Queen of the Ardennes
Anna van der Breggen and her Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team scored a trifecta of excellence this month. The Dutch star completed a sweep of the three Ardennes classics with Sunday’s triumphs at Liège-Bastogne-Liège following victories in Flèche Wallonne and the Amstel Gold Race.
What’s more, van Der Breggen was joined by teammate Lizzie Deignan on the podium in all three races, giving Boels-Dolmans a memorable 1-2 punch. Simply put, they conquered the competition over some of the most challenging and famous terrain of the Spring Classics, the steep hills and narrow lanes of Belgium and the Netherlands. No team has ever put two riders on the podium of every Ardennes race let alone two riders in the top two positions, according to the team.
All photos © Tim De Waele TDWSport.com
In a recent interview with SRAM, van der Breggen, a newcomer to Boels-Dolmans this season, talked about the special atmosphere on the team.
You can feel it’s really one team but there is also space to do your own things. The team is really professional and at the same time there is a bit of flexibility. We know each other, we train, work and train together but at the same time we are also really individual. There is a good balance that gives space to every rider to express herself. Every rider can be who she is and be respected. And for example if three girls do something, you can do things differently.