Demi Vollering clinches stage win and GC in Itzulia

Written by: ProCycling Women
Posted 2 weeks ago

Demi Vollering seals victory in style by winning the third and final stage of Itzulia Women with an attack on the last climb of the day and a 30-kilometer solo effort. The lead of the Dutch champion proved sufficient once again to clinch the overall classification for the third consecutive time.

Behind the Dutch champion, Thalita de Jong and teammate Mischa Bredewold sprinted to second and third place, securing a fully Dutch podium for the stage.

In the general classification, Demi Vollering rose from fifth to first place, relegating Mischa Bredewold and Juliette Labous to second and third place respectively in the final standings.

With the entire top ten of the general classification within half a minute after the first two stages in the Basque Country and a classic Basque route as the dessert of the Itzulia three-day race, today’s stage promised to be very interesting.

The peloton set off at 10:15 from San Sebastian, the capital of Gipuzkoa province, covering just under 115 kilometers. The initial hour of the final stage of Itzulia Women was marked by anticipation for the most renowned climb in the Basque Country. Despite some opportunities for echelons and the typical Basque and sometimes treacherous rolling hills in the first 35 kilometers, the peloton remained composed. It was therefore a waiting game for the ascent of the Jaizkibel for the first real action of the day.

On the slopes of the 6.2-kilometer-long climb, a sizable and strong group of twelve riders set off on an adventure. Among them were Amanda Spratt, Urska Zigart, Claire Steels, Marie Le Net, Kata Blanka Vas, and Agnieszka Skalniak-Sojka.

After dsm-firmenich Post NL’s Eleonora Ciabocco reached the top of the Jaizkibel first, the riders were treated to a heavy rain shower. The peloton let them go momentarily, but kept the strong leading group within striking distance. The maximum lead of the twelve riders never exceeded two and a half minutes.

With the ten points Ciabocco grabbed at the top of the Jaizkibel, she catapulted herself into second place in the virtual mountain classification in one go. Only two points separated her from the polka dot jersey, which was draped over Valentina Cavallar’s shoulders after the second stage. The maximum of three points available at the top of the next climb, the Gurutze, 54 kilometers from the finish, would have been enough to take the lead in the mountain classification. However, it was Zigart and Victoire Guilman who outpaced Ciabocco on the Gurutze, thus keeping Cavallar in the lead of the mountain classification.

Meanwhile, the peloton significantly increased the pace. That, because Zigart, Spratt, and Nosková, in the breakaway were only 29 seconds behind in the general classification. Speaking of the general classification, it was the combined efforts of teams like FDJ-Suez, the first team in the general classification without a rider in the leading group, that gradually closed the gap kilometer by kilometer.

On the final categorized climb of the day, the Mendizorrotz (3.4 kilometers at an average of 8.4%), Claire Steels felt the hot breath of the oncoming peloton and launched an attack. The British rider was countered by Spratt but they couldn’t break away. Spratt attempted to break away later on the climb herself, but her attempt became secondary when Demi Vollering unleashed her demons on the steeper gradients.

The Dutch champion surged ahead, briefly followed by Juliette Labous, but soon found herself alone. On the damp roads of the descent, Vollering extended her lead. A time trial of approximately thirty kilometers unfolded before her wheels towards the finish line in San Sebastian.

Behind the unleashed Vollering, an elite group formed with Labous, Reusser, Music, Wyllie, Rooijakkers, Fisher-BLack, the strong and young Holmgren, De Jong, and Spratt. The best-placed riders who missed the move were Baril (6th), Chabbey (4th), Garcia (3rd), and overall leader Mischa Bredewold.

No one could match the display of power demonstrated by Demi Vollering. Her lead grew to over a minute. In the background, the second and third groups merged, bringing together the entire top of the classification except Vollering and the previously dropped Arlenis Sierra.

With 5 kilometers to go, Ella Wyllie made an all-or-nothing attempt for the podium. The New Zealand rider from Liv AlUla Jayco couldn’t break away from the chasing group.

Meanwhile, the crowd in San Sebastian already applauded Demi Vollering, who completed a solo effort of 30 kilometers. The leader of SD Worx – Protime maintained a 44-second lead, which was also enough for overall victory in the general classification.

For Demi Vollering, it was her sixth stage victory in Itzulia Women. In the inaugural edition of 2022, she won all three stages. A year later, she won the first two stages, and this year, the final stage. The Dutchwoman secured her third consecutive overall victory in the three-year history of the race. Her team, SD Worx – Protime, has even won all 9 stages (six times Vollering, twice Bredewold, and once Reusser), general classifications, points classifications, and team classifications in the history of Itzulia Women.

Share this article:
Download our App for:
© ProCycling Women 2024