Movistar’s gem Annemiek van Vleuten may have not been feeling quite herself lately at the Tour de France Femmes, but the Dutch cyclist proved to everyone once again why she is the best of the best. Vleuten took the stage victory at La Super Planche des Belles Filles on 31st July, Sunday. Hence getting crowned the first winner of the Tour de France Femmes since the tour resumed. Now she has another win to add to the long list of her achievements.
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Annemiek managed to gain a three-minute lead on Demi Vollering (SD Worx) on stage 7. However, they did not have much marginal gap in between their times on the final day. Demi gave Annemiek a tough match on Sunday too, but Annemiek gave it her best. Still, Demi Vollering managed to finish 30 seconds behind Annemiek and became the runner-up. Silvia Persico of Valcar Travel & Service finished third followed by Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).
The win was expected from the race favorite Annemiek van Vleuten, as she had come in just winning the Giro d’Italia Donne. However, she almost abandoned the tour owing to her illness. She recovered just in time to take the big win. Reflecting on how the past 8 days had been, Van Vleuten said to the media:
In day two and three, it was very hard and I can’t believe, with how sick I was, now I am here in the yellow jersey, Until yesterday I still felt sick, at some point you can start to eat and drink again.
She was unsure about her condition up until the seventh stage:
I dug so deep in stages 2 and 3, being sick and racing, which is awful for your body. I could feel in stages 5 and 6 that my legs still had muscle pain. I was not sure, even on stage 7, that I was recovered from being ill
Being herself, she took a solo win, wiping clean every rival in the process. She had already secured the yellow jersey on stage 7 along with a 3:14 lead. All she had to do to win now was to keep some of the prominent names in check. But only Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and Demi Vollering (SD Worx) were falling in 5 minutes behind her.
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Van Vleuten was overjoyed by her achievement, as one should be, and she surely did not shy away from it as she talked:
When I did the recon of the stage, it was something I told my team that if it were possible I would like to go for the win, with the victory in yellow on the Planche the best way to finish this off, It was special – all the spectators cheering my name
This one is surely going down in history as a pivotal point for the return of the Women’s Tour de France.
|1||Annemiek van Vleuten||Movistar Team||03:37:23|
|2||Demi Vollering||Team SD Worx||+ 30|
|3||Silvia Persico||Valcar-Travel & Service||+ 01:43|
|4||Katarzyna Niewiadoma||CANYON//SRAM Racing||+ 01:52|
|5||Juliette Labous||Team DSM||+ 01:56|
|6||Elisa Longo Borghini||Trek-Segafredo||+ 02:01|
|7||Veronica Ewers||EF Education-TIBCO-SVB||+ 02:13|
|8||Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig||FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope||+ 02:50|
|9||Mavi Garcia||UAE Team ADQ||+ 02:59|
|10||Liane Lippert||Team DSM||+ 03:01|
Featured Image Via YouTube/ Logic – The Best Cycling Highlights