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Home » Demi Vollering opens Itzulia with a win and the leader’s jersey

Demi Vollering opens Itzulia with a win and the leader’s jersey

Demi Vollering opens Itzulia with a win and the leader’s jersey

The opening stage of Itzulia Basque Country promised to be tricky with the necessary altitude metres on Mirador de Rivas and Herrera half way through the race. No wonder the riders took a wait-and-see approach at first. The long breakaway got caught on these climbs and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Demi Vollering decided to get ahead in the descent of the Herrera, together with Lucinda Brand and Elise Chabbey.

Attacking

“Our tactic was to check what the rest of the pack was up to in the early stages. We are only four riders from Team SD Worx, so we couldn’t attack all the time and had to choose our moments. We tried to get away, but there was a lot of headwind,” Demi Vollering explains. “From the Herrera the race broke completely open and there were many attack attempts. In the descent, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and I managed to create a gap together with two other riders, but unfortunately our breakaway didn’t make it to the final despite a half-minute lead.”

At 20 kilometres from the end everything came together again and Kristen Faulkner managed to get away. Only Demi Vollering and Pauliena Rooijakkers were able to catch up, after which they worked well together and the leading group built a 41-second lead on the peloton. “The cooperation went smoothly. With Pauliena it is nice to set up a breakaway, she always takes her part in riding as well. I expected her to try to make it harder with a long sprint, but I just kept my cool. Luckily I was able to answer her acceleration right away.”

Vollering then went full speed ahead on the steep section up to 20%. “The finish line suited me perfectly. This is a cool race, it’s really tough, but that’s what I like. That I am now even more of a favourite for the overall victory? That doesn’t matter to me. I am looking forward to wearing the leader’s jersey tomorrow. We are here with a small team, but it is a very strong team with strong climbers. So I’m looking forward to the rest,” concludes Vollering, who hit the mark for her second victory this season after her win in the Brabantse Pijl and podium finishes in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Niamh Fisher-Black leads the youth ranking in Itzulia Women

The results of the race show that the team was up and running in the first stage of Itzulia Women. With winner Demi Vollering, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (6th) and Niamh Fisher-Black (10th), three of the four riders finished in the top ten. Anna Shackley finished a hard day’s work in 27th place. Fisher-Black underlined Team SD Worx’s dominance in the opening stage by claiming the junior jersey. “This shows how strong we were today. This was the perfect day for our team,” said the New Zealand rider. “I didn’t expect to take the youth jersey on the first day, but it’s always nice to have a goal in the bunch sprint. We started very well at Itzulia and we want to finish well too. There are two tough days ahead of us, but as a climber I am really looking forward to it. Bring it on.”

GC after stage 1

  1. Demi Vollering
  2. Pauliena Rooijakkers – 6″
  3. Kristen Faulkner – 10″
  4. Lucinda Brand – 50″
  5. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio – 52″
  6. Liane Lippert – 53″
  7. Ane Santesteban – 53″
  8. Amanda Spratt – 53″
  9. Elise Chabbey – 53″
  10. Alena Amialiusik – 53″

Leader of the points classification: Demi Vollering

Leader of the youth classification: Niamh Fisher-Black

Leader team classification: Team SD Worx

Leader mountain jersey: Mireia Benito Pellicer

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