Demi Vollering was not happy after today’s Stage 6 of the Vuelta Femenina. Her team took a natural break and suffered a mechanical in that process, in the meantime Movistar geared up an attack in a crosswind section that they didn’t hold off. That put SD Worx on the back foot after just 35km of racing on today’s stage and they spent the rest of the stage trying to restore parity.
When the gap was created, Movistar wasn’t the only team to ride. Trek Segafredo and Jumbo-Visma were particularly visible for their GC hopes of Gaia Realini and Riejanne Markus. Movistar had blasted through all of their domestiques by the early slopes of the first Cat 2 climb of the day though. Liane Lippert was the last to swing off after delivering a strong turn for Van Vleuten to attack from.
Demi Vollering eventually managed to re-catch the 2nd group on the road containing most of the pre-race favourites but Van Vleuten and Realini were away contesting the stage finish already. The Dutch broadcaster NOS spoke to her after the finish.
Demi Vollering’s post-race interview
Demi, you don’t look happy, I don’t think that’s for nothing.
No, it sucks today.
We switch on the coverage at 2 o’clock and see you riding behind. What happened?
I had to pee and so did my teammates. Exactly at that moment when we went to pee, another teammate had a flat. Almost our entire team was standing aside for a while. Then they thought in the peloton, let’s ride full. That was not much fun for us. The jury also pulled the cars from between them, a small group had driven off. It had gone to the side, a small group had left and the cars were no longer in between. Then you have to fight hard to come back with all your teammates. We worked super hard.
On the 1st climb, I went full gas myself. I think we had a big gap then and it was a race to catch up. I came back to the 1st group, then there was a leading group ahead.
They did everything they could today. To drive you out of the red [jersey]. What did you think when they rode off?
What was I thinking when they rode off? If you want to do it that way…
We just spoke to Annemiek van Vleuten, her explanation was that [Movistar] had already forged a plan because of the crosswind. Just when they wanted to do that, a pee break appeared to happen.
That’s what I’d say if I were her.
You don’t believe that?
The peloton went so slowly, it was just before a village. Don’t know.
You say you had a lot of support from teammates, but you almost had to do it all alone.
That was early in the race, those girls emptied themselves to the bottom of the climb. At the bottom of the climb, I did it myself, as they were done.
We saw Reusser riding in the 1st group, it seemed illogical that she didn’t drop back to help you.
Why would she bring herself back? It is better that she could check the front group and I come back by myself on such a climb. I hoped I could come back as soon as possible and Marlen can ride hard over the flat last 10 km.
Did you climb on adrenaline?
My legs were good today, I hope they are good tomorrow.
That sounds like revenge.
I hope so. I’m not happy about this, it’s very disappointing. We had a nice plan ready, yesterday we had bad luck with Niamh. Today it was against us again.
You mean that crash behind you [yesterday]?
You had to console her?
A barrage was made by the jury. It’s hard, these days we haven’t been very lucky. All teams have had bad luck, but we missed the day of excellence completely. They did better today. I hope we can rectify tomorrow.
The whole spring belonged to SD Worx, you don’t get this Vuelta as a gift.
I don’t expect anything as a gift, it’s sport, you have to work hard for it. I work really hard for it, it’s a shame that it’s like this.
Any chances tomorrow?
I’ll try to get there again tomorrow.