Demi Vollering of the SD Worx team won the women’s cycling race La Course on Saturday in an event that
preceded the men’s Tour de France opening stage between the Atlantic port of Brest and Landernau.
Vollering is the rising star of women’s cycling and won the recent one day classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege and took second place in three other classics this season.
The 24-year-old Dutch rider timed her late burst perfectly to beat Denmark’s Cecile Uttrup of FDJ and Marianne Vos of Jumbo in the 107.7km race run over five hills and through winding Brittany roads packed with fans.
Vollering said she had got up shortly after five in the morning to fuel up on rice ahead of the early start necessitated by covering the same route as the Tour.
La Course will be scrapped next year and replaced by a women’s Tour de France separate from the men’s race.
“I’m happy to have won this last edition of La Course, but I’m looking forward to next year because I love stage racing,” said the winner. “I leave for Italy tonight where we have the Giro d’Italia starting, then
after that I’ll be heading to the Olympics in Tokyo.”
Defending champion Lizzie Deignan finished in ninth having been in the thick of the action in the lead up to the finale but fading after the final steep part of the last ascent.