Demi Vollering (SD Worx) clinched overall victory in the AJ Bell Women’s Tour, Britain’s biggest professional women’s race, as World Road Race Champion Elisa Balsamo (Valcar – Travel & Service) clinched the final stage – her first in the rainbow jersey.
Balsamo headed home Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) and Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo) in front of packed crowds along Felixstowe’s seafront basking in the October sunshine, for the win in her final race of 2021.
Vollering finished safely within the main field to celebrate the overall victory by one minute two seconds over Juliette Labous (Team DSM), with Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) a further three seconds in arrears.
The win is Vollering’s first UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race victory and comes in a season where she has also won the prestigious single day races Liege-Bastogne-Liege and La Course.
“To win in this jersey is amazing – it was the perfect day,” [referring to her World Championship jersey] “My team did a really great lead-out for me.”
“We knew we were strong in the sprints but today was perfect. It’s wonderful. This was my first time at this race but I will definitely come here again!”
“It feels great. It’s really nice to win a stage race for the first time,” said Vollering. “I made a big gap in the time trial and then the last three days were flat so we tried to sprint for Amy [Pieters]and then we only needed to control it. It was a good week and really nice with a lot of people next to the road. It is always nice to see so many people into women’s cycling.”
Once again the Valcar – Travel & Service team performed an excellent lead-out after having gone close in previous days, but this time the World Champion was able to cap the team performance and round out the AJ Bell Women’s Tour with a win.
Behind Wiebes took second to secure the Sigma Sports Points jersey thanks to her brace of stage wins, with Hosking taking another top three position.
Elise Chabbey (Canyon SRAM Racing) won the ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains jersey for the best climber in the race while having taken the Eisberg Sprints jersey on day one in Oxfordshire, Nina Kessler (Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank) held on to the red jersey.
Alice Barnes (Canyon SRAM Racing) was the top British rider in seventh overall and one of three Brits in the top 10 with Pfieffer Georgi (Team DSM) in eighth, and Joss Lowden (Drops Le Col s/b Tempur) in tenth. There was further success for British riders with Hayley Simmonds (CAMS Basso) taking the Combativity Award after her tenacious stage five ride, while SD Worx clinched the team classification.
Highlights of Stage Six are on ITV4 at 20:00 on Saturday 9 October and available on demand via the ITV Hub.
STAGE 6 RESULTS
905 Eugénie DUVAL [FRA] FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
905 Evita MUZIC [FRA] FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
AJ BELL LEADER'S JERSEY - FINAL STANDINGS
SIGMA SPORTS POINTS JERSEY - FINAL STANDINGS
SKODA QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAINS JERSEY - FINAL STANDINGS
ISBERG SPRINTS JERSEY - FINAL STANDINGS
2022 Women's Tour Preview
The next edition of the AJ Bell Women’s Tour takes place between Monday 6 and Saturday 11 June 2022. Final race details will be confirmed by the UCI, cycling’s governing body, in Autumn 2021.
GRAND DÉPART: COLCHESTER
In addition to hosting the start of stage five in the 2021 Women’s Tour, Colchester will also welcome the world’s best riders on day one of next year’s race.
Race organisers SweetSpot are working alongside Colchester Borough Council in partnership with Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd, its wholly-owned commercial company, to deliver the event.
STAGE TBA: OXFORDSHIRE
Oxfordshire will feature in the Women’s Tour for a third-consecutive year in 2022 as part of a three-year partnership with SweetSpot.
Details of the 2022 stage will be announced next year.
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Over the years Anna has supported grass roots cycling events, riders and teams. Anna has a particular interest in Track, Road, womens cycling, recreational cycling and cycling related art. She has reported from the top cycle races on the world calendar including the Tour de France, Olympics, World Cups & World Championships.
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