The 123.4-kilometre second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas, starting in Briviesca, was marked by early attacks and challenging climbs. The peloton faced the third-category Alto de Barcina after 31km, followed by four unclassified climbs in the final 30km before the finishing ascent.

An early move by Dominika Włodarczyk, UAE Team ADQ, on the Alto de Barcina secured her maximum points, but she was reeled back in shortly after. A new breakaway formed with Miryam Núñez, Marta Romeu, Antri Christoforou and Valentina Basilico holding a two-minute advantage for much of the race.

However, with 40km to go, the peloton intensified their chase, catching the escapees 32km from the finish. Despite several crashes in the final hour, which saw Katrine Aalerud, Uno-X Mobility, potentially fracturing her collarbone, the race remained tightly contested.

Movistar Team launched multiple attacks, but they were neutralised swiftly. Soraya Paladin, Canyon-SRAM, claimed the intermediate sprint ahead of Karlijn Swinkels, UAE Team ADQ, earning three bonus seconds. Marlen Reusser, SD Worx-Protime, then brought back a group of 17 riders with 17.7km remaining, setting the stage for the final climb.

Ella Wyllie
(Photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Demi Vollering, SD Worx-Protime, showcased her climbing prowess on the Alto de Rosales. Her teammate Femke Gerritse led the peloton onto the climb, followed by Vollering and Lorena Wiebes. Emma Norsgaard, Movistar Team, positioned her teammate Liane Lippert at the front, with Swinkels in close pursuit.

At the three-kilometre mark, Wiebes upped the pace, reducing the peloton to 50 riders. Jade Wiel, FDJ-SUEZ, then brought Muzic and Léa Curinier to the front. Curinier took over with 1.7km to go, narrowing the field to 23 riders at the flamme rouge.

Vollering accelerated with 900 metres left, only Swinkels could stay with her initially, but Muzic managed to close the gap slightly. Vollering’s final push, however, saw her cross the finish line with a five-second lead over Muzic. Swinkels finished nine seconds behind in third.

Demi Vollering’s victory also secured her the leader’s jersey, leading the general classification by eight seconds over Muzic and 11 seconds over Swinkels.

Rider Reactions

Demi Vollering expressed her delight with the stage win and her team’s performance: “The team was fantastic today, keeping me in a perfect position for the final climb. I felt strong and knew I had to make my move on the steep sections.”

Évita Muzic, who finished second, highlighted the challenges of the stage: “We were indeed positioned a little bit far in the bunch because of some crashes. We never panicked and got to the front before the final climb. The team did a great job to leave me in the best position possible.”

Karlijn Swinkels acknowledged Vollering’s strength: “I tried to follow Demi’s attack, but she was just too strong. I’m happy with my performance and hope to continue this form in the coming stages.”

With two more stages remaining, the battle for the overall title promises to be intense, particularly with the final mountainous stage on the horizon.

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Main photo credit: Getty