Tour de France Femmes stage 8: Demi Vollering seals title as Marlen Reusser wins final time trial

Lotte Kopecky makes it an SD Worx 1-2 overall, Annemiek van Vleuten falls off podium

Clock17:17, Sunday 30th July 2023
The final podium of the Tour de France Femmes: Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering, Kasia Niewiadoma (L-R)

© Velo Collection / Getty Images

The final podium of the Tour de France Femmes: Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering, Kasia Niewiadoma (L-R)

Demi Vollering secured overall victory at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, as her SD Worx teammate Marlen Reusser claimed the final stage victory in the Pau time trial.

The Dutchwoman, who took the yellow jersey and a convincing lead atop the Col du Tourmalet 24 hours previously, safely negotiated the 22.6km course to clinch the first Grand Tour victory of her career.

Even by SD Worx's standards of dominance, their collective display on the final day of the Tour was astonishing. It was a clean sweep of the stage 8 podium for the Dutch team, with Vollering in second place and Lotte Kopecky third. Even more remarkably, it was a 1-2 on the final podium, with Kopecky edging out Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) by a fraction of a second.

Niewiadoma, though, maintained her position on the podium as Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) fell apart, finishing 14th on the stage and dropping to fourth overall in the final Grand Tour of her illustrious career.

Vollering won the Tour de France Femmes by more than three minutes, with Kopecky and Niewiadoma both at 3:03, the Belgian timed a fraction of a second quicker on the course. Van Vleuten ended up fourth at 3:59, with Juliette Labous (dsm-firmenich) the only other rider within five minutes of Vollering.

"I think I still cannot believe it," Vollering said ahead of the podium ceremony. "I worked hard but it's not only hard work... it's believing in it, it's so much together.

"In the end, you have dream and you work hard for it, but also you need to keep yourself calm, find good balance in your life, and a relaxed way to do all this. This year I feel really good in what I'm doing. I feel like everything has come together. It's just an amazing season for me."

Vollering was joined on the final podium by Kopecky, who also won the green jersey for the points classificaiton, and Niewiadoma, who also won the polka-dot jersey for the mountains classification, as well as the white jersey for best young rider, Cédrine Kerbaol (Ceratizit-WNT). The teams classification was unsurprisingly won by SD Worx.

Reusser seizes the stage

The final time trial took place over a 22.6km course in Pau, featuring a 2km climb in the middle and a kicker at the end, but otherwise largely flat.

Reusser, the European champion, set out strong and held her own late on. She had the quickest time at the intermediate checkpoint at the top of the mid-race climb, 12 seconds faster than Vollering, and though she conceded two seconds in the second part of the parcours, it was more than enough to seal a second Tour stage in as many years.

Vollering was the only rider to gain time on Reusser in the second half of the course, with all others losing ground throughout.

Grace Bown (FDJ-SUEZ) was third at the intermediate checkpoint at 27 seconds but then slipped to fourth place at 40 seconds. Kopecky, meanwhile, roared back, passing her two-minute woman Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (AG Insurance - Soudal-QuickStep) to snatch third place on the day, 38 seconds down on the winning time.

Soon after, Van Vleuten set out for one of the final major acts of her career, but was a shadow of the rider who has dominated Grand Tour racing for the past two years, and twice been world time trial champion.

She'd lost a minute on Reusser by the checkpoint, and that ballooned to 1:41 by the line, where she suffered another 90-second deficit to Vollering after her torment on the Tourmalet on Saturday.

Barring accident, Vollering had the yellow jersey sewn up by the time she reached that checkpoint and while she couldn't seal it with a second stage win, she was more than happy to see it go to her teammate.

“I am happy. We almost won everything again, I almost can’t believe it,” Reusser said. “Especially since I worked hard all week for the leaders, I am tired but of course I am very happy.

"I targeted this time trial, but I had also targeted different things so I'm super happy that I managed to win today."

Race Results

1

ch flag

REUSSER Marlen

Team SD Worx

29' 15"

2

nl flag

VOLLERING Demi

Team SD Worx

+ 10"

3

be flag

KOPECKY Lotte

Team SD Worx

+ 38"

4

au flag

BROWN Grace

FDJ-SUEZ

+ 40"

5

nl flag

MARKUS Riejanne

Team Jumbo-Visma

+ 50"

6

fr flag

LABOUS Juliette

Team dsm-firmenich

+ 1' 17"

7

ca flag

BARIL Olivia

UAE Team ADQ

+ 1' 18"

8

it flag

GUAZZINI Vittoria

FDJ-SUEZ

+ 1' 21"

9

pl flag

NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna

CANYON//SRAM Racing

+ 1' 23"

10

nl flag

BRAND Lucinda

Lidl-Trek

+ 1' 30"

Provided by FirstCycling

Major Races

See All

29 Jun - 21 Jul

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Tour de France

2.UWT

12 Aug - 18 Aug

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Tour de France Femmes

2.WWT

2 Jun - 9 Jun

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Critérium du Dauphiné

2.UWT

6 Jun - 9 Jun

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Tour of Britain Women

2.WWT

9 Jun - 16 Jun

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Tour de Suisse

2.UWT

Provided by FirstCycling

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