Olympic champion Van der Breggen to retire after Tokyo Games

Anna van de Breggen, Olympic champion in cycling at Rio 2016 Olympics, announced that she will move to coaching after the Tokyo Games.

Netherlands' Anna van der Breggen poses with her Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 Olympics.   -  Getty Images

Dutch Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen has said she will retire from cycling after defending her road race title at the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021.

The 30-year-old, who won road race gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, will become a coach with the Boels-Dolmans team after ending her professional career.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been pushed back a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Olympic Games in Tokyo are,of course,a great challenge and an important reason for continuing another year,” Van der Breggen said in a statement.

“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.

“I've been thinking about a role as team leader/coach for some time. I was quickly excited about the team's proposal. 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.”

READ: Boxing and wrestling: The 'power' play over the years

Van der Breggen, who secured the rainbow jersey at the world championships in Innsbruck two years after her victory in Rio, has signed a three-year contract to work as a sports director/coach with Boels-Dolmans.

Her compatriot Chantal Blaak, who won the women's road race at the 2017 world championships, will continue to race professionally until 2022 before taking up a coaching role with Boels-Dolmans.

“In women's cycling, it is not common for cyclists to make this step into coaching after their active career,” Blaak said. “It is a compliment for me to be seen as one of the mainstays of this team.”