Annemiek van Vleuten is “convinced” compatriot Marianne Vos can win the elite women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships on September 25.
SBS Cycling Central

23 Sep - 12:45 PM 

Van Vleuten and Vos are two of eight Dutch riders set to contest the 157-kilometre course between Antwerp and Leuven, with Vos out to add to her 12 world championship titles across the road, track and cyclo-cross disciplines.

Anna van der Breggen, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Lucinda Brand, Amy Pieters, Demi Vollering and Ellen van Dijk will join the star duo on the Flandrien circuit – one that could set Vos apart from the pack.

The veteran will face stiff competition from fellow sprinters Emma Norsgaard (Denmark), Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) and Coryn Rivera (USA), but van Vleuten believes the Netherlands’ numbers will help sway the race in their favour.

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“If I look to our own team, I think that Marianne Vos is our biggest contender,” van Vleuten told Cyclingnews.

“This year it will be super hard for the Dutch team to win.

“At Innsbruck and at Imola there was super hard climbing but in Flanders we will need to use our numbers, and I am convinced that Marianne Vos can win the race, if we make it really hard.

“It’s also interesting for me, Amy and Chantal because it gives us opportunities.

“It will be an interesting race and the route has some good ingredients for a bit more (of an) open race.”

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The Belgium-based course will include 20 short climbs and a total elevation gain of 1,047 metres, beginning at the Grote Markt in Antwerp.

From there, the riders will travel 55km south where they will perform one-and-a-half loops around the Leuven circuit, one loop of the Flandrien one and then two-and-a-half loops of Leuven once more. 

Coverage of the event will begin at 8:10pm (AEST) on Saturday, September 25 with all the action live via SBS On Demand.