Unprecedented success for the ‘blue’ team
The Olympic champion brilliantly wins her third title in the ‘Corsa Rosa’ and gives the Telefónica squad its 16th Grand Tour, the first with the women’s team in its five seasons.
“In the end, she ‘Miek’ It Happen” (in the end, Miek did). She is the lover of table games -and, sportingly, of poker with which she sometimes plays with her rivals- of her; she the one she enjoys like no one running in Italy; the one that always attacks and did not hold back again in a Giro Donne 2022 that dominated from start to finish and led for two-thirds of the race. Today, Sunday, in Padova, after the 90 km of the last stage, Annemiek van Vleuten made it her own for the third time (there must have been four, if he had not mediated that crash in 2020). And she achieved it, for the first time, with the colours of a Movistar Team that thanks to her already has 16 Grand Tours.
The dedicated work and to the limit of their possibilities by Jelena Erić, Emma Norsgaard -3rd at the close of this Sunday-, Arlenis Sierra -6th in Reggio Emilia, before her injury and abandonment-, Aude Biannic and Paula Patiño carried on wings Van Vleuten towards extraordinary loot. Two stages, the most spectacular and exciting of the race, in Cesena and Aldeno. Two difficult moments to overcome -last Friday’s crash and another incident in Bergamo just before the finish line of stage 6-. And an amazing poise and confidence, given by the Maglia Rosa and, along the way, also the Ciclamino de la Regularidad.
Van Vleuten already has 92 wins in an extraordinary career that will end in 2023, always with the Telefónica squad and surely with the style and brilliance shown this July in Italy. The team led by Sebastián Unzué and Jorge Sanz will enjoy their success in Venice this Sunday before starting work, starting tomorrow, Monday, on their next big goal: the first edition of the new era of the Tour de France Femmes (24-31 July), to which they will also go with the highest hopes.
Final Word / Annemiek van Vleuten:
“Very proud of all the work we have done in the Movistar Team in this Giro. It has been a new experience for this structure, an enormous learning experience for all the girls, and the entire team has done very well. With all the tension we’ve had in the race, I think we’ve set an example of hard work and being very focused on the team. All the staff have done wonderfully. Our director, Jorge Sanz, prepared everything very well for us and knew how to guide us from the car. The whole team has worked well, I insist; It’s nice to win, but it’s nicer to do it with such a united team. In a stage tour, it is absolutely impossible to win alone, and when the pieces fit together like this, they make sense of everything. It’s been ten wonderful days, and now it’s time to celebrate what we’ve achieved.
A ten-day race like the Giro is never easy. A lot of the work you have to do comes long before the Giro, all the hours you have to go home and at altitude. The fact that I am recovering so well after each stage is the result of everything I have trained and taken care of to get here. It’s a lot of hours, really. And then, in the race, there is tension every day, even on the flat stages. But, as I say, having such a motivated and focused team helps the goal a lot. As far as the preparation for the Tour is concerned, things have gone well at 99%, and I say that percentage because there is always room for improvement. I will come with great confidence. Now it’s time to catch my breath and recharge mentally, more than physically (there have been Giros in which I’ve ended up crushed, but here I end up very fresh). I’m going to have a good time these days, train as planned and we’ll get to that Tour well”.