Demi Vollering defended her purple leader’s jersey with a stunning solo victory in the fourth and final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas. Vollering attacked on the steep climb to the Alto de Rozavientos and held her lead to the finish, crossing the line 51 seconds ahead of Lucinda Brand and 1:14 minutes ahead of Évita Muzic.

After a mass crash in stage 3, fifteen riders did not start stage 4 due to their injuries. This included Katrine Aalerud, which meant the red mountain jersey moved to the shoulders of Claire Steels. Despite this, the peloton remained tightly controlled, and numerous breakaway attempts were quickly reeled in.

Brazilian champion Tota Magalhães launched a bold attack on the descent of the Alto de Arroyo, building a one-minute advantage. However, 11 riders, including Brand, attempted to bridge the gap. While most were caught by Marlen Reusser, Brand successfully reached Magalhães and dropped her on an unclassified climb.

Evita Muzic

Brand started the final climb with a one-minute lead, but Vollering attacked halfway up the 3.5km ascent, quickly overtaking Brand. “It was a very cold day,” Vollering said. “The team did a great job. Lorena Wiebes positioned me well for the final climb. My legs were so cold that I couldn’t attack, so I rode at a high tempo instead.”

Karlijn Swinkels finished fourth, securing third place overall. “I thought the race might turn out differently with a breakaway, but then each of my teammates did a really great job to carry me all the way to the final climb,” Swinkels said. “I fought until the end and managed to get this final podium. I am really very happy. I consider it one of the best days of my cycling career.”

Vollering’s win marks her third consecutive overall victory in a Spanish stage race this season, following her triumphs at La Vuelta Femenina and Itzulia Women. Reflecting on her success, Vollering said, “The victories in Spain have comforted me after the wins in the classic spring were lacking. I hope to further improve this good condition towards my big goals this season: the Olympics, the Tour de France Femmes and the World Championships.”

Vollering’s decisive move on the Alto de Rozavientos solidified her dominance in the race. “By keeping the pace as high as possible, I hoped to cross the top alone. That plan succeeded,” she explained.

The tough conditions of the final stage, with two categorised climbs, saw teams of the general classification riders controlling the race tightly. Vollering’s teammates worked tirelessly to position her well for the final ascent. “The team has done a great job this season,” Vollering noted. “I’m happy to have won the Vuelta a Burgos after La Vuelta Femenina and Itzulia Women.”

Meanwhile, Canyon SRAM celebrated a successful campaign, with Elise Chabbey and Soraya Paladin finishing fourth and seventh in the general classification, respectively, and winning the team classification. Chabbey shared her thoughts on the stage, “I’m disappointed because I feel the podium was achievable, but I tried everything to drop Swinkels on the last climb. The team was fantastic today, keeping Soraya and me in the front the whole day and covering every move.”

Soraya Paladin added, “It was a challenging final stage. Seeing how we could be in control and committed to each other was nice. Then, we had this final and steep climb. It was too hard for me, but I’m happy I could survive and, in the end, sprint to keep the top 10 in the GC.”

Alice Towers praised her team’s performance, stating, “The tour was fun and successful for our team. We had a great atmosphere the whole race, and I’d say the highlights were how we committed to each other and had each other’s backs in the race. Of course, yesterday’s podium and the double top 10 on GC were super cool and showed how we worked together.”

Lucinda Brand attacks
(Photo Credit: Getty)

Speaking about her solo effort, Lucinda Brand said, “I knew the climb was going to be tough, and I gave it everything I had. Vollering was just too strong, but I’m pleased with my performance today.”

Team DSM’s Megan Jastrab also shared her experience of the final stage: “We started the final stage with only Maeve and myself due to everyone else having injuries from the crashes yesterday. Our goal was to be in the breakaway and try to get a head start going into the final climb. I can confidently say we tried and tried again, but the peloton was keen on keeping it together. Even though we didn’t achieve a nice result, I am proud of how we rode today. I’m also happy with how my form was on the last day of the stage race during the harder moments and on a course that is normally out of my comfort zone. Looking forward to building on this for the rest of the season.”

2024 Vuelta a Burgos Feminas Stage 4 result

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2024 Vuelta a Burgos Feminas GC result

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Main photo credit: Getty