REPORT: Demi Vollering finishes third in tough Flèche Wallonne

REPORT: Demi Vollering finishes third in tough Flèche Wallonne

"This was the highest achievable today"


In the Flèche Wallonne Demi Vollering signed for Team SD Worx's 14th podium spot this season. The team always had control of the race in the first Ardennes classic. Despite the redrawn finale, the decision fell once again on the final climb of the Mur de Huy. There Marta Cavalli eventually won the duel with Annemiek van Vleuten. Demi Vollering finished third ten seconds later. "This was a really tough race, I'm completely empty," was Vollering's first reaction.

Linked race Waalse Pijl - Linked cyclists Demi Vollering Niamh Fisher-Black Anna Shackley Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak Blanka Vas

A breakaway of fifteen riders took off quite early in the race. Anna Shackley from Team SD Worx was among them. The Scottish rider rode a strong race. Demi Vollering: "When the group was caught, our plan was to go solo, or at least make the race difficult with the team. With Niamh Fisher-Black and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio we placed two attacks."

The final climb of the Mur de Huy would again provide the decision. There Demi Vollering went into the final together with Marta Cavalli and Annemiek van Vleuten. "Annemiek started quite early, so I took my own pace. I didn't want to blow myself up, but I really couldn't keep up with them. The redesigned final with three times the Mur de Huy makes it really tough. I was completely empty. I don't think the new final makes the race more spectacular. The Mur de Huy doesn't lie, it remains a super tough climb. Of course I would have preferred to win, but third place was the maximum today."

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio had just returned with the help of Chantal van den Broek-Blaak. "I had a mechanical problem at the worst possible moment. The fact that I got back in front so quickly shows that I had great legs. I had to use my biggest 'match' on Côte d'Ereffe with less than 20km to go... So I am disappointed. I was hoping for a better result than 4th in my favourite race," the South African said.

Anna van der Breggen: "This is promising for the future"

Seven-time winner and director sportive Anna van der Breggen was satisfied with her team's race. "We just rode a good race. It is a tough course. We were here with quite a young team at the start and all girls reached the finish and are satisfied because they were able to do their job. Where others had to let go earlier on, we were still in front with all our riders. That is promising for the future."

"Anna Shackley was very strong in the long breakaway. We tried to make the difference. There were attacks, but not really by the top favourites. We might have expected a bit more fireworks from top favourites like Kasia Niewiadoma and Annemiek van Vleuten before the Mur de Huy, but in the end this parcours was new to everyone so everyone was waiting to see how tough the new course would eventually be."

"The renewal of the course makes the race super tough. Demi Vollering finished very well in third place. We rode strong and of course you hope to win, but ultimately this is just a nice podium finish. This is a fair race. Then we can just be happy with how it went today."

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