In a dramatic showdown, Demi Vollering of Team SD Worx seized the second stage of the Tour de Romandie, outclassing rivals Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Marlen Reusser. With this impressive victory, Vollering also ascends to the top spot in the general classification. Yesterday’s winner Sofia Berttizolo was put out of contention as expected.
Saturday’s race, unlike the relatively flat course the day before, presented a challenging 110.8 km ride from Romont to Torgon. The route featured two first-category climbs. Rather than an early breakaway, the riders elected to keep their cards close, awaiting the final ascent to make their moves.
Realising the sheer difficulty posed by the climbs, riders Amber Kraak, Silvia Persico, and Anna Shackley took a gamble, attacking approximately 10 kilometres from the final ascent. Their efforts, however, were in vain as they were swiftly reeled back in by the pack. Kraak cracked first and quickly went back through the chasing pack. The pace set by Canyon SRAM’s Ricarda Bauernfeind meant that they were reeled in relatively easily and not given time to adjust to the speed of the group.
The real drama unfolded just 4 kilometres from the finish line. It was Vollering who electrified the race by making a blistering move. Initially, she was joined by her teammate Marlen Reusser, plus Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Juliette Labous. Yet, in the end, only Niewiadoma could keep pace with the fierce Dutch rider.
In the final kilometre, Reusser almost bridged back to the leading duo, but ultimately, it was Vollering who capitalised on her position, comfortably out-sprinting Niewiadoma to clinch the stage victory. This win not only cemented her position at the top of the general classification but also highlighted her team’s dominance.
During a post-race flash interview, Vollering shared, “It was a beautiful day. We, as a team, executed our plan perfectly.” The Dutch rider lauded the efforts of Niewiadoma, acknowledging the tactical advantage she had by sitting on Niewiadoma’s wheel. “I wanted Marlen to come back, but it just didn’t happen,” she added.
While Vollering’s victory was the highlight of the day, she was generous in her praise for her Swiss teammate, Reusser. “It would’ve been wonderful if she could have won here, but who knows about tomorrow? It would be great to retain the leader’s jersey, but it would also be fantastic if Marlen could clinch a win tomorrow. Our primary aim is to keep the jersey within the team.”
2023 Tour de Romandie Féminin Stage 2 result
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