A tough first race for the team today. The women’s Strade Bianche covered 136km, with eight sectors and 31.4km on gravel roads. After the recon the team, consisting of Nina Buijsman, Demi Vollering, Anouska Koster, Romy Kasper, Karlijn Swinkels and Nancy van der Burg, felt pretty excited and ready for their first race since the Corona break. Demi was aiming high for her first Strade Bianche and felt confident, but the conditions were hard.
Demi: ‘’Today I started off feeling really strong, but I knew it was going to be a tough race. It was extremely hot. We were fully prepared to ride in this heat and we tried to stay hydrated, but you just couldn’t keep up. You just can’t prepare your body for things like this. It’s amazing though how strong your mind can be, since my body gave up on me more than once today.’’
The fast pace combined with the extreme heat and dust caused the peloton to explode halfway through the stage. Demi was part of the leading group until a group of 11 riders were able to break away. Demi was still in the peloton but suffering from the heat. With 17km to go van Vleuten attacked from the peloton and caught up with the leader Mavi Garcia. Van Vleuten, winner of last year’s edition and this season’s last few races, took victory again on the Palazzo del Campo. Demi finished 20th followed by Romy and Karlijn.
1 Annemiek van Vleuten
2 Mavi Garcia
3 Leah Thomas
20 Demi Vollering
Photo by Velofocus © 2020