Van der Breggen to skip Giro Rosa defense

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) has opted to skip her defense of the the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, also known as the Giro Rosa, in July in order to focus on other events during the second half of the season. The Dutch all-rounder told Cyclingnews earlier this year that she is targeting a first world title at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Austria in September.

“I will not ride the Giro Rosa this year,” Van der Breggen wrote in a statement on her website. “Since 2010, I have raced it every year so far and this time I choose a different path.

“The Giro requires a specific preparation and is a tough race to do. I thought it would be nice to have a different program this year. Also with a view to the rest of the season. And the rest of the season is now about to begin. I’m really looking forward to that.”

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Van der Breggen has twice won the Giro Rosa, in 2015 and then last year, when she took the title ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini and Annemiek Van Vleuten.

She has had a stellar career, proving that she can climb, sprint and time trial, winning an Olympic gold medal in the road race and bronze in the time trial in 2016, the Ardennes Classics triple crown in 2017, and this year, she added Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders to her palmares.

She also won this year’s Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and Durango Emakumeen Sira. She skipped her defense of the Amgen Women’s Tour, as the event conflicted with Emakumeen Bira, and her team did not have enough staff or riders to compete in both Women’s WorldTour races. She is currently leading the Women’s WorldTour overall ranking.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com