Vollering and Team SD Worx conquer Tour de France Femmes

By PressCPA
Agosto 1, 2023
demi vollering tour de france femmes 2023

Dominant in the Classics and stage races since the beginning of the year, Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) asserted her status with a spectacular show of strength in the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Her teammates also shone in the race, especially Lotte Kopecky.

As a cycling lover and fierce competitor, Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) never hid her admiration for Annemiek van Vleuten’s feats or her ambition to rise to the same level – or higher – herself. As July came, the Dutch star showed how far she’s come with outstanding performances at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, underlined by her teammates’ many achievements by her side.

“We make each other stronger,” Vollering explained after an “amazing” week from Clermont-Ferrand to Pau. “I love to see it, and I think it’s nice for the world to see you can conquer everything with good people around you. It inspires me a lot.”

TAMING THE TOURMALET

Vollering surged to the overall lead on the highest summit of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, as the race ventured above 2,000 metres of altitude with a finish at the Col du Tourmalet on day seven.

Last year’s winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women), who held the rainbow (UCI World Champion), Roja (La Vuelta Femenina), Rosa (Giro Donne) and yellow (Tour de France Femmes) jerseys heading into the race, tried to repeat her extraordinary feats from last year, asking her teammates to up the ante at the bottom of the ascent up Col d’Aspin. The Dutch icon dropped the hammer with 5km to go to the summit (34km from the finish). But she couldn’t escape her rivals this time.

After Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//Sram Racing) led the way from the bottom of the Tourmalet, Vollering accelerated with 5.5km to go and built massive gaps that all but sealed her victory on the eve of another strong performance in the closing individual time trial (ITT) in Pau.

KOPECKY DRIVES THE TEAM SD WORX DOMINANCE

A week after they took the first two spots in the opening stage (Lotte Kopecky ahead of Lorena Wiebes), Team SD Worx completed their triumph with a 1-2-3 in the final time trial. Marlen Reusser powered to victory ahead of Vollering (+10’’)… and Kopecky (+37’’), who finished 2nd overall, hundredths of a second ahead of Niewiadoma.

Leader from day 1 to 6, the Belgian icon impressed all week long, to the point that she admitted: “I surprised myself quite a lot, especially on Saturday.” Heading into the queen stage with the yellow jersey on her shoulders, Kopecky lost it, as she expected, but still finished 6th on the Tourmalet, only beaten by climbing goats such as Vollering, Niewiadoma, Van Vleuten, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step Team) and Juliette Labous (Team DSM-Fimernich).

She was facing a “once in a lifetime opportunity to step on the overall podium of the Tour de France” and she seized it while securing the green jersey as the winner of the points standings with an outstanding consistency on all terrains. “I’ve been one of the best sprinters of the race, one of the best climbers, and a strong time-trialist,” she recapped in disbelief. And Lorena Wiebes also sprinted to victory on day 3 (with a decisive lead-out from Kopecky) demonstrating her role in the extraordinary Tour of Team SD Worx.

ATTACKERS TAKE MANY CAKES

The Dutch powerhouse claimed four stage wins with four different riders… which also means the other four stages went to other teams. And it took daring attacks for them to shine in a highly contested event.

On day 2, as the peloton faced the uphill finish to Mauriac, Kopecky looked poised to take a second win but the Belgian star struggled with a flat tyre in the final sprint and Liane Lippert (Movistar Team Women) powered to a victory that will launch her to many more successes – at least she hopes so.

On stage 4, the gruelling road to Rodez saw Yara Kastelijn (Fenix-Deceuninck), a former European Cyclo-cross Champion (in 2019), take her first professional victory on the road. The next day was promised to the sprinters – or everyone thought so – but an all-out battle eventually saw Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon//Sram Racing) surge to her biggest success at 23 years of age.

Stage 6 was flatter… but Emma Norsgaard Bjerg (Movistar Team Women) got the better of the surging pack by just 1’’ in Blagnac! It was then time to head into the Pyrenees. And to crown Demi Vollering as the queen in yellow.

Read more on www.uci.org.

Photos Le Tour de France Femmes.

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