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This story originally appeared on CyclingTips.
Annemiek van Vleuten raised several thousand pounds for charity via a kit auction at her local bike shop in Wageningen, Netherlands, splitting the funds raised between the Amy Pieters Foundation and Bikes4Masai charities.
It’s the third time the veteran rider has held such an event with the store’s owner Roel Peerenboom, but this year’s €17,000 pot amounts to almost as much as the first two combined (€10,000 and €8,500 in the past two years).
“This is super cool,” Van Vleuten said. “I’ve done this here before, but this is definitely the biggest turnout ever.”
Among the kit up for auction were a number of Movistar jerseys, training kit, shoes and accessories, as well as unique leader’s jerseys from some of the biggest races on the calendar, including the Tour de France.
Alongside the kit – some items expected to attract bids over €1,000 – Van Vleuten engaged in a meet-and-greet for which punters paid €10. It’s reported that more than 200 people flocked to the shop for a chance to meet, get an autograph and take a photo with their hero and perhaps get their hands on a rare collector’s item.
— Annemiek van Vleuten (@AvVleuten) November 19, 2022
Half the funds raised will go to the foundation of Van Vleuten’s compatriot, former teammate, and rival Amy Pieters who suffered a life-changing head injury in a training accident in January. The remainder will go to Bikes4Masai, a charity that helps get the Masai population on bikes, especially children.
“They now sometimes have to walk 20 kilometers to school,” Van Vleuten explained. “We try to buy bicycles for them so that they do go to school.
“It’s very nice that everyone is so generous. This makes me really happy.”