• Annemiek van Vleuten in the Mitchelton-Scott YouTube documentary 'What it Takes." (Mitchelton Scott/Sam Flanagan)Source: Mitchelton Scott/Sam Flanagan
Mitchelton-Scott dropped part 1 of its Annemiek van Vleuten documentary series 'WHAT IT TAKES' yesterday - and it is everything.
Cycling Central

30 Jan 2020 - 2:29 PM  UPDATED 30 Jan 2020 - 2:34 PM

WARNING: may cause some viewers to find their nearest bike, jump on it and ride...for a really long time.

Quite a few things strike you while watching part 1 of 'WHAT IT TAKES," Mitchelton-Scott's documentary series on the rider affectionately known as Vleuty. 

Mitchelton-Scott does an annual 10 day, 200kms a day, point-to-point winter training camp? Some of the guys doubted van Vleuten's staying power? Why am I lying here watching this and not out on the bike riding 200+ kms, like, every day? 

Following her knee injury sustained at the 2018 worlds, women's Mitchelton-Scott performance manager Gene Bates challenged van Vleuten to join the men's team in winter 2019. The documentary reflects on that first camp while she is there for her second in early 2020. 

Van Vleuten refused to say die that first year, hanging in all day, every day, for 10 days. She could've easily called for the team car on several occasions for parts of those days but she didn't. 

The results were obvious. In 2019, she won Strade Bianche, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Giro Rosa and one of cycling's most all-time memorable performances - winning the rainbow jersey she won with a daring attack, 100kms out. 

Despite part 1's title, 'One of the boys,' the doco is not really about a woman trying to keep up with men.  

WATCH: Mitchelton Scott's WHAT IT TAKES - One of the Boys (videographer: Sam Flanagan) :

The major theme is a universal one - pushing yourself beyond what you would even WANT to think is possible.

But it's the 37-year-old's take on that, which van Vleuten made uniquely her own. 

Limits were placed on her, not because she is a woman but because of her injury and it preventing her from clocking up enough miles preceding the camp. 

To that end, team staff were quite rightly on the look out for any signs of extreme fatigue. But an exhausted van Vleuten found a way around it by 'dressing up' for dinner each night to hide what was really going on, or her ongoing participation would be restricted. 

In this documentary series, Mitchelton-Scott promise "a behind the scenes look at the motivations, struggles and impact (van Vleuten's) presence has at the men’s camp – an activity that contributed to her 2020 early season training kilometres being higher than all other elite male riders except Egan Bernal."

And we're totally here for it. 

Need more Vleuty? Watch her daring, long range 100km+ attack at the 2019 worlds: