Surprising no one, Demi Vollering took victory atop the hors-category Lagunas de Neila (11.7km @ 6.3%) to complete her team’s clean sweep of stages and win the Vuelta a Burgos overall, demonstrating ominous form ahead of her main goal for the summer.
With Lorena Wiebes in the leader’s jersey going into the final day and Vollering just 14 seconds off the top spot, the ball was firmly in SD Worx’s court on stage 4, and the finale played out exactly as expected: the dominant team brought back the three remaining attackers at the foot of the final climb, at which point Wiebes dutifully served up one last effort for her compatriot before handing over to Itzulia winner Marlen Reusser.
The Swiss powerhouse did a big job to trim the group on the lower slopes, but for the briefest of moments, eyebrows were raised at the distinct lack of other SD Worx jerseys. However, the moment Reusser signed off – outside 9km from the finish – it became clear that this was undeniable confidence, not uncharacteristic weakness, from the Dutch team.
Shirin van Anrooij was the last rider to hang on as Vollering steadily rode everyone else off her wheel, but within two kilometres, the SD Worx leader was on her own and riding away to an inevitable victory – remarkably her first GC win this season after losing the Vuelta and giving Itzulia Women away.
Few would argue that Vollering has been the strongest rider at the recent Spanish stage races, even those she didn’t win, and with thoughts now turning to major goals of the summer, the big question is: can she hold on to or recreate this form at the 2023 Tour de France avec Zwift?
She’s certainly got the team for it and based on last year’s very similar build-up – that incredible overall victory at Izulia Women and winning the Burgos Queen Stage on the same roads as today – there’s no reason to doubt that the Dutchwoman will be at least as good as in 2022, when she finished second to Annemiek van Vleuten in France.
And while Vollering has been flying higher than ever this season, Van Vleuten has not always looked herself, even on her favoured high-mountain terrain. So while the world champion will naturally line up in France as the rider to watch, Vollering and SD Worx have laid the foundations for a phenomenal Tour.
- Demi Vollering (SD Worx)
- Erica Magnaldi (UAE Team ADQ) @ 1:35
- Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ) @ 1:38
- Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) @ 1:40
- Ashleigh Moolman (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step) @ st.
- Demi Vollering (SD Worx)
- Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) @ 2:07
- Ashleigh Moolman (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step) @ 2:11
- Chloe Dygert (Canyon-SRAM) @ 2:43
- Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) @ 3:09