The Vuelta Femenina witnessed a dramatic fifth stage today, where Demi Vollering of Team SD Worx-Protime clinched a commanding win on the challenging climb to Alto del Fuerte Rapitán in Jaca. Covering 113.9 kilometres starting from Huesca, the stage presented the first significant summit finish of the tour, setting the scene for a fierce battle among the general classification contenders.

Race Dynamics

The peloton, still feeling the effects of the previous day’s tough conditions, embarked from Huesca under windy skies that hampered any early breakaway attempts, including one from Antri Christoforou. It wasn’t until Lourdes Oyarbide of Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi made a move that the race saw its first significant solo effort, though she was reeled back by the peloton midway through the first categorised climb, Alto del Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña.

Antri Christoforou on an early solo break
(Photo Credit: CXCLING)

As the race approached the final climb, strategic moves were evident with Team FDJ-SUEZ setting a brisk pace that significantly thinned the leading group. Notable attempts by Antonia Niedermaier and Grace Brown added to the drama but ultimately, the peloton regrouped before the ascent to Alto del Fuerte Rapitán.

Vollering’s Dominant Finish

The concluding climb was where Vollering made her mark. The steep ramps of Alto del Fuerte Rapitán became the proving ground as Vollering distanced herself from her closest rivals with a blistering pace in the last kilometre. Her surge left Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) and Yara Kastelijn trailing, securing Vollering the stage win by a margin of 28 seconds.

This victory not only marked Vollering’s first win of the season but also propelled her into the overall race lead, now 31 seconds ahead of Longo Borghini, and firmly establishing her as a frontrunner for the overall title.

Demi Vollering crosses the finish line
(Photo Credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Reactions from the Finish Line

After her emphatic win, Vollering shared her excitement and strategic insights: “On the final climb, I felt good, so I set the pace myself. I noticed that Elisa was struggling, so I accelerated even more in the hope of gaining time on her. That plan worked well. Winning La Vuelta Femenina is my big goal, and I am happy to already have this beautiful red leader’s jersey around my shoulders,” Vollering commented.

Elisa Longo Borghini, now second in the general classification, reflected on her performance, “Demi was just too strong today. I tried to keep her wheel but couldn’t match her pace in the final stretch. There’s still a lot of racing left, and I’ll look to reclaim the time lost today.”

Looking Ahead

The peloton does not get a respite, as they face another challenging mountain stage next. The sixth stage will take the riders from Tarazona to La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa, spanning 132.1 kilometres with yet another uphill finish, promising more shakeups in the general classification.

2024 Vuelta Femenina Stage 5 result

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Main Photo Credit: Sprint Cycling Agency