Controversy as nature break, crosswinds, rob Vollering of Vuelta Femenina lead

CASTRO URDIALES SPAIN MAY 06 Demi Vollering of The Netherlands and Team SD Worx Red Leader Jersey prior to the 9th La Vuelta Femenina 2023 Stage 6 a 1061km stage from Castro Urdiales to Laredo UCIWWT on May 06 2023 in Castro Urdiales Spain Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images
Demi Vollering (Team DS Worx) wore the red leader's jersey on stage 6 (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Saturday's stage of La Vuelta Femenina raised controversy as overall leader Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) lost her red classification jersey to Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team). It began only 36km into the 106-kilometre stage because of a combination of a nature break and a crosswind situation.

Van Vleuten and Movistar said that they had planned to put the race in the gutter from the get-go of stage 6. Vollering and SD Worx countered that it was more of a headwind than a crosswind, adding that the race jury enforced a barrage when riders were dropped from the peloton because of the increased speed.

“At 70 kilometres from the finish, me and some other riders on my team had to pee. Femke Markus also just had a puncture. It was just before a town. Nothing seemed to be happening. At that moment the peloton was riding at a slow pace,” Vollering recounted after the stage had finished about the decisive moment in the race.

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.