Procycling

VOLLERING: SAME BUT DIFFERENT

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Dutch riders continued to dominate women’s cycling, as they did last year, and the year before that, and the - well, you get the picture. Riders from the Netherland­s won 75 times in 2021, with the usual suspects Annemiek van Vleuten, Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos pulling in the majority of those wins, but there are younger women waiting to fill their shoes. The conveyor belt of Dutch talent rolls on.

Lorena Wiebes has been on the scene for a couple of years now, with the young sprinter racking up 36 wins in her three seasons as a pro so far; she seems more than ready to become the sport’s dominant sprinter. It is another Dutch rider, however, who looks ready to inherit the all-round mantle of Van Vleuten, Van der Breggen and Vos: Demi Vollering.

The 25-year old from South Holland has had a dream first year at SD Worx, winning her first Women’s WorldTour race in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. She went on to win La Course as well, before taking an overwhelmi­ng victory at The Women’s Tour, her first GC win. She seems to be a racer in the mould of Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen, an excellent time triallist who also has a surprising amount of punch in a bunch finish too, as she proved at La Course. She is not a bad climber either, finishing third overall at the Giro Rosa and the Vuelta a Burgos. With a year under her belt shadowing Van der Breggen now over, her rise will surely continue.

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