Annemiek van Vleuten rises to the challenge
September 4 th 2021 - 15:09 [GMT + 2]
Annemiek van Vleuten delivered an attacking masterclass from the mountain resort of Manzaneda to Pereiro de Aguiar on Saturday. The Dutch star made the most of her unique abilities on a hilly terrain to claim victory after a 50km solo ride that also saw her take the overall lead from Marlen Reusser, who still leads the points standings.
“I’m surprised after a good block of altitude training. I thought I wasn’t well rested but maybe the first two days helped me a bit and today I felt great. We had a very good plan with the team. There was a tricky downhill and I thought it was the moment to go right after that. I had a chance if we were able to isolate Marlen Reusser and that was the case. My team is confident that we can defend the leader’s jersey tomorrow in the last stage.”
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) went on the move with Kasia Niewadoma (Canyon//SRAM), Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) after the first hour of racing. The four attackers had a lead of 20’’ at km 45. Only Longo Borghini was able to keep going with Van Vleuten ahead of a group of seven chasers with the race leader Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope), Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM), Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij (Team DSM) joining Niewadoma and Vas.
After 60km, Van Vleuten dropped Longo Borghini and pushed on her own to try and bridge as big a gap as possible to Marlen Reusser, who enjoyed a significant gap with her victory in stage 1. The Dutch attacker crossed the line in Pereiro de Aguiar with an advantage of 2’48’’ on Lippert and Niewadoma, and 3’03’’ to Reusser, now trailing by 1’34’’ in the overall standings ahead of the final stage from As Pontes to Santiago de Compostela, with a grand finale in the Galician city ahead of the closing ITT of La Vuelta 21.