On the heels of a dominant Classics campaign, SD Worx will head into the upcoming Vuelta Femenina targeting another big win. Demi Vollering, whose spring triumphs include wins at Strade Bianche, Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Amstel Gold Race, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, will lead the way for the Dutch squad over the upcoming week in Spain, with an in-form Marlen Reusser as another card to play.
“We have a nice mix of experience and talent at the start. With this group we want to compete for the overall win and hopefully pick up a stage win in between,” said sport director Anna van der Breggen.
Joining Vollering and Reusser in Spain are Elena Cecchini, Niamh Fisher-Black, Blanka Vas, Femke Markus, and Marie Schreiber. The event will be Schreiber’s debut as a member of the team; the 20-year-old from Luxembourg joined the squad this season after emerging as a cyclocross up-and-comer.
SD Worx will have multiple objectives for the Vuelta, as outlined by van der Breggen.
“In such a multi-day race, it is mainly about who recovers the best,” she said. “I hope in the meantime that we can continue our form from the spring.
“We have several goals. Marie Schreiber is riding her first race with the team. For her, Blanka Vas and Femke Markus it will be a matter of gaining experience and seeing if they can be a help to Demi Vollering, Marlen Reusser and Elena Cecchini. Those riders carry the pressure and with them we want to get results in the stages. Niamh Fisher-Black can try to have a go at stage wins in their shadow. With Demi Vollering, of course, we are then also aiming for the overall win.”
That will mean focusing on putting in a solid performance in the opening team time trial and then gearing up for the hard climbs to come, particularly in the latter half of the race.
“The fifth stage is quite tricky with some treacherous mountains,” van der Breggen said. “The penultimate stage also has some tricky climbs, but especially the final arrival on the Lagos de Covadonga is incredibly tough, thirteen kilometres at 7.7%.”
Vollering, who is climbing as well as anyone in the peloton right now, will undoubtedly have the attention of her rivals as the road angles upward in central and northern Spain, but that did not stop her from soaring to multiple victories throughout the Classics campaign.
SD Worx’s bid for continued success at the Vuelta a Femenina gets underway on Monday in Torrevieja.