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Vollering wins opening stage at Itzulia Women

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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx celebrates winning ahead of Pauliena Rooijakkers of Netherlands and Team CanyonSRAM Racing during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Demi Vollering (SD Worx) wins stage 1 of the Itzulia Women stage race (Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 LR Pauliena Rooijakkers of Netherlands and Team CanyonSRAM Racing Kristen Faulkner of United States and Team Bikeexchange Jayco and Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx sprint to win during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM) can't quite match Demi Vollering (SD Worx) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 LR Pauliena Rooijakkers of Netherlands and Team CanyonSRAM Racing and Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx compete in the breakaway during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Demi Vollering (SD Worx), Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM) and Kristin Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco) on the attack (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx celebrates winning the Yellow Leader Jersey on the podium ceremony after the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Demi Vollering in the race leader's jersey (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Anna Van Der Breggen of The Netherlands Sports director of Team SD Worx prior to the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

SD Worx director Anna van der Breggen (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Clara Honsinger of United States and Team EF Education Tibco Svb competes during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Stage 1 of Itzulia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of South Africa and Team SD Worx competes in the breakaway during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio leads the breakaway on Stage 1 of Itzulia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 LR Charlotte Becker of Germany and Arkea Pro Cycling Team Anna Shackley of United Kingdom and Team SD Worx Marta Cavalli of Italy and Team FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of South Africa and Team SD Worx compete during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Stage 1 of Itzulia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Kristen Faulkner of United States and Team Bikeexchange Jayco competes during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Kristin Faulkner attacks (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx celebrates winning during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Demi Vollering after her victory (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Urska Zigart of Slovenia and Team Bikeexchange Jayco reacts after cross the finishing line during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Urska Zigart (BikeExchange-Jayco) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 LR Ane Santesteban Gonzalez of Spain and Team Bikeexchange Jayco and Liane Lippert of Germany and Team DSM Women sprint to cross the finishing line during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Ane Santesteban and Liane Lippert sprint for the minor places (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 LR Kristen Faulkner of United States and Georgia Williams of New Zealand and Team Bikeexchange Jayco cool down to refresh itself after crossing the line during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

BikeExchange-Jayco after the stage (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 A general view of Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx celebrates winning the Yellow Leader Jersey on the podium ceremony after the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Demi Vollering on the podium (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 LR Veronica Ewers of United States and Team EF Education Tibco Svb and Mikayla Harvey of New Zealand and Team CanyonSRAM Racing compete during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Stage 1 of Itzulia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 A general view of the peloton competing during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Stage 1 of Itzulia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LABASTIDA SPAIN MAY 13 Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx competes in the breakaway during the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 1 a 1059km stage from VitoriaGasteiz to Labastida ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 13 2022 in Labastida Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Pauliena Rooijakkers, Demi Vollering and Kristin Faulkner on the attack (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) won stage 1 of the inaugural Itzulia Women stage race after being very active in the final. The Dutchwoman beat Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-Sram) and Kristen Faulkner (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) to the line in Labastida.

Elise Chabbey (Canyon-Sram) attacked over the top of the last classified climb and was joined by Vollering, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (Team SD Worx), and Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) on the descent.

When this group had been caught, Faulkner counterattacked 16 km from the finish and got a small gap. Rooijakkers and Vollering went on the chase with 13 km to go and quickly bridged to Faulkner. They increased their advantage to 41 seconds at the finish line.

On the final kilometre, Rooijakkers attacked with 200 metres to go and entered the steep finishing straight first, but Vollering fought back and won the stage ahead of Rooijakkers and Faulkner. Liane Lippert (Team DSM) won the sprint of the peloton for fourth place.

"It was a hard race," Vollering said after the finish. "I was in the first group after the downhill, but we couldn't make it into the final. Then I thought, 'ok, now I need to try to recover and then find a good moment to attack again'. I found a good moment and then Pauliena came with me. She is a nice person to have in the break, she is always riding with you."

Vollering had led the group of three on the final kilometre and said that Rooijakkers' move didn't surprise her: "I expected Pauliena to make it a long sprint as she went already before the corner, but I tried to keep my head cool and try to get over her again, and I made it. It was a really nice finish, I like it, so it was good for me. It is nice to be in the leader's jersey tomorrow."

Vollering leads the general classification with a six-second advantage on Rooijakkers and ten seconds ahead of Faulkner. Due to bonus seconds, Brand is fourth at 50 seconds, Moolman Pasio sits in fifth place at 52 seconds, with Lippert leading a large group of riders at 53 seconds.

How it unfolded

The break of the day went after 30 of the day's 105.9 kilometres and consisted of Prisca Savi (BePink), Anastasia Lebedeva (Eneicat-RBH Global), Cristina Tonetti (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), and Mireia Benito (Massi Tactic).

Tonetti won the first intermediate sprint while Benito was first over the second-category climb of Mirador de Rivas and will wear the mountain jersey on stage 2.

Benito was also the escapee who stayed away the longest, only being caught on the slopes of the third-category climb to Herrera, the last classified climb of the day that was followed by a fast descent and a rolling final.

Chabbey took full points at the top and soon got company from Vollering, Moolman-Pasio, and Brand. They had a 13-second advantage with 30km to go, and although they increased this to 25 seconds on the climb to the intermediate sprint in Laguardia, the peloton reeled the quartet in with 18 kilometres to the finish due to the work of Team DSM.

Faulkner was next to get away. She was joined by Vollering and Rooijakkers, and the peloton had nothing left to control the gap, leaving the trio to fight for the stage win.

On top of the general classification, Vollering also leads the points classification, though Rooijakkers will wear the green points jersey in her stead. Vollering's teammate Niamh Fisher-Black, 11th overall, is the best young rider and will start stage 2 in the blue U23 jersey.

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