PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES, France – Veteran rider Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Tour de France for the first time on Sunday after winning the eighth and final stage in style.
Van Vleuten, 39, won the stage by 30 seconds over fellow Dutchman Demi Vollering, who also finished second overall. Italy’s Silvia Persico finished third in the stage, 1 minute and 43 seconds behind the winner.
In the overall standings, Movistar rider Van Vleuten was 3:48 ahead of Vollering (Team SD Worx) and 6:35 ahead of Polish rider Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) in third place.Annemiek van Vleuten won the eighth and final stage of the women’s Tour de France on Sunday by 30 seconds, securing overall victory in the race. AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias
Van Vleuten had just enough energy to celebrate as he crossed the finish line after the 123km mountain stage in the Vosges mountains in eastern France. There were two category 1 climbs, the second climb was the stage finish on La Super Planche des Belles Filles which ended at a scary 23% gradient.
She went into the final stages with a lead of 3:14 over Vollering.
On Saturday’s penultimate stage, Van Vleuten moved up from eighth overall to take the yellow jersey from Marianne Vos with another superb climb in the Vosges.
Van Vleuten added this victory to a long list of achievements, including three Giro d’Italia Femminile titles, Olympic gold in the time trial and two world champion gold medals in the same discipline.
Six years ago, her career was in jeopardy when she fractured her vertebrae and was rushed to intensive care after a fall during the women’s Olympic road race at the Brazil Games.
Vos was among the favourites, but the three-time Giro d’Italia champion ended up 26th overall.