Around the Cauberg, in the south of Limburg, it’s a quiet, grey Thursday afternoon and that feels a little strange. There should have been a hive of activity at the most famous cycling climb in the Netherlands. In the revised race calendar, the Amstel Gold Race was planned to start in two days’ time on October 10. But the only Dutch classic was cancelled over a week ago, due to the ever increasing numbers of coronavirus infections. Therefore there is no construction work happening at the top of the Cauberg and the adjacent Landal-holiday park is empty of organisers, team and riders. Except for one rider: Anna van der Breggen. The news of the cancellation, of course, hadn’t bypassed her, but her presence in Valkenburg has an altogether different reason. Ever since the restart of the season, the holiday park has served as the Dutchwoman’s temporary base. In anticipation of the completion of their new home, Van der Breggen and her boyfriend, Sierk-Jan de Haan, sports director at Jumbo-Visma, decided to head to the south of the country to temporarily set up shop in a holiday home.

“We were just thinking: the season has started again, we will hardly be there, let’s sell our house and in the meantime look for a beautiful training ground,” she tells Procycling. “I’ve trained in Zuid-Limburg more often, because you can really climb here. That’s why we headed this way. Something different for

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