, which makes the climb a bit more easy. On the Paterberg, the final climb, I can remember the people in the crowds screaming. That’s something special - it really gives you a motivation boost but after you come off the climb, it’s totally quiet and you need to keep the pace up.

In a race it’s a waste of time to look at the reading on your powermeter. It might make you think you cannot go faster, when actually you feel quite good, and on the cobbles you cannot see your power, so it doesn’t matter.

The Tour of Flanders was always a special race, but for me my best memories of the race are not only about the year I won. I was on the podium and also last year Chantal [van den Broek-Blaak] won it, and that was great too. Maybe I would have ridden differentl­y last year if I had never won it before, but I don’t know if I would still have done one year more if it wasn’t on my list of victories.”

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