After a dominant race by her SD Worx team, Demi Vollering polished it off by taking the final stage victory and the overall general classification. She had no real rivals on the final climb to Lagunas de Neila and won on its slopes for the second year in a row. She rode the final 7km to the summit solo and comfortably had enough time in the bank to win the race and her second stage victory this week.
Promoted to stage winner on Stage 2 when Lorena Wiebes was relegated due to a sideways move in the sprint, today capped off a strong race for the Dutch star after missing out on the GC win here last year due to a rare off-day. The race was always going to be decided on the slopes of the steep Lagunas de Neila, an 11.7-kilometre climb at 6.3% with sections exceeding 10% in the last kilometres.
Some confusion over who was actually in the break today but at one point there was a group of 15 riders off the front, before Elisa Balsamo, Alex Manly and Sara Martin. The trio claimed the intermediate sprint and final QoM points, ensuring that overnight leader Soraya Paladin would probably lose her jersey at the finish due to the number of points available at the end.
When that trio were caught, Marlen Reusser gunned the early slopes of the climb before peeling off and Demi Vollering took up the reins with 9km to go. Only Shirin van Anrooij was able to match her pace as a group of other favourites wilted under the pressure. It took 2 more kilometres before Van Anrooij was distanced finally, the rider wearing the highest placed best young rider in the Women’s WorldTour jersey finally dropping back.
Once Van Anrooij was dropped, the race was over as a contest but there was still a battle for the final podium spots. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio started the day 4 seconds behind Van Anrooij and was keen to move up to 2nd place. As the chase group, containing Dygert, Magnaldi, Persico, Moolman-Pasio and Uttrup Ludwig reeled in Van Anrooij, she was able to keep pace with the group.
Despite a couple of accelerations from the South African, it was to no avail as Magnaldi went clear for 2nd on the stage in the final kilometre and Van Anrooij could match the moves of her rival. Silvia Persico snuck away for 3rd on the day as the GC positions were unaffected by the late riding. Chloe Dygert, who had started the day 2nd in GC on the same time as Demi Vollering, dropped back 2km from the summit and would eventually be caught by both Clara Koppenburg and the resurgent Marlen Reusser who had carried on with her own effort after delivering Vollering to the platform for victory.
“The team worked really hard for me. All day we were in control and my teammates were pounding at the head of the peloton. Marlen Reusser led me in towards the climb. When she indicated that it was over for her, I thought: then I’ll just go. If you can create a gap, then you can ride uphill at your own steady pace.
Of course you have to keep the gap, but I also wanted to see how fast I could ride uphill. This is good for what’s to come in the future. I gain a lot of confidence from this with a view to the Tour de France Femmes.”Demi Vollering
2023 VUelta a Burgos stage 4 result
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