Dominant Vollering wins Vuelta a Burgos Feminas queen stage and overall
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Demi Vollering (SD Worx) dominated the closing queen stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas at Lagunas de Neila to seal overall victory at the four-day race.
On the 12km finishing climb, the Women's WorldTour leader dropped her last companion Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) with 8km to go after attacking a kilometre earlier. She continued on her own to the top, stretching her lead pedal stroke by pedal stroke, winning the stage and the race overall.
Van Anrooij was caught by the following group on the last 2km before Erica Magnaldi (UAE Team ADQ) went clear on the final kilometre to take second place on the stage, 1:35 behind Vollering.
Magnaldi's teammate Silvia Persico finished third three seconds later, Van Anrooij pipped Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal-QuickStep) to the line for fourth place. With that, Van Anrooij finishes second overall just ahead of Moolman-Pasio.
"It was a really good job from the team again. They were riding in front the whole day and emptied themselves until the climb here, I am really happy with them," Vollering said after the finish.
"Marlen [Reusser] led me into the climb, and when she said, 'I'm done', I thought, 'okay, then I just go!' If you can create a gap, you need to keep it, of course, but I wanted to do it on my own steady pace. I also wanted to see how hard I could go. It's good to gain confidence from this for the future, for the Tour de France."
How it unfolded
The 121.5km stage started in Tordómar and included two third-category climbs before the special-category finishing ascent. Silvia Zanardi (BePink) was the first attacker of the day, but when she was joined by a group of 13 riders including Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) and Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka who were only 50 and 51 seconds down in GC, the move became too dangerous for Team SD Worx.
They were reeled in on the Alto del Majadal, and Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) and Alexandra Manly (Jayco-AlUla) were the next to break away. Local rider Sara Martín – born in the stage 3 finishing town Aranda de Duero – bridged to the front, and together they built an advantage of up to 1:43 minutes.
This had been reduced to 36 seconds on the Alto del Collado de Vilviestre, and with overnight GC leader Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) taking a last turn in the peloton, the break was caught at the start of the climb to the Lagunas de Neila.
Reusser took over, and when the Swiss allrounder swung off with 9.4km to go, only 18 riders remained in the peloton. Vollering's acceleration immediately strung out the group, and with 9km to go, only Van Anrooij remained in her wheel. A kilometre later, Van Anrooij had to let Vollering go, too.
Van Anrooij herself managed to keep a 15-second advantage on the chase group of Moolman-Pasio, Magnaldi, Persico, Chloé Dygert (Canyon-Sram), and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-SUEZ) for a long time, but about 2km from the line, Moolman-Pasio and Magnaldi jumped to the leader of the Women's WorldTour U23 ranking, with Uttrup Ludwig and Persico joining them soon after. Dygert could no longer keep up and lost almost a minute on the final kilometre.
While Vollering soloed to stage and overall victory, Magnaldi went clear on the last ramps to take second place, and her teammate Persico sprinted to third place. Moolman-Pasio had put Van Anrooij in difficulty, but the young Dutchwoman hung on and managed to beat Moolman-Pasio to the line to secure the GC runner-up spot as well as the white jersey for the best young rider.
On top of the GC, Vollering also won the mountain classification while Wiebes took home the points jersey.
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