Van Vleuten, to defend her 2021 title at the Tour of Flanders (Sunday 3rd April)


Back to a dream. The Movistar Team experienced in 2021 in one of the greatest moments of its four and a half decades of history in the Tour of Flanders. Annemiek van Vleuten began to build an unrivalled campaign here, giving Sebastián Unzué’s team their first ‘Monument’ and achieving the first victory of a Spanish team in one of the traditionally most inhospitable races for ‘bull skin’. One in which, in 2022, the blues aspire to shine again.

11 climbs and as many cobbled areas mark the 159 km route around Oudenaarde. Except for the first two sections of pavé, everything is concentrated in two distinct loops. The first includes the Molenberg (km 81), always selective; the second, with six climbs in just thirty kilometres, comprises ‘the best of the race’. The terrible Koppenberg (km 114) will be passed for the first year; Steenbeekdries (km 119) and Taaienberg (km 122) will be passed in a row; and after the Kruisberg they will face the classic and decisive Oude Kwaremont (km 142) + Paterberg (km 145), where Miek cemented her victory last year. I hope such a beautiful story repeats itself!