Greatest Spring Classics Riders – Anna van der Breggen

Anna van der Breggen Rider History

Rider Type: All-round Classics Specialist

Anna van der Breggen is one of the major reasons for Marianne Vos’ wins to get more sporadic in the last 5 or so years. A worthy Dutch successor, Anna van der Breggen isn’t known as the Queen of the Ardennes for nothing.

Van der Breggen turned pro in 2012 and got some great results like 5th in the World Championships and winning the Tour de Bretagne. She had a quieter 2013, where she finished her nursing degree, but still finished 4th in the Worlds.

She moved to the Rabobank team in 2014 and got top-10s at Alfredo Binda, Tour of Flanders and Ronde van Drenthe. Her GC potential was starting to be realised with 3rd at the Giro Rosa and victories at the Tour of Norway and GP Elsy Jacobs. Van der Breggen broke her pelvis in the team time trial World Championships at the end of the season when teammate Annemiek van Vleuten crashed.

Anna van der Breggen World Championships Yorkshire 2019
Anna van der Breggen

She recovered well enough over the off-season to take victory in the 2015 Omloop van Nieuwsblad after attacking with Ellen van Dijk. She then won La Flèche Wallonne for the first time and retained the GP Elsy Jacobs. In the Summer, van der Breggen won the Giro Rosa, her biggest victory up to that point. She then finished just 2 seconds away from victory in the Worlds TT race and also finished 2nd in the Worlds road race too.

2016 was a season with near misses. Plenty of podiums but only Flèche Wallonne was won in the Spring. A 3rd place at the Giro Rosa was solid but the season ended well with Olympic gold in the road race at Rio. Taking the victory in a sprint after the sickening crash for teammate Anniemiek van Vleuten. She then went onto win the first European Championship road race to complete a fantastic late-season.

The earned the Queen of the Ardennes nickname in 2017 after winning all of Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège within a week of each other. She’d moved to Boels-Dolmans in the off-season, needing a change. Van der Breggen won her 2nd Giro Rosa by just over a minute. She then went onto take another silver medal in the Worlds TT race. Her consistent season, even without too many wins, saw her win the WorldTour individual prize.

Anna Van der Breggen delayed the start of her 2018 season, beginning at Strade Bianche, which she won in bad weather. Her solo attack saw her win the Tour of Flanders for the first time. She won Flèche Wallonne for the 4th consecutive year, showing her Valverde-esque talent. To follow it up, she won Liège–Bastogne–Liège again. She took yet another 2nd place in the Worlds TT in Innsbruck but took her maiden World Championships in the road race.

2019 was quieter, with her season starting with mountain biking in the Cape Epic with her teammate Annika Langvad. Predictably, she won her 5th Flèche Wallonne, the love affair with the Mur de Huy continuing. She won the late-season GP de Plouay too with a solo attack. Van der Breggen picked up yet more silver medals in the Worlds, in both the road race and time trial in 2019.

Anna van der Breggen has confirmed that she will retire at the end of the 2021 season. After which, she will take on a role as a directeur sportif at Boels-Dolmans (who will be SD Worx by then).

Anna van der Breggen Annika Langvad FW19

Greatest Race Victory

2018 Tour of Flanders

Rain greeted the riders as they set off and despite some early attempts, no breakaway was allowed to gain more than 50 seconds. 100km into the race, the peloton was back together again. Gaps then appeared as a result of a crash heading into the Muur van Geraardsbergen.

Over the top, a reduced peloton of 50 riders was still together. Elena Cecchini and Amalie Dideriksen attacked on the Kanarieberg. They didn’t get much of an advantage but it helped to thin out the peloton further. As a result, only 12 riders were together on the Kruisberg when Anna van der Breggen made her move. Riding away from the likes of Van Vleuten, Moolman, Jasinska, Van Dijk, Niewiadoma and Brennauer.

Van der Breggen maintained the gap, increasing it on the Oude Kwaremont as her teammates obstructed the chase behind. Once over the Paterberg, it was clear van der Breggen had the win. She finished just over a minute ahead of the chasers to win the 2018 Tour of Flanders.

Spring Classics Palmares

La Flèche Wallonne Féminine

2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Tour of Flanders for Women



2017, 2018

Strade Bianche


Omloop Het Nieuwsblad


Amstel Gold Race


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