"I don't hate Demi Vollering" insists Annemiek van Vleuten, however "I actually laughed really hard at her 'cry cry' story" during 2023 La Vuelta Femenina

Annemiek van Vleuten's legendary career came to an end at the Simac Ladies Tour last month and she has now reflected on her time in the peloton and a point of note is her much-discussed relationship with fellow Dutchwoman, Demi Vollering.

"No," is van Vleuten's emphatic response when asked on the Bureau Sport podcast if there was indeed any tension between herself and Vollering. "I embraced the struggle because I felt that people like it. I don't hate Vollering. She is a completely different person and has a completely different motivation in top sport. She shows that she can also achieve top performances from a completely different training discipline. However, she didn't motivate me to win more."

The pair have gone head-to-head numerous times over the years with both taking victories against each other. One such occasion of battle between Vollering and Van Vleuten came at the 2023 La Vuelta Femenina earlier this year. During the race, Van Vleuten took time on her compatriot after the Team SD Worx took a toilet break and post-stage Vollering revealed her anger at the situation in an interview.

"I thought the interview she gave afterwards was hilarious. We had been planning to accelerate there for a long time, and afterwards it turned out that all teams already knew this," Van Vleuten recalls. "So it just wasn't the right time to pee. So I actually laughed really hard at her 'cry cry' story. It just wasn't a smart move."

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