Demi Vollering took the highest profile win of her three year professional career at Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, winning a five woman sprint.
The group had gone clear on the day’s final climb, the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, with Vollering’s team mate, world champion Anna van der Breggen riding on the front for the entire 13km run in, allowing her compatriot to save her legs.
Annemiek van Vleuten launched her sprint with 300m to go, but Vollering came past her, the Movistar rider finishing second with Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) taking third place.
The 24 year-old was set up by a consummate performance from her SDWorx squad who dominated the race form start to finish. Niamh Fisher-Black off the front early in the race and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio leading the way over La Redoute.
Then Van der Breggen pushed hard onto the Roche-aux-Faucons, dropping the sprinters, before leading all the way into the final 300m.
All this meant Vollering was under pressure in the final, and after close calls in small group sprints at Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold last week, she came good.
The race is one the Dutch rider enjoys, three years ago she finished third behind Van Vleuten, and the podium tears from two years ago when she realised her potential were repeated during Sunday’s post-race interview when she proved it.
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, Bastogne – Liège (140.9km)
1. Demi Vollering (Ned) SDWorx in 3-54-31
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM all at same time
5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SDWorx at 2 sec
6. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1-27
7. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SDWorx
8. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope all at same time
9. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1-59
10. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Bike Exchange at same time