Demi Vollering secures Women’s Tour of Britain as Elisa Balsamo wins final stage

Demi Vollering secured the AJ Bell Women’s Tour title as world champion Elisa Balsamo claimed a sprint victory on the final stage in Felixstowe.

SD Worx rider Vollering was defending a lead of one minute and nine seconds in the general classification standings.

Vollering’s advantage never looked in danger on Saturday’s last leg over 155.3km from Haverhill through to the Suffolk coast.

Demi Vollering celebrates on the podium after winning the Women’s Tour
Demi Vollering kept out of trouble on Saturday’s final stage to celebrate overall victory (Adam Davy/PA)

The Dutchwoman stayed clear of any trouble to finish safely in the peloton.

There had been an early breakaway from Eugenia Bujak, with Dani Christmas, Ane Santesteban, Sofia Bertizzolo and Veronica Ewers all helping to chase her down, albeit interrupted by a level crossing at around 56km left.

The peloton, though, continued to work hard to pull back a lead, which had been more than three minutes, heading into the closing stages.

It was Valcar–Travel & Service rider Balsamo, sporting the rainbow jersey, who had the legs to take the sprint finish on Sea Road ahead of Lorena Wiebes and Chloe Hosking.

Vollering claimed the overall title, 1min 2secs ahead of Team DSM’s Juliette Labous.

Clara Copponi was third for FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, a further three seconds off the pace.

“It feels great – it is really nice to win a stage race for the first time,” said Vollering, who also claimed the prestigious single-day races Liege-Bastogne-Liege and La Course by Tour de France.

“I made a big gap in the time trial and then the last three days were flat so we tried to sprint for Amy (Pieters). We only needed to control it.

“It was a good week and really nice with a lot of people next to the road. It is always nice to see so many people into women’s cycling.”

Alice Barnes (Canyon SRAM Racing) was the top British rider in seventh overall, with three home riders in the top 10 as Pfieffer Georgi (Team DSM) finished eighth and Joss Lowden (Drops Le Col s/b Tempur) 10th.