Anna van der Breggen Expresses Concern Over Flèche Wallonne Route Changes

Anna van der Breggen Fleche Wallonne

As the Flèche Wallonne Femmes approaches, notable alterations to the course have sparked comments, particularly from seven-time winner Anna van der Breggen, who now serves as a team director for SD Worx. The reconfigured approach to the iconic Mur de Huy, a hallmark of this race, sees the removal of the Côte de Cherave, a move Van der Breggen views unfavourably. “The Côte de Cherave previously added an extra layer of tactics to the finale, giving riders who didn’t want to wait for the Mur a chance to make a significant move,” she noted.

Van der Breggen pointed to the new route leading into the Mur de Huy, which features a descent on a wide road, as potentially favouring strong climbers, thereby condensing much of the race’s decisive action into the final climb where a select group is likely to fight for victory. Recollecting her own strategies, Van der Breggen mentioned, “There was a time I secured a victory at the Flèche Wallonne by breaking away before the Mur, a feat that’s now harder with the course changes.”

Focusing on this year’s competition, Van der Breggen is confident in Demi Vollering, last year’s winner, who will lead the SD Worx team. She is well-supported by a formidable lineup, including Lotte Kopecky, who will act as a high-calibre support rider. “Demi is well-prepared and capable of managing the demands of the Mur,” stated Van der Breggen. The team’s tactics will likely involve having riders like Blanka Vas and Elena Cecchini join early breakaways to help Vollering conserve energy for the critical final climb.

Van der Breggen also highlighted potential rivals in the race, pointing to Kasia Niewiadoma, Elisa Longo-Borghini, and Gaia Realini as key competitors.