Demi Vollering takes the stage but Annemiek van Vleuten does just enough to keep overall lead and win thrilling La Vuelta Femenina

The brilliant Demi Vollering took the stage win on a thrilling days racing at La Vuelta Femenina but she was unable to gap Annemiek van Vleuten by the required amount as the Movistar Team leader secured a famous overall win.

The queen stage of the ninth edition of La Vuelta Femenina with a second category pass in the middle of the route but most importantly the climb to the special category pass of the Lagos de Covadonga the general classification riders were expected to shine.

With the early break being caught with 54km still to go, the race ignited up the Collado Moandi and a group of around 15 riders including the likes of Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering rode clear.

From that select group, the duo of Marlen Reusser and Katarzyna Niewiadoma made a decisive move. Gaining a gap of over a minute as the group behind began to grow with some of the impetus falling away.

With the leading duo still 50 seconds clear as they reached the intermediate sprint, Niewiadoma helped herself to six bonus seconds with Reusser claiming a four second bonus.

As the Movistar Team and Jumbo-Visma began to put their foot down on the front of the peloton behind, the advantage of the two riders up front began to shrink and with around 16km to go they had been caught.

All the leaders and pre-race favourites were together as the ascent of the Lagos de Covadonga began.

Demi Vollering made a first, testing attack with 10km still to go. Van Vleuten now found herself isolated but still managed to work her way up onto Vollering's wheel.

Nevertheless Vollering continued to put the hammer down and suddenly there were only three riders that were able to follow. Only van Vleuten, Gaia Realini and Evita Muzic managed to stay in touch with the Team SD Worx leader.

Soon after Muzic began to drop away and then unfortunately for Realini a bike issue saw her lose the wheel. Thankfully she swiftly managed to get back to the lead of the race although the added stress would not have been ideal.

Showing great heart though Realini was the next rider to attack. Although Vollering could follow, van Vleuten could not meaning suddenly the overall lead of the race was up for grabs.

Vollering started the day just 1:11 down on van Vleuten and with 4km left to go she had gained a 24 second advantage over the Movistar leader.

With 2.5km to go that lead had stretched to over 30 seconds and with the bonus seconds on offer at the line the race was hanging in the balance.

1km left and van Vleuten was 48 seconds behind the leading duo. With Realini offering little in the way of help to Vollering the SD Worx rider decided to try and leave the Italian in her dust and upped the pace again.

With that one last push taking the stage win for Vollering the clock began ticking to see if she would take the overall lead as well. Van Vleuten in her final year as a pro had clearly left everything on the road and crossed the line 56 seconds later just about doing enough to keep the race lead.

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