Spectacle, that is what Team SD Worx had promised for the final stage of La Vuelta Femenina. The Dutch WorldTour team made the stage leaden and, with Demi Vollering on the final climb to Lagos de Covadonga, made an ultimate attack on Annemiek van Vleuten’s red leader’s jersey. In the final classification, Vollering eventually finished a tantalising, yet frustratingly close nine seconds from the overall win. “We showed what we are worth,” she said with pride.
After Demi Vollering lost the red jersey in the penultimate stage of the Vuelta Femenina, Team SD Worx wanted to put things right in the final stage. The promised fireworks did come. First, Marlen Reusser went into a duo breakaway with Kasia Niewiadoma, but before the climb to Lagos de Covadonga, the pair were caught.
Niamh Fisher-Black then set the pace of the first bunch, before Demi Vollering systematically increased the pace and pressure eight kilometres from the end. Red jersey, Annemiek van Vleuten could not follow and in the final kilometre, Vollering also threw over Italian Gaia Realini with another acceleration. The Dutch rider rode with impressive strength on the iconic Asturian climb Lagos de Covadonga to secure the stage win 11” ahead of Gaia and with a 56” gap over her rival Van Vleuten. For the overall GC victory, Vollering was just nine seconds short of Van Vleuten who dug deep to keep the red jersey.
“Still, I am very happy with this stage win,” said Demi Vollering. “The whole team fought hard for this. We had to put something right after yesterday. I am happy that we took the stage win here. Two stage wins is a great result. I also came close to the overall win. Of course I am disappointed about that. If things had gone differently yesterday, we might have won the general classification as well. It’s a pity I couldn’t battle with the best on Saturday, but today we straightened our backs. We showed what we are capable of. I am immensely proud of our fight today.”
Final stage result:
1. Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) in 2h43’02’’
2. Gaia Realini (Trek-Segafredo) at 11’’
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women) at 56’’
Final General Classification:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women) in 19h00’11’’
2. Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) at 09’’
3. Gaia Realini (Trek-Segafredo) at 2’41’’