Anna van der Breggen makes a surprising comeback!

Written by: Niels Goudriaan
Posted 3 weeks ago

Anna van der Breggen, the celebrated Olympic and two-time world road champion, is making a much-anticipated and surprising return to competitive cycling. After a three-year hiatus from professional racing, Van der Breggen will rejoin Team SD Worx-Protime starting January 1, 2025. She has signed a contract that will see her through to the end of 2026.

Van der Breggen, now 34, took on the role of team manager at Team SD Worx in 2022. Over the past year, she found her motivation to race again fully restored. “I am looking forward to pinning a jersey number on again,” she said. The Dutch cyclist feels the timing is perfect for a comeback. “If I want to return as a cyclist, it’s now or never. I am looking forward to it immensely.”

After her retirement in 2021, Van der Breggen transitioned smoothly into a leadership role within the team. She leveraged her extensive experience and deep understanding of the peloton to guide and mentor the team’s riders. “As a team leader, I got to know myself better and learned how to use my talents to be a good leader,” she noted. This period allowed her to view cycling from a different perspective, reigniting her passion for the sport

Van der Breggen acknowledges that her approach to cycling has evolved. “My mindset will be different. I will be less focused on wins in certain races or on having clear goals. It’s about enjoying the sport and the competition.” She is set to embark on an intensive training regimen over the next six months to regain her competitive edge. “I aim to become a better cyclist than in my previous period,” she added, though she remains realistic about the challenges ahead.

 

Refound motivation

The announcement of Van der Breggen’s return has been met with enthusiasm from Team SD Worx. Team manager Erwin Janssen expressed his excitement: “A champion like Anna van der Breggen is only born once every so many years. We are confident that Anna will find the pleasure in cycling all over again and will also be of great value to our team as a cyclist again.” The team is looking forward to leveraging her experience and leadership on the road once more.

Current team members have also shown their support. World champion Lotte Kopecky is eager to race alongside Van der Breggen: “I am looking forward to racing with Anna in the coming years. I think it’s a good choice and she won’t regret it.” Lorena Wiebes added, “I like the fact that Anna is coming back. I think she will bring a lot of good things, in terms of atmosphere and also on a sporting level. I expect her to compete at a high level again soon and hopefully win enough races”.

Team SD Worx has been a dominant force in women’s cycling. The 2023 season saw them achieving remarkable success, including victories in the Tour de France Femmes and multiple stages across various races. Their depth and talent across the roster have positioned them as a powerhouse in the peloton. With Van der Breggen’s return, the team is set to bolster its competitive edge even further. The addition of her experience and tactical acumen is expected to be invaluable, both in mentoring younger riders and contributing to race strategies.

 

I am looking forward to pinning a jersey number on again, if I want to return as a cyclist, it's now or never.

 

The Road Ahead

As Van der Breggen prepares for her return, she remains focused on the joy of racing and the privilege of being part of the sport she loves. “For me, it is no longer so much about ticking off races or victories, but more about enjoying the sport and the competition,” she emphasized. Her journey back to professional cycling will be watched closely by fans and competitors alike, eager to see how one of the sport’s greats will fare in her second act.

Van der Breggen’s comeback is not just a personal milestone but a significant event for women’s cycling. Her return underscores the enduring appeal and competitive spirit that define the sport, promising exciting times ahead for Team SD Worx-Protime and the broader cycling community.

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