Tour de Romandie Féminin stage 3: Demi Vollering seals GC as Liane Lippert takes final stage

Unruly finale comes down to a reduced group sprint

Clock13:35, Sunday 17th September 2023
Liane Lippert starts to celebrate on stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Liane Lippert starts to celebrate on stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie

Demi Vollering (SD Worx) survived a tricky final stage of the Tour de Romandie Féminin to seal the overall title, as Liane Lippert (Movistar) claimed the stage honours in a select group sprint.

After Saturday’s summit finish, the three-day race concluded with a hilly route by Lake Geneva, which thinned the bunch to 25 riders and set up an unruly 30km run-in to the finish.

Despite a relentless volley of attacks, there was no one who succeeded in going clear and the stage was settled in a sprint, with German champion Lippert nipping ahead to claim her second WorldTour-lelve victory after the Tour de France.

Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma) looked to spring a surprise, starting her sprint more than 300 metres from the line, but Lippert squeezed into the slipstream of Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) before moving out to the left and then around the fading Van Empel.

Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ) bagged the final spot on the podium ahead of Reusser, while the yellow jersey of Vollering crossed the line in sixth place to secure the overall title.

“It’s always nice to win a GC, and this is even more special because I really like Switzerland,” said Vollering, who has a base in the country. “It’s great to nice to have such a nice race on my palmarès.”

A barrage of attacks

Vollering and her third-placed teammate Marlen Reusser looked assured throughout but it was a finale that could have easily got out of hand. The 131.9km stage featured two laps of a circuit that contained two category-3 climbs, followed by a 30km run-in.

After some early breakaway moves, the race came back together on the second lap, and the bunch began to thin on the second time over the duo of climbs: Mont-sur-Rolle (2.6km at 6.2%) and Le Molard (3.2km at 6.6%).

By the top of the first, where Loes Adegeest (FDJ-SUEZ) snatched the mountains classification from Yolanda Neff (Switzerland), there were 50 riders left in contention. By the top of the second, there were four, although it would swell to 25 for the run-in.

It was in fact Lippert who launched the attack that created that select quartet, with Vollering alive to it along with second-placed Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Suez). They were soon joined by three more as Juliette Labous, who’s dsm-firmenich teammates had dominated the climb, bridged with Reusser and Persico.

The seven riders opened up a 30-second lead but their cooperation soon waned, and smaller groups of riders started getting back in to form a lead group of 25 heading into the final 25km. From there, it was a race of constant attacks, with no one team exerting control. SD Worx had to pick and choose the moves to go with, keeping the closest eye on Canyon-SRAM, with Reusser and Niewiadoma locked in a staring contest.

Niewiadoma’s teammate Ricarda Bauernfiend was a constant menace and launched what was the closest an attack came to succeeding. The young German opened 15 seconds with 10km to go but Reusser metronomically dragged it back, before Vollering accelerated herself to finish the job.

Vollering plugged a couple more gaps as she patrolled the group in the closing kilometres, and SD Worx even sent a rider of their own, Anna Shackley, off the front, but the late attacks were shut down almost immediately, and a bunch kick was inevitable.

Van Empel launched an audacious move, but Lippert was the fastest finisher.

“There was a lot of action and attacking on the climbs and I felt really strong,” said Lippert. “I had a great team who covered the moves so I could relax and focus on the fastest sprinters. I had confidence in myself and felt the team had confidence in me so it’s a victory for the team.”

After pulling on the yellow jersey, Vollering added: “It was a big big battle. We needed to be very alert and really smart, to think what we closed or didn’t. It was a really difficult day today. Luckily I had my whole team around who helped me in this.”

Race Results

1

de flag

LIPPERT Liane

Movistar Team

3H 18' 31"

2

nl flag

VAN EMPEL Fem

Team Jumbo-Visma

"

3

it flag

PERSICO Silvia

UAE Team ADQ

"

4

ch flag

REUSSER Marlen

Team SD Worx

"

5

za flag

MOOLMAN-PASIO Ashleigh

AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step Team

"

6

nl flag

VOLLERING Demi

Team SD Worx

"

7

pl flag

NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna

CANYON//SRAM Racing

"

8

fr flag

LABOUS Juliette

Team dsm-firmenich

"

9

nl flag

KASTELIJN Yara

Fenix-Deceuninck

"

10

es flag

SANTESTEBAN Ane

Team Jayco-AlUla

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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