Canyon honours Annemiek van Vleuten as one of the pioneers in the field

Canyon honours Annemiek van Vleuten as one of the pioneers in the field

After Annemiek van Vleuten came onto the scene 14 years ago, the way women’s cycling was perceived changed forever. 

Annemiek has been a pivotal figure in elevating the credibility of women’s cycling. By persistently pushing boundaries, she’s inspired countless other athletes. And through this, she’s encouraged greater investment for women’s cycling programs, events, and media coverage.

Additionally, her determination, resilience, and consistency earned her attention and respect. Not just within the cycling community, but among sports enthusiasts globally. As more people witness the excitement and drama of women’s cycling, perceptions have shifted. There’s been a noticeable upwards trend of appreciation for the sport.

“It’s becoming more credible for sure: for example, until 2020, I was the only female rider to go to an altitude training camp before the Spring Classics. Everyone does that now. It’s good that it’s being taken more seriously,” said Annemiek van Vleuten.

By sponsoring female teams, ambassadors, and a host of initiatives to inspire young women to jump on the saddle, Canyon is explicitly committing to long-term engagement in women’s cycling. This way, the ongoing efforts of female athletes both on and off the bike are acknowledged, promoted, and celebrated, showing the younger generation of women that there’s a place for them in cycling.

One of those leading by example is CANYON//SRAM Racing’s Beth Duryea. Beth has been working in women’s cycling since 2008 and has been with CANYON//SRAM Racing since October 2015.

“More visibility for women in cycling is a goal we at CANYON//SRAM Racing have focussed on since the team’s foundation. After so many years, we are well on our way to creating more opportunities for young female riders from different nations and driving change in women’s cycling for the better,” said Beth Duryea.

A game changer for a game changer

At the launch event for Canyon’s latest Factory Service location in Eindhoven, Netherlands, last weekend (April 20th, 2024), Canyon unveiled a custom build of the Aeroad CFR to Annemiek onstage. The bike was presented to Annemiek as a celebration of her contribution to women in cycling.

Its stunning paint job is based on the jersey colours from the Grand Tour and topped off with rainbow bands to signify Annemiek’s status as a world champion. In 2022, Annemiek won the Grand Tour trilogy: La Vuelta, the Tour de France Femmes, and Giro Donne. It was a phenomenal season that made history. And it’s not just the bike’s paint job that stands out, the top-level specification will provide Annemiek with a basis for maximum performance and reliability in the future. A beautiful bike, built for a brilliant rider, in honour of her trailblazing victories.

The new generation

The upcoming Women’s Grand Tours, although without Annemiek, are set to deliver another blockbuster year of racing in 2024. At la Vuelta Femenina, Giro d’Italia Donne and the Tour de France Femmes we can expect to see world champions like Kasia Niewiadoma and Chloe Dygert, as well as rising stars like Zoe Backstedt and Ricarda Bauernfeind from CANYON//SRAM Racing on Canyon bikes, not to mention Yara Kastelijn and Puck Pieterse from Fenix-Deceuninck, and Liane Lippert, Emma Norsgaard and Floortje Mackaij from Movistar.

As well as that, Kasia Niewiadoma’s 2023 Gravel World Championship title will be celebrated this coming Tuesday 30 April, 2024 with a special one-off bike design complete with rainbow bands.

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