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Tour de France Femmes

Demi Vollering was ‘in the form of her life’ at the Tour de France Femmes

Vollering was the only rider to come close to Annemiek van Vleuten in the tough mountain stages at the race.

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MULHOUSE, France (VN) — Demi Vollering said that she was in the form of her life at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift and that she could have done little more to grasp the yellow from Annemiek van Vleuten this weekend.

Vollering sealed second place overall at the inaugural edition of the race Sunday, finishing 3:48 behind her compatriot Van Vleuten in the fight for race victory.

The SD Worx rider was the only rider that could come close to hanging onto Van Vleuten, going with her on the Petit Ballon on Saturday’s stage and holding her to just 30 seconds on the Planche des Belles Filles.

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Initially, there was an element of disappointment for Vollering in being unable to get closer to the Movistar rider, but she allowed herself a bit of perspective as she ground her way through the Vosges mountains.

“I prepared a lot for this race, and I really felt I was fighting for yellow, but there was someone that was stronger. There was not a lot I could do so I think I can be really proud about my second place in the GC,” Vollering said.

“I beat all my records yesterday, so I was in the form of my life. I also felt really good and strong, so for me, there was nothing to regret. I’m really happy with how the last two days went. Of course, I really wanted to be closer to her, especially yesterday, to lose so much time. At first, I felt how is that possible, because I worked so hard, but then I was like I cannot control that so I was really proud of my riding myself because it was the best that I could do.”

Praise for Van Vleuten and parental support

Vollering was the one rider who could come close to Van Vleuten in the mountains.

Van Vleuten’s rivals had a small bit of hope that they might be able to put a stop to her stage racing dominance that saw her romp to the overall title at the Giro d’Italia Donne at the beginning of July. However, even a stomach bug could not stop the Movistar rider in her tracks as she blew away the competition in the mountains this weekend.

Vollering expressed her amazement at the performance, telling Van Vleuten behind the podium following stage 7 that what she had done was “not normal.” Speaking to the press in her post-race press conference Sunday evening, Vollering described Van Vleuten’s performance “really special.”

“She’s so strong, so I think that’s crazy how strong she is. She did everything alone, so that’s really strong. She was sick at first, so that she came through it like this is really special, I think,” she said.

Throughout the Tour de France Femmes, Vollering has been supported by her family and her partner. It perhaps speaks of the importance and draw of the Tour title that so many riders had family members on the roadside across the eight stages.

Vollering got emotional as she spoke about the support she had received from her parents, pausing for a moment to collect her thoughts and gather her composure.

“It was really nice to have them here. They’re not at my races so much so to have them here at such a cool race is really important to me. I’m really a family person, so I really like to be with my family. My dad has had a bit of a hard time, so I really wanted to make him proud. I did, so that was nice,” she said.

With the inaugural edition of the Tour de France Femmes concluded, thoughts have already turned to next year’s race. What it will look like will not be revealed until the fall, but Vollering knows that she would like to be in the fight for victory again.

“For next year at the Tour, I really hope that I can fight again for the yellow jersey. We need to see how the stages are, but I think I’ve shown now that I’m good in stage races so I hope that next year there will be some stages that suit me. I hope I can fight again for the yellow then,” Vollering said.