Baltimore Sun

Van Vleuten wins women’s Tour

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Veteran rider Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Tour de France for the first time on Sunday after clinching the eighth and final stage in style. The 39-year-old Van Vleuten won the stage by 30 seconds from Dutch countrywom­an Demi Vollering, who also finished the race second overall. Italian rider Silvia Persico was third in the stage, 1 minute, 43 seconds behind the winner. In the overall standings, Movistar rider Van Vleuten was 3:48 clear of Vollering and 6:35 ahead of Polish rider Katarzyna Niewiadoma in third spot. Van Vleuten had just about enough energy to punch the air in delight when crossing the line after the 76-mile mountain stage in the Vosges mountains of eastern France. It featured two category 1 climbs, the second ascent being the stage-ending trek up La Super Planche des Belles Filles, which finished with a daunting gradient of 23%. She entered the final stage with a lead of 3:14 seconds over Vollering. On Saturday’s penultimat­e stage, Van Vleuten rose from eighth overall to take the yellow jersey from Marianne Vos.

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