Tom Dumoulin and Anna van der Breggen have been shortlisted Dutch sportsman and sportswoman of the year. Both were voted for by a professional panel from NOS with Dumoulin going up against Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen and speed skater Sven Kramer. Competition for Van der Breggen comes in the form of track and field star Dafne Schippers and sailor Marit Bouwmeester.
World time trial and road race champions Annemiek van Vleuten and Chantal Blaak made the original shortlist in the women’s competition, while Dylan Groenewegen and Bauke Mollema had been in the original 11-man shortlist.
Dumoulin has had a supreme season that saw him take his first Grand Tour title at the Giro d’Italia when he beat Nairo Quintana by 31 seconds in a dramatic time trial finale. His summer was sparse of racing as he geared up towards the World Championships, but brought in a national time trial title. The Clasica San Sebastian marked his return to racing in the latter part of the season. He finished fourth at the one-day race before going on to seal his second general classification win of the year at the BinckBank Tour.
The World Championships then brought more success with a surprise win in the team time trial with Sunweb and an emphatic individual time trial title, making him the first Dutchman to do so in the elite category. Dumoulin has kept his cards close to his chest as to his plans for next season, waiting until his team’s training camp to make the final decision.
As ever, the Dutch were a dominant force in the women’s peloton throughout the entire season. Van Vleuten and Blaak ensured a clean sweep for the nation at the Worlds while Van der Breggen took the Women’s WorldTour title in a commanding fashion. Her historic run at the first-ever Ardennes Week played a big role in the victory.
Her season hadn’t got off to the best of starts but she was at the peak of her powers come the end of April and she won Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege back-to-back. She headed to the US a few weeks later and took yet another big win at the Tour of California. It was not an easy task and she had to rely on bonus seconds to hold off a serious contest from UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall. The summer of success continued with a second overall title at the Giro Rosa in July. She had hoped to take at least one gold medal away from the World Championships but still managed two silvers between the team time trial and the individual event.
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