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Juliette Labous wins the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas

Demi Vollering (SD Worx) emerged as the strongest climber on the final stage 4 of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas finishing at the Lagunas de Neila.

Vollering attacked from a group of favourites together with Juliette Labous (Team DSM) and Paula Patiño (Movistar Team) halfway up the 13-kilometre climb, but this move was brought back. Labous went again, taking the Team SD Worx duo of Vollering and Niamh Fisher-Black with her. Fisher-Black set the pace for her leader, then Vollering took over and dropped Labous on the final kilometre to cross the finish line with a 17-second advantage.

Évita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) finished third 37 seconds behind Vollering.

As Vollering started the stage 34 seconds behind Labous, the 23-year-old Frenchwoman wins the race overall.

“It was a really hard battle on a super-hard climb, so steep in parts and with a headwind. I didn’t feel very well these days, and I could only hope that I could find a bit of a rhythm because it was a long climb. I was really happy with my teammate Niamh, she did a really good job, then I needed to do it myself because I lost a lot of time yesterday. I knew that I needed to make a big gap to also go for the GC, and in the end, it was not enough. But I am happy that I could win the stage,” said Vollering.

“First, it was a steady pace with girls dropping at the back, then Demi attacked and I was with her and Paula Patiño, but the chasing group got back. We were maybe ten riders still, I attacked after a flat part and went with Demi and Niamh. Demi dropped me in the final and I just kept on going as hard as I could to get the GC,” Labous described the finishing climb.

Labous was excited about her GC victory: “It feels great. I had been waiting for a victory for a long time, and finally it pays off. I felt really great yesterday, and the girls really had confidence in me today, riding so well. It was really hard in the end, Demi was so strong, the strongest of the day, I am just so happy that I won the GC,” she said.

How it unfolded

On a hot day, it took over 50km of the 125.1-kilometre stage before a breakaway was established. Anna Shackley, Lotte Kopecky (both Team SD Worx), Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM), Marie Le Net (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), and Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) never had an advantage of more than 1:16 minutes and were caught 13 kilometres from the line, just after the start of the Lagunas de Neila climb.

A group of 20 riders soon formed on the lower slopes of the climb, and with about six kilometres left to climb, Vollering, Labous, and Patiño attacked. The chase group never lost them out of sight, but the high pace was too much for overnight leader Mavi García who lost contact with the other favourites.

After the three frontrunners were caught by what remained of the peloton, Labous attacked again with Vollering and Fisher-Black, and the young New Zealander supported Vollering well before the Dutchwoman took over. Vollering distanced Labous and won the stage, but it was not enough for the 25-year-old to win the GC after she lost 34 seconds on stage 3. However, Vollering did win the mountain classification.

Further behind, Muzic attacked to finish third on the stage and secure the runner-up spot in GC as well as the white U23 jersey. Krista Doebel-Hickok (Human Powered Health) and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) finished fourth and fifth on the stage as well as in the general classification. Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) won the green points jersey.

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