UCI WWT: June heralds a thrilling summer

By PressCPA
Giugno 22, 2024
Tour_de_suisse_WWT_2024

Racing in Great Britain and Switzerland sets the stage for the Giro d’Italia Women, the Olympic Games and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

Summer is coming but “it rains attacks” on the roads of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, as Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx-Protime) put it after she tamed her rivals on the last stage of the Tour de Suisse Women on Tuesday.

Most of the climbing was packed into the first two thirds of the stage which finished, like the previous day, in Champagne. The Dutch star’s rivals tried everything to turn the race upside down, in line with Canyon//Sram Racing’s successful attack led by Neve Bradbury and Kasia Niewiadoma on Monday.

Still, Vollering controlled everyone. And in the end, she sprinted away from Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) to claim a third stage win in four days of racing and seal her overall victory in Switzerland, a country she’s come to “consider a second home” after many trips in the mountains.

Following her dominant Spanish campaign in May (victories in the Vuelta España Femenina by Carrefour.es, the Itzulia Women and the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas), she’s up to 11 wins this year, all of them in the UCI Women’s WorldTour, and can turn with ambition to the summer and especially the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift (from Rotterdam to Alpe d’Huez,12-18 August) as she defends her 2023 victory in the French stage race.

“It’s nice to win a climbing race before the Tour de France Femmes, which is my biggest goal this season,” Vollering rejoiced. “The Olympics and the (UCI Road) World Championships are also high on my wish list.”

KOPECKY HEADS TO ITALY AND PARIS

With yellow and rainbow dreams ahead, the Dutch star can also revel in pink, as the new overall leader of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, moving past her Team SD Worx-Protime teammate Lotte Kopecky.

The Belgian icon and reigning Women Elite road race UCI World Champion had dominated the Tour of Britain Women a week earlier with two stage wins, in Llandudno and Wrexham.

“I am thickly satisfied,” Kopecky said as she also gears up for an extremely busy and ambitious summer. The Belgian all-rounder won’t participate in the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, which starts on the day after she races the last track events of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Yet her schedule is extremely loaded, with the Belgian National Championships this week, the Giro d’Italia Women next month (7-14 July) and then the Olympic Games (26 July – 11 August), where she’ll chase multiple goals, a year after she claimed rainbow jerseys on the road and in the velodrome at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow and across Scotland (United Kingdom).

“IT’S REALLY INTERESTING TO HAVE THE OLYMPICS AND THE TOUR IN A VERY SHORT TIME”

Among Kopecky’s main rivals this spring, Marianne Vos (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) has opted for a different schedule: “I’ve just been selected for the Olympics,” she happily announces.

“The combination with the Olympics and the Tour de France one week later makes a block of racing that I target and I will try to be at my very best.” The 12-time UCI World Champion across different disciplines adds “it’s always difficult to compare races but it’s really interesting to have the Olympics and the Tour in a very short time this year”.

Both the Giro and the Tour will be illuminated by stars but the battle for the yellow jersey attracts the most Dutch attention with a Grand Départ from the Netherlands, with Rotterdam, The Hague and Dordrecht uniting to welcome the global stars of the sport for the first three stages. The Netherlands has historical successes in the Tour, from Mieke Havik (first wearer of the yellow jersey, in 1984) to Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering, overall winners respectively in 2022 and 2023.

“The Tour de France, wherever and whenever it starts, is always a big goal for any rider at the start. But as a Dutch rider in a Dutch team, we feel some extra motivation to do well with the start in the Netherlands,” Vos observes.

She’s just won two stages and the overall standings of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (UCI 2.1). The big guns are ready to blaze this summer.

article and photo from www.uci.org

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