Tour de Romandie: Demi Vollering secures overall, Liane Lippert wins stage 3

Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) won the overall at the three-day 2023 Tour de Romandie Féminin, but had to work hard on the final stage to defend her yellow jersey on Sunday's finale. 

A front group of 26 formed, and there were many attacks across the 131.9km route into Nyon. In the end, Liane Lippert (Movistar) won the stage ahead of Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma) and Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ) in a field sprint.

“Already on the climbs, I felt really strong, and I stayed calm and relaxed the whole race. My team did a fantastic job so could focus only on the sprinters, especially Paula [Patiño] in the final kept all the attacks under control and led out my sprint," Lippert said.

"I had confidence in myself, and the team had confidence in me, it’s a victory for us all. Switzerland is my second home, I am German and Swiss, so it’s very special for me to win here.”

Despite the many attacks, there were no changes in the general classification in the end, and Vollering kept her six-second lead on runner-up Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), with her SD Worx teammate Marlen Reusser rounding out the podium in third place, 12 seconds down.

“It’s really nice. I feel a bit tired because today was a really hard day, it was still a big, big battle for GC and for the stage win. We needed to be very alert and also ride smart with what we closed or not, it was a really difficult day today,” Vollering was relieved to bring the GC victory home.

How it unfolded

Starting in Vernier just north of Geneva, the stage began with a 26-km section to the finishing town of Nyon followed by two laps of a hilly circuit including the third-category climbs of Mont-sur-Rolles and Le Molard.

Early on the first lap, Mireia Benito (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick Step) went solo from a five-rider breakaway, and was joined by ten riders on the rolling terrain after the Molard climb: Mischa Bredewold, Niamh Fisher-Black, Anna Shackley (all SD Worx), Patiño, Élise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM), Becky Storrie, Nienke Vinke (both DSM-Firmenich), Loes Adegeest (FDJ-SUEZ), Greta Marturano (Fenix-Deceuninck), and Kristen Faulkner (Jayco AlUla).

They held a 50-second advantage on the peloton but were reeled in with 50 km to go. Stage 1 winner Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) then attacked to take maximum points at the intermediate sprint and secure the orange points jersey, dropping back to the peloton afterwards.

The race stayed together over the Mont-sur-Rolles, and Adegeest won the mountain sprint to take over the light-blue mountain jersey. The second time up Le Molard, Team DSM-Firmenich set a hard pace, leading to attrition at the back of the peloton. When Lippert attacked just before the top of the 3.2-kilometre climb, only Niewiadoma, Vollering, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-SUEZ) could follow the German champion.

Juliette Labous (DSM-Firmenich), Reusser, and Persico returned to the four frontrunners on the descent, and Reusser immediately launched an attack but did not get away. More and more riders came back from behind, eventually increasing the size of the group to 30.

There were almost non-stop attacks on the last 25 kilometres: First Labous made a move that was followed by Shackley and Chabbey but quickly closed down by Vollering herself, then Uttrup Ludwig and Chabbey went away. Fisher-Black unsuccessfully tried to bring them back, and although the move was neutralised by others, the New Zealander paid for her efforts as she dropped out of the front group and lost the white U25 jersey.

Next, an attack by Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon-SRAM) was brought back by Vollering, and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick Step) saw her move neutralised by Bauernfeind’s teammate Antonia Niedermaier.

Labous was next to attack, but Shackley was immediately on her wheel. Bauernfeind made another move with Vinke, Shackley, Patiño, Esmée Peperkamp (DSM-Firmenich), and Steffi Häberlin (Switzerland) on her wheel, but Moolman-Pasio closed the gap.

Another move by Labous was bridged to by Niedermaier, Patiño, and Häberlin who counterattacked when the three riders reached the Frenchwoman, but Shackley brought the chasing group back to the front.

An attack by Peperkamp and Shackley was reeled in by Rosita Reijnhout (Jumbo-Visma), and a move from Patiño also didn’t get away, but 12.2 km from the finish, Bauernfeind launched yet another move, and this time she quickly opened a gap on the rest of the group.

At the ten-kilometre mark, Bauernfeind was 13 seconds ahead, with Reusser leading the chase behind. When the Swiss champion had to swing off, Vollering closed the last gap, and Bauernfeind looked around and sat up with 8 km to go.

Chabbey, Peperkamp, Reijnhout, and Patiño counterattacked, but Vollering closed their move down right away. Shackley was the next to go, followed by Labous, Chabbey, and Uttrup Ludwig, but now it was Patiño who closed the gap.

Peperkamp’s next attack was immediately shut down by Vollering with Lippert on her wheel, and then Häberlin jumped just after the five-kilometre mark. The Swiss mountain biker succeeded in getting a five-second gap but was reeled in with 2 km to go.

Team DSM-Firmenich tried to anticipate a sprint with attacks by Vinke and Peperkamp, but Niedermaier and Kim Cadzow (Team Jumbo-Visma) brought them back just before the flamme rouge.

Patiño took the lead and increased the pace, with Reusser getting hardly any slipstream behind the minuscule Colombian. Van Empel launched her sprint 300 metres from the line, and Reusser went onto her wheel while Lippert and Persico cranked up their speed from behind. On the last 50 metres, Lippert went past Van Empel to win the stage while Persico just pipped Reusser to the line for third place.


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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.

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