Jan 3, 2005
Anna van der Breggen has been voted female rider of the year in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll with 20 per cent of the votes. The Olympic champion beat Lizzie Deignan by four per cent to take the top spot with Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong in third place.

Van der Breggen’s compatriot Marianne Vos and new world champion Amalie Dideriksen rounded out the top five. Women’s WorldTour winner Megan Guarnier only managed sixth place in the vote, ahead of her teammate Ellen van Dijk.

Van der Breggen has enjoyed a brilliant 2016 season, which brought in a second Fleche Wallonne victory, the Olympic road race title and a medal in the time trial, the European Road Race championship and third overall at the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile. Her efforts have won her recognition at home, and she was made Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

After spending the last three seasons with Rabo Liv, Van der Breggen will move to Boels Dolmans 2017, where she will join second-placed Deignan as a teammate. Deignan had a great start to her tenure as world champion, winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the Tour of Flanders and the Avivia Women’s Tour. However, the season was tainted by the discovery that she had missed three tests in 12 months. She avoided suspension when one of her missed tests was considered invalid but the furore that surrounded her disrupted her bid for the Olympic Games road race.

Third-placed Armstrong made her successful comeback to win the Olympic time trial title ahead of Olga Zabelinskaya. Armstrong returned to professional racing at the end of 2015 in a bid for a third Olympic title. She spent much of her season racing in the United States, taking second place overall at the Tour of the Gila and the Tour of California. Her selection for the USA’s Olympic team was met with controversy as both Carmen Small and Amber Neben unsuccessfully challenged their omission.

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