Van Vleuten wins La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es in exciting finale
May 7 th 2023 - 15:56 [GMT + 2]
Nine seconds. SD Worx’s Demi Vollering was just nine seconds shy of winning La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es atop the Lagos de Covadonga, as she dropped race leader Annemiek van Vleuten with more than 5 kilometers to go and managed to reach the summit of the iconic Asturian climb in victory, 56” ahead of her rival. The Movistar Team rider, however, deployed an extraordinary amount of suffering to defend her lead and bring the Red jersey home. 3rd overall and QOM winner is Trek-Segafredo’s Gaia Realini, who kept Vollering company for most of the climb to the Lagos de Covadonga and was 2nd at its summit. What an exciting finale for an exciting first edition of La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es.
127 riders took the start in the 7th stage of La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es, which covered 93,7 kilometres between Pola de Siero and Lagos de Covadonga, at 12:49. One DNS: Coop-Hitec’s Josie Nelson. 9 kilometres into the race, Gladys Verhulst (FDJ-SUEZ), Kathrin Hammes (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) and Margot Pompanon (St Michel-Mavic-Auber93) managed to go clear from the bunch. Anna Kiesenhofer (Israel PremierTech – Roland) set off in pursuit of the front trio, but never managed to bridge back. In any case, the front trio wasn’t granted much leeway as they were swept up at kilometer 36, right at the base of the climb to La Collada Moandi (cat 2, km 48,5), by Trek-Segafredo’s ferocious pace.
SD Worx on the offensive
SD Worx took over from Trek-Segafredo at the helm of the bunch, reducing it to just 15 riders atop the day’s first climb. After the descent, with 38 kilometers to go, Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) attacked and was quickly joined by Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) to establish a breakaway duo at the front. They built a gap well above one minute, yet the bunch was far from nervous as it had waited for a group of 20 riders to regain contact. GC leader Annemiek van Vleuten found herself with five Movistar Team teammates to shelter behind, and with a little help from Jumbo-Visma they brought back the front duo with 16 kilometers to go. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) led the bunch through Cangas de Onis (IS, km 71,2) to secure her green jersey as winner of the Points classification.
Everything at stake in the climb to Lagos de Covadonga
Everything was set for the Lagos de Covadonga (HC, Cima Estela Domínguez, km 93,7) to be the race decider. Movistar Team’s Liane Lippert led the bunch onto the climb with SD Worx’s Niamh Fisher-Black quickly taking over to set up the attack of her teammate Demi Vollering, who revved her engine a couple of times before finally taking off with 8 kilometers to go. Gaia Realini (Trek-Segafredo), Évita Muzic (FDJ-SUEZ) and Van Vleuten managed to follow her wheel. The French rider was dropped with 7 kilometers to go, while an acceleration from Realini made Van Vleuten lose ground with 5,3 kilometers left to climb. The duel was intense, with the gap increasing second by second until the very top of the final climb. A thrilling descent on the small downhill section in the final kilometer saw Vollering go clear from Realini to claim the stage win, while Van Vleuten managed to keep the Red jersey by just nine seconds.