Cycling-Vollering upsets favourites to win La Course by Le Tour

·1-min read
Tour de France

LANDERNEAU, France (Reuters) - The Netherlands' Demi Vollering won La Course by Le Tour for the first time when she upset the top favourites over 108 kilometres on Saturday.

The SD Worx rider timed her sprint to perfection at the top of the ascent to the Cote de la Fosse aux Loups (3km at 5.7%) to beat Denmark's Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Dutchwoman Marianne Vos (Jumbo Visma).

Twelve women had an advantage of around one minute at 20 kilometres from the finish, as the favourites stayed quiet in the bunch. But the fugitives were reined in at the foot of the Cote de la Fosse aux Loups and after several foiled attacks, a reduced peloton contested a sprint.

World champion Anna van der Breggen, who looked the strongest in the steepest part of the final climb, sprinted on an empty tank, but ultimately found herself celebrating her team mate and compatriot's victory.

Six years after winning La Course, she took fourth place.

The one-day race will next year be replaced by the women's Tour de France, a weeklong stage race that will start on July 24 - the same day that the men's race finishes in Paris.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson)