Demi Vollering continued her exceptional form by winning the stage 2 time trial at the Tour de Suisse Women, adding to her victory in the previous road stage.

The 15.7km time trial began at the UCI’s Centre Mondial du Cyclisme in Aigle, climbing to the ski resort of Villars-sur-Ollon. The first 5.2km were flat before the climb commenced, with a second intermediate time taken in Huémoz, 3.2km from the finish.

The winner of Stage 1, Demi Vollering’s powerful finish saw her clock 39:47 minutes, outpacing Elisa Longo Borghini by 18 seconds. “The climb was really hard, and at the intermediate time, I was only third. I knew I could push the limits on the last part and empty myself completely,” Vollering remarked after the stage. “Luckily, it was enough for the first place, and I gained some time. I’m really happy with that.”

How the race unfolded

Early starter Christina Schweinberger set the pace on the flat section but was soon surpassed by Kristen Faulkner, who clocked 43:28 minutes. Becky Storrie then took the lead with a 17-second improvement, only to be overtaken by Brodie Chapman’s impressive 41:11.

Antonia Niedermaier of Canyon-Sram delivered her team’s best performance, setting a new benchmark at 40:48 minutes. However, Juliette Labous soon bettered this, despite losing some advantage towards the finish, posting a time of 40:34.

Elisa Longo Borghini looked strong, recording the fastest intermediate time of 29:48 minutes, eventually finishing at 40:05, eight seconds faster than the previous leader, Kim Cadzow.

Vollering, riding in the yellow leader’s jersey, faced a 24-second deficit at the intermediate split but delivered a stunning final 3.2km, finishing in 39:47, the only rider to break the 40-minute barrier. This victory extended her general classification lead to 1:26 over Longo Borghini.

Quotes and reactions

Reflecting on her strategy, Vollering said, “I approached the time trial like a normal race, knowing that normally, during a climb, I only get stronger. I rode myself completely empty in the last kilometres. I’m good at that. Luckily, it was enough for the win, and I was also able to gain time in the general classification.”

Vollering’s teammate Juliette Labous, who finished fourth, commented, “It was a special time trial with it being mostly uphill. I started well on the TT bike and then switched to the road bike. I felt really good at the bottom, so I went hard to really try to go for the win, but I had to decrease my power a little bit in the final. I’m quite pleased with today; my shape is where I wanted it to be for now. I am looking forward to the two more hard days coming up, which are gonna be very interesting.”

Vollering now leads the general classification comfortably, with a 1:26 minute advantage over Longo Borghini. Gaia Realini is in third, only two seconds behind her teammate Longo Borghini, while Kim Cadzow sits in fourth, just 11 seconds off the podium.

After her stage 1 breakaway, which brought her third place overall, Élise Chabbey noted that the time trial didn’t suit her and planned to aim for a stage victory in the last two days, balancing this with supporting Niedermaier’s GC position.

Tomorrow’s Stage

The race continues tomorrow with a 126.6 km stage from Vevey to Champagne. Vollering, confident in her form, stated, “The main task for our team will be not to let a big group get away in the next two days. We have good riders who can do well on the terrain of the next few days. For some riders in our team, there are also chances for success here. I hope we can ride two more good stages here with Team SD Worx-Protime. I have a lot of confidence in that.”

2024 Tour de Suisse Women Stage 2 result

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