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Itzulia Women: Demi Vollering wins stage 3 and overall

Dutch rider dominates, winning every stage, and the overall.

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Demi Vollering (SD Worx) soloed clear to an incredible third stage win in a row, taking every stage, and the overall title at the Itzulia Women.

It was all about the final climb of the Murgil Tontorra on stage 3 with Vollering attacking in the final 100 metres of the ascent before using her excellent descending skills and power on the flat to distance her rivals.

Liane Lippert (Team DSM) led in the chasing group to finish second on the stage with Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) in third.

In the overall Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM) finished second ahead of Kristen Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco).

“It was a really awesome race. I really liked the course and it was really hot again today which made it really hard. I’m really grateful for my team. Because of them, I can win here,” Vollering said.

“We have a really strong team, only four (riders) but four super strong climbers and you really need climbers here because you’re always going up or down. It is really hard here. We wanted to keep the jersey, that was the main goal. I felt that I still had something left on the last steep climb so I went full gas for it and then I just gave all I had left and I’m happy to win again.”

How it unfolded

The final stage of the Itzulia Women started and finished in the Basque regional capital of San Sebastian with a 139.8km loop taking in some of the iconic climbs from the Clasica San Sebastian, including the Jaizkibel and Murgil Tontorra.

Marit Raaijmakers (Human Powered Health), Margaux Vigie (Valcar-Travel & Service), Naia Amondarain (Sopela), Morgana Coston (Arkea), and Giorgia Bariani (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) went up the road in the break and had a maximum gap of around six minutes on the peloton.

Behind them were two chasers with Polish rider Marta Jaskulska (Liv Xstra) trying to make her way to her second break of the race, as well as Latvian rider Lija Laizane (Eneicat-RBH Global).

Another move went at the base of the Jaizkibel with Georgia Williams (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Spela Kern (Massi-Tactic) trying to bridge the now 3:33 gap with 56km to go.

Team DSM were working hard for their leader Juliette Labous but Williams and Kern still managed to get away and bridge to Jaskulska and Laizane as Coston went on a solo move from the front.

While trying to chase, the group immediately behind Coston split with all four riders on their own as they chased the French woman up the Jaizkibel with 52km to go.

Coston went over the top of the Jaizkibel with 1:20 on the first chaser ,Raaijmakers with 3:16 back to the peloton.

In the valley the peloton continued with a hard pace and caught everyone but Coston with Movistar’s Jelena Eric attacking from the peloton with 39km to go, and with the gap down to 1:20.

Jeanne Korevar (Liv Xstra) and Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) attacked to try and bridge to Coston with 23km to go, with a very reduced peloton strung out in the chase behind.

The two attackers bridged to Coston with 19km to go with the French woman gritting her teeth and holding onto Van Anrooij’s back wheel.

Mireia Benito (Massi-Tactic) also launched a move from the peloton as she went in search for mountain points on the final climb of the Murgil Tontorra.

The gap went out to 1:30 just before the final climb with Movistar and BikeExchange-Jayco working hard to try and bring the break back with 12km to go. The high pace brought Benito back.

Korevar was dropped by Van Anrooij, with Coston just managing to hold on at the start of the Tontorra. In the peloton Moolman-Pasio set the pace for Demi Vollering.

Van Anrooij then managed to distance Coston with 9km to go and just a touch over a kilometer to the top of the climb.

The very reduced GC group caught Van Anrooij 100 meters from the top of the climb with Vollering trying a sharp kick before stamping on the pedals and distancing everyone to go solo onto the descent.

The Dutch woman managed to maintain her slim advantage over the chasers all the way to the line. Lippert was the first rider to cross the line after Vollering as she out-sprinted the other GC riders 15 seconds behind the winner.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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