Eighth ‘Grande Boucle’ for the ‘blue’ structure
The Telefónica squad -17 Grand Tours in stages- became the first organisation to win the six main grand tours in the men’s and women’s categories with the brilliant role of ‘Miek’, who destroyed the race on Saturday with 80 km to go and confirmed this Sunday his final triumph with another exhibition at La Super Planche des Belles Filles.
A dream come true based on work, ambition and trust between the whole group. The Movistar Team savoured this Sunday one of the greatest successes of its long history by winning the first edition, in its current era, of the Tour de France Femmes with the overall victory of Annemiek van Vleuten.
A victory that was forged yesterday Saturday with an exhibition for the annals, starting more than 80 km from the end in the first of the three great ports of the seventh stage -Petit Ballon (1st)- and covering the last sixty solo to achieve exceptional differences (more than 3 ‘on his main pursuer). This Sunday, despite various mechanical difficulties, he always kept his composure and, thanks to a great job by Sierra, Biannic, Gutiérrez (in support after the problems) and Paula Patiño (shining in the breakaway and with a great approach on the last climb) , triumphed again at the top of La Super Planche des Belles Filles.
A victory, that of the team headed by Van Vleuten and directed by Sebastián Unzué and Jorge Sanz, was achieved from the deepest suffering of Annemiek, who fell ill during the first days of competition due to stomach problems and who knew, however, with the support of the staff and his unwavering ability to sacrifice, turn around on the road to victory. One in which the contribution of Norsgaard -until his fall and abandonment-, Patiño, Sierra, Gutiérrez and Biannic was fundamental.
Van Vleuten’s success -95 professional victories- raises the Abarca Sports structure to a milestone that no one else can boast of: victories in the six major men’s and women’s stage races, with Giro – Tour – Vuelta and the equivalent tests or organised by the same entities in the UCI Women’s WorldTour (Giro Donne, La Vuelta Challenge and, from today, the Tour de France Femmes). A total of 17 Grand Tours -to which we can add the 2021 Ceratizit Challenge- for a team that, with 43 campaigns behind it, is still writing the legend today with a sporting and moral reference like ‘Miek’.
Comments / Annemiek van Vleuten:
“It is a dream come true. Also, winning in yellow here at the top has been wonderful. It has not been an easy day; It has not been an easy week. It has been a roller coaster of emotions and difficulties. Even today has not been an easy day. Being able to finish all the work of these months, in yellow, alone… is the best way. It gives me great pride to be the first winner of this new women’s Tour de France, and that this race is back on the calendar. I hope that this great start gives the race a good future and that it continues to grow.
“It’s a nice milestone to win this first edition of the Tour, and I think it’s now, when I finish it, when I’m going to start to be aware of everything I’ve achieved, and I’m going to really enjoy it. Yesterday had already been an incredible day, but I wanted to stay focused and finish the job, we couldn’t really celebrate. But now we can really enjoy that ice cream, that pizza tonight, and celebrate with the team. Sometimes the team tells me that I don’t take advantage, that I don’t enjoy it, that I always continue. I think that today will be the day that I can start to savour all that effort.”