Legendary Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen to retire after 2021 season
World and Olympic road race champion Anna van der Breggen has announced she will retire from cycling at the end of the 2021 season.
The 30-year-old Dutch rider revealed she is still eyeing a second successive Olympic title at the rescheduled Tokyo Games next year.
But shortly after that - at the end of next season's cycling calendar - she will call it a day and take up her new role as a sports director with her team Boels Dolmans.
Speaking on the team's website, she said: "The Olympic Games in Tokyo are, of course, a great challenge and an important reason for continuing another year.
“I also want to end my career with a great, full season. Especially after this year, which was largely lost due to the corona pandemic, I am enormously motivated to continue for one more year."
The 2020 cycling calendar has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, with all major races being rescheduled for the latter part of the year.
As well as an Olympic gold medal in 2016 and world road race title in 2018, Van der Breggen has also won the Giro Rosa twice in 2015 and 2017.
She also excelled as one of the very best Classics riders of all-time, winning La Fleche Wallonne five times in a row as well as other huge races such as the Tour of Flanders, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Amstel Gold Race and Strade Bianche.
And while many believe she has several more years at the top left in her, The Netherlands rider admits she is ready for a change.
“I've been thinking about a role as team leader/coach for some time. I was quickly excited about the team's proposal,” she added.
"I had gradually come to realise that I was looking for a new challenge in my life. In 2021, I want to get the best out of myself on my bike for one more season.
"After that, I will focus on this new job. I look forward to helping our cyclists become even better. I hope I can provide more guidance in the areas of science, nutrition and mental support. I am certain we can improve in these areas.”