Neither. History was not supposed to go that way. But Annemiek Van Vleuten doesn’t follow history, she makes it. With her elbow broken, after being one of the strongest in the race and even working, she was declared world champion. A final individual attack worthy of a rainbow jersey and ending the best year in women’s cycling history, with the Giro-Tour-Vuelta triplet and the World Cup in Australia.
Everything had changed. Van Vleuten played by different rules after the accident in the time trial at nations. And the circuit does not allow parties. Even the Low Countries could not exercise their tyranny. I know that they showed more teamwork, which is not usually easy to see in Dutchand with Van Dijk they closed the first attempt by Lippert, Niewiadoma, Longo Borghini, Moolman-Pasio and Uttrup-Ludwig.
The same five people moved in the Mt. Pleasant last, but there was a variation in the script. Less explosiveness, less difference… On those ramps Van Vleuten ran differently. At his own pace, looking for Vos – discarded – and entering among the cultivators. But the top five would not have as much gas, and the Swiss Reusser and Chabbey would open the last kilometer with more guests.
But Van Vleuten did not expect, who started alone from behind. Five, ten meters… And less for the end. He did not raise his arms, the pain did not allow him. But he crossed the finish line first, with a demonstration of resilience and greatness. Almost more important than the World Cup itself.
Kopecky had silver, Persico bronze. The fastest of a group that went in unbelievably and surrendered to the greatest rider of all time. Mavi García was the best Spaniard entering in 25th position.
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