We need to talk about Annemiek

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The thing is not her age itself, as others have said, the financial situation in women's cycling means that many turn pro later compared to the men (and finish university and stuff) and the female body has its physical (endurance) peak a couple of years later than the male (at least that's what I read).
Even the time gaps at times can be alright, field is not as deep, less team strength in numbers make earlier solos more doable and lead to bigger gaps (I mean Pogacar himself took 3:30 out of everyone in one stage last year).

The big red flag for me is how she didn't have a gradual improvement after turning pro or whatever but was basically a solid rider, decent in one day races but nothing more for the majority of her career but than suddenly turned into the alien she is from 34 on.
I mean before 2016, her Giro Donne results were 27, 75, DNF, DNF, 8, 35 and then after 2017 she got 3, 1, 1, DNF and 1. No notable other stage race victories before as well.
And while she tries to be complimentary towards her competitors I have to say it comes across very awkward. All this "because of her age she had so much time to practice which the others simply didn't have" like wtf?

This is basically a Riis style of progress just that Riis was relatively quickly stopped by the 50% hematocrit rule while she's showing no signs of slowing down whatsoever. I mean she plans to retire but will she really? At least if I'm movistar I'd try everything I can to keep her going, she's basically carrying the brand on her own with the sorry ass state of their men's team.
 
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'It's not normal what she did'

Have they ever led an article with a similar line for a men's race?


 
'It's not normal what she did'

Have they ever led an article with a similar line for a men's race?


Apart from the whole doping stuff - I don't like the article's final passage: Shorter climbs and punchy routes have been the perfect stage for tight-fought battles, and it might have been better to end the Tour de France Femmes with more of these.
Eh, no, absolutely not. If you continue to only give shallow routes there is no incentive for anyone to train for something else.
 
'It's not normal what she did'

Have they ever led an article with a similar line for a men's race?


No if men do it it's normal and questioning it is "***".
 
The thing is not her age itself, as others have said, the financial situation in women's cycling means that many turn pro later compared to the men (and finish university and stuff) and the female body has its physical (endurance) peak a couple of years later than the male (at least that's what I read).
Even the time gaps at times can be alright, field is not as deep, less team strength in numbers make earlier solos more doable and lead to bigger gaps (I mean Pogacar himself took 3:30 out of everyone in one stage last year).

The big red flag for me is how she didn't have a gradual improvement after turning pro or whatever but was basically a solid rider, decent in one day races but nothing more for the majority of her career but than suddenly turned into the alien she is from 34 on.
I mean before 2016, her Giro Donne results were 27, 75, DNF, DNF, 8, 35 and then after 2017 she got 3, 1, 1, DNF and 1. No notable other stage race victories before as well.
And while she tries to be complimentary towards her competitors I have to say it comes across very awkward. All this "because of her age she had so much time to practice which the others simply didn't have" like wtf?

This is basically a Riis style of progress just that Riis was relatively quickly stopped by the 50% hematocrit rule while she's showing no signs of slowing down whatsoever. I mean she plans to retire but will she really? At least if I'm movistar I'd try everything I can to keep her going, she's basically carrying the brand on her own with the sorry ass state of their men's team.
"She trains so much more than the other women"

Well doping allows you to train harder.
 
Apart from the whole doping stuff - I don't like the article's final passage: Shorter climbs and punchy routes have been the perfect stage for tight-fought battles, and it might have been better to end the Tour de France Femmes with more of these.
Eh, no, absolutely not. If you continue to only give shallow routes there is no incentive for anyone to train for something else.
Rouleur have taken a bit of stick for that one to be fair, for precisely that reason. If every race favours the same type of rider, there is no incentive for anybody who specialises in any other type of race to develop, they are less valuable to sponsors and teams and the results are bogarted by a small number of athletes who are the best in the most common type of stage.

Now, if they felt that, given the relative closeness of GC spots 3 through 7 that it might have been better to have a stage that was more punchy to finish, I can see a case for that, so long as they had the proper mountain stages before that. The fact that Annemiek - and to a lesser extent Demi too - was able to sleepwalk through the first 6 stages because the only two decisive ones were at the weekend (and that the gaps they were able to create on that stage were big enough to make the losses earlier in the race an irrelevance) may be a weaker point, but simultaneously, arguing the case in favour of a puncheuse stage to finish because of the closeness of GC spots 3 to 7 is kind of irrelevant, when their issue with the MTF at the end of the race is not about anything that happened between Niewiadoma, Persico, Longo Borghini, Labous and Uttrup. And given that the mountain stages tend to produce the most spectacle, and attract the largest audience figures, placing these on the weekend was the most logical course of action (something ASO doesn't do frequently enough with the men's Tour, but then that has its importance well established whereas the women's race is still finding its feet) - just a shame that the broadcast was not extensive enough to pick up the attack that made the race and by the time they were on air, Annemiek and Demi were already up the road and the pattern was set.

But then, there are a lot of exploits of the history of cycling which have passed into lore and create incredible stories - Coppi from Cuneo to Pinerolo, Merckx putting eight minutes into people when already in yellow, Ocaña over the Puerto de Herrera and similar - yet most of those would have been watching a time gap slowly grow bigger and the rest of the race holding steady as it goes, with all the same benefits and drawbacks as the Innsbruck Worlds or the Markstein stage here.
 
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The big red flag for me is how she didn't have a gradual improvement after turning pro or whatever but was basically a solid rider, decent in one day races but nothing more for the majority of her career but than suddenly turned into the alien she is from 34 on.
With the women's tour being less competitive/professional it might be more likely that riders have room to improve versus themselves and versus others by training harder/better.
 
I tried finding more information about her and her life, just googling and reading a few articles.

Found out she is single. No husband and no kids. It doesnt say anywhere about what her sexuality may be. There is just very minor details about her private life in that regard. Maybe it is that way deliberately from her side.

Just going off that tough, cycling seems to be her greatest passion and love in life. That would probably be an advantage to many others. She is very dedicated and very competitive that likes challenging herself both mentally and physically, from what I could gather.

Years and years of hard training is of course a huge advantage over most of the field. Especially when the gap between her and the weakest rider in the womens peloton is probably a lot bigger, than the same gap in the mens peloton for example. Whether she has other things that "help" her or not.
 
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I tried finding more information about her and her life, just googling and reading a few articles.

Found out she is single. No husband and no kids. It doesnt say anywhere about what her sexuality may be. There is just very minor details about her private life in that regard. Maybe it is that way deliberately from her side.

Just going off that tough, cycling seems to be her greatest passion and love in life. That would probably be an advantage to many others. She is very dedicated and very competitive that likes challenging herself both mentally and physically, from what I could gather.

Years and years of hard training is of course a huge advantage over most of the field. Especially when the gap between her and the weakest rider in the womens peloton is probably a lot bigger, than the same gap in the mens peloton for example. Whether she has other things that "help" her or not.
She allegedly was a partly animal till her mid-twenties when some testing showed she's exceptionally gifted. Then she committed to the sport.

Probably all the partying and alcohol intake triggered hormonal response still active through cumulative effect.
 
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She allegedly was a partly animal till her mid-twenties when some testing showed she's exceptionally gifted. Then she committed to the sport.

Probably all the partying and alcohol intake triggered hormonal response still active through cumulative effect.
Fantastic typo given the circumstances.

"So yeah, I was wasting my life as a half human half Alaskan Husky until someone told me 'Yo, with your VO2Max you should be killing it in endurance sports so I became a cyclist.'"
 
She allegedly was a partly animal till her mid-twenties when some testing showed she's exceptionally gifted. Then she committed to the sport.

Probably all the partying and alcohol intake triggered hormonal response still active through cumulative effect.
She was young, early 20s, and was studying at a university. Living the student life... Im sure there where parties. At least that is how I remember it and I probably dont remember everything either.

She had a job afterwards, but it didnt last very long from what I read. One funny thing was that when she handed in her resignation, the boss told her that was the happiest he had seen her be at work.
 
She was young, early 20s, and was studying at a university. Living the student life... Im sure there where parties. At least that is how I remember it and I probably dont remember everything either.

She had a job afterwards, but it didnt last very long from what I read. One funny thing was that when she handed in her resignation, the boss told her that was the happiest he had seen her be at work.
My happiest day at work was the day I retired after 30 years of indentured servitude! I walked out the door and never looked back. No more bosses! It was awesome.
 
There are a lot of obstacles for pro women cyclists to be able to get to the point where they can train/live/eat t with the same intensity as men do. That said, no one should suspect AVV is clean, but she is probably starting from a higher baseline than the vast majority of the women's peloton. That's a shame, as the sport needs a solid core of well-paid riders to really grow, rather than half (or whatever the figure is) being unpaid amateurs riding for "pro" teams.
 
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you can train 5-10% more hours per year as you age? I guess I'm aging wrong.
I guess Im ageing and clearly still partying wrong too.:)

10-20 years ago Id have totally accepted that the Womens peloton was wide open to a rider able to train more,longer,harder, totally dedicate themselves to the sport and gain huge chunks of performance over even the best of the best riders, because its not that the sport was un-professional then, its just the money wasnt there to support anyone doing that, and so everything was kind of barely hanging together most of the time.

but it doesnt make sense to me as a reason now, that gap should definitely been narrowing not increasing, not least because there should always be a new generation of riders coming into the sport without the hangups of the past and the ability to totally dedicate themselves in training for races that the older generations of riders probably would never imagine was possible

and whilst the WWT doesnt have the same financial clout as the WT, theres no-one in a top womens team who is pro-am anymore, no-one with a second job to pay the bills to keep their "cycling hobby" going, they are professional athletes in a much more professional sport now than in the past and if they arent training to the same levels as their rivals, which I doubt somehow for the top riders, then what are they doing with their time ?
 
I guess Im ageing and clearly still partying wrong too.:)

10-20 years ago Id have totally accepted that the Womens peloton was wide open to a rider able to train more,longer,harder, totally dedicate themselves to the sport and gain huge chunks of performance over even the best of the best riders, because its not that the sport was un-professional then, its just the money wasnt there to support anyone doing that, and so everything was kind of barely hanging together most of the time.

but it doesnt make sense to me as a reason now, that gap should definitely been narrowing not increasing, not least because there should always be a new generation of riders coming into the sport without the hangups of the past and the ability to totally dedicate themselves in training for races that the older generations of riders probably would never imagine was possible

and whilst the WWT doesnt have the same financial clout as the WT, theres no-one in a top womens team who is pro-am anymore, no-one with a second job to pay the bills to keep their "cycling hobby" going, they are professional athletes in a much more professional sport now than in the past and if they arent training to the same levels as their rivals, which I doubt somehow for the top riders, then what are they doing with their time ?
I know it was a massive f-up from the Dutch team and a tactical situation leading to it, but a math lecturer at a university won the last Olympics. Marlen Reusser finished her PhD in 2021 and she did work as a doctor. Many others have diplomas. Also, many talented women don't pursue a career as a pro cyclist because it doesn't get them the money the men can expect. Most of them are full time professionals now, but the situation is still not comparable to the men's.

I really don't want to argue that van Vleuten is clean, just that a gap between riders in women's is not the same as the same kind of gap in men's.
 
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