Van Vleuten snatches the lead from Vollering in the penultimate stage of the Women’s Tour | Sports

One minute and 16 seconds. It is the time that separates the two Dutch women who set the pace in women’s cycling with one stage to go before the first edition of the Vuelta ends. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar Team) took the lead of the Spanish round from Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) this Saturday after giving an exhibition in the mid-mountain stage between Castro Urdiales and Laredo (Cantabria). The world champion only lacked the stage win, which escaped her in the sprint against the Italian climber Gaia Realini (Trek-Segafredo).

The sixth day of the women’s Vuelta, entirely Cantabrian, began with 134 cyclists. It was a special day for the Cantabria Deporte-Río Miera team, which was running at home. The attacks began early, but did not have an effect until kilometer 30. There the peloton split into two groups, as some twenty cyclists stayed behind. Among them was the until today leader Vollering. The Jumbo-Visma Team and the Movistar Team worked in the leading group; while Vollering’s team, Team SD Worx, fought from behind with their leader.

Van Vleuten remained in the leading group, which was widening his gap with respect to Vollering. Before reaching the first port, the rent was already more than a minute. Movistar set the pace for the peloton and upon arrival at Alto de Fuente de las Varas (2nd category), Van Vleuten launched his attack. Only four cyclists could keep up with him: Gaia Realini, Erica Magnaldi, Juliette Labous and Évita Muzic. The Spanish Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ) tried it, but she ended up giving in to the impulse of the Dutch.

The panorama became even more expensive for Van Vleuten when he managed to leave his breakaway companions behind with just over 30 kilometers to go. His lead over Vollering was then close to two minutes, but Team SD Worx’s was not going to give up so easily and caught up with the second chasing group before the last climb of the day, also in the 2nd category.

But then the figure of Gaia Realini was erected, who launched herself after Van Vleuten after leaving behind the other three cyclists who made up the first chasing group. She is a proven climber, and it didn’t take long for her to stick to the wheel of the Dutchwoman, with whom she would share a break until the end of the stage. There Realini took the plunge and denied Van Vleuten his first stage win in this edition of the Vuelta.

Despite the efforts of Vollering’s chasing group, the spectacular pace that Van Vleuten maintained throughout the stage helped him put more than a minute behind his rival and wear red in Laredo. In general, another Dutch woman completes the podium: Riejanne Markus (Team Jumbo-Visma), 1′ 23″ from the lead.

In addition, Van Vleuten now also leads the mountains classification, while the best Spanish overall continues to be Margarita García Cañellas (Liv Racing Teqfind), who is eighth, 2′ 39″ behind the head.

Everything will be decided this Sunday in the iconic climb to the Lakes of Covadonga (Asturias), one of the most emblematic of La Vuelta. It first appeared in the Spanish round on May 2, 1983 and on the 40th anniversary of its debut, it will be the highlight of the first edition of La Vuelta Femenina. 12 kilometers of port await you with sections with an 8% gradient that have experienced historical battles between the best climbers. Everything indicates that Van Vleuten and Vollering will play it to the dog’s face, but anything can happen. More emotion impossible.

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