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Van Vleuten won the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in July

Dutch ace takes WorldTour lead after monster month

Annemiek van Vleuten has achieved the magnificent: winning the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double in July. On Sunday, exactly three weeks after securing the pink jersey in the 10-day Italian race, van Vleuten earned the title of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes after withstanding an early scare in the mountains and then winning the final stage. She’s undefeated since April 24. Magdeleine Vallieres was top Canadian both on Sunday and on final GC.

This season has been another fine one for the Dutch superstar. Van Vleuten took the trophies of her first two 2022 races, non-WorldTour events Setmana Valenciana-Volta Comunitat Valenciana and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. She won her second Liège–Bastogne–Liège title four days after coming runner-up in La Flèche Wallonne. In the first half of this month, she beat Marta Cavalli by 1:52 to capture her third Giro d’Italia Donne pink jersey. With her monster July she takes over the lead in the Women’s WorldTour, a title she has claimed twice before.

Van Vleuten had a tough couple of days last week because of gastrointestinal trouble, but bounced back with a legendary 62-km solo triumph on Saturday, to lead her closest rival, Demi Vollering, by almost three and a half minutes ahead of Sunday’ conclusion.

Van Vleuten was imperious in Saturday’s queen stage.

The Final Stage

On Sunday the 123-km route flowed over early hills before hitting two Cat. 1 climbs with a valley between them. The Ballon d’Alsace (9 km at 6.9 percent) was sure to encourage attacks. La Super Planche des Belles Filles, conquered by Tadej Pogacar on July 8, was where the race came to its climax, a 7-km ascent of 8.6 percent, its final steep kilometre gravel.

On the way to Ballon d’Alsace, with a breakaway up the road, van Vleuten had a mechanical and had to chase on a teammate’s bike. SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo worked to distance the yellow jersey further. Van Vleuten ran out of teammates in her bid to return to Vollering and other rivals. Contact was made right at the foot of the first Cat. 1, but by the 80 km mark, the race leader had five bike changes.

Vollering made surges with 2.5 km and 1.5 km to climb on Ballon d’Alsace, but van Vleuten checked them.

When the yellow jersey group began La Super Planche des Belles Filles, there was still a breakaway and a chase groups ahead. With 6.1 km to go van Vleuten accelerated and Vollering went with her. They passed through the last fugitive before the yellow jersey left her compatriot behind.

All three Canadians who started in Paris finished the race.

2022 Tour de France Femmes Stage 8

1) Annemiek van Vleuten (The Netherlands/Movistar) 3:37:23
2) Demi Vollering (The Netherlands/SD Worx) +0:30
3) Silvia Persico (Italy/Valcar-Travel & Service) +1:43
39) Magdeleine Vallieres (Canada/EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) +13:12
67) Simone Boilard (Canada/St Michel-Auber93) +18:59
75) Olivia Baril (Canada/Valcar-Travel & Service) +19:54

2022 Tour de France Femmes Final GC
1) Annemiek van Vleuten (The Netherlands/Movistar) 26:55:44
2) Demi Vollering (The Netherlands/SD Worx) +3:48
3) Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland/Canyon-SRAM) +6:35
66) Magdeleine Vallieres (Canada/EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) +1:04:19
66) Simone Boilard (Canada/St Michel-Auber93) +1:06:41
104) Olivia Baril (Canada/Valcar-Travel & Service) +1:34:22