Tour de France femmes 2022 - 7e étape - Annemiek Van Vleuten, seule sur sa planète : "C’est une machine, c’est un ovni"

Tour de France femmes 2022 – 7e étape – Annemiek Van Vleuten, seule sur sa planète : “C’est une machine, c’est un ovni”


Sometimes certain attitudes say more than words can say. It was enough to see Annemiek Van Vleuten answer questions from the press after the 7th stage. A race won by a master’s hand. Sweaty, of course, she was all smiles, not hesitating to joke. Her fiercest rival of the day, the Dutchwoman from SD Worx Demi Vollering, with whom she had led the first breakaway of this 127 kilometer long stage from Sélestat to Le Markstein, was breathless, on the verge of tears, clearly exhausted, “completely empty”.

Van Vleuten: “After 6 days of surviving, I wanted to make the biggest gaps possible”

A simple overview of the mattress that the recent winner of the Giro on the competition had on this stage. “I fought so hard, but I’m not strong enough right nowVollering continued. If I had been able to hold on a little longer… But I couldn’t. When I saw her (Van Vleuten) come up front I expected her to do something, I was ready, I hoped to last a bit longer but it didn’t happen.”she said, as if to bow to an opponent far too fierce for the rest of the peloton.

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“She is a bit on another planet compared to us”completed the French Evita Muzic (FDJ) 9th in this stage with, excuse me, 8 minutes and 27 seconds more on the clock than “AVV”. “She’s really impressive. When we heard (on the radio) that we were 6 minutes late even though we were still driving well, we thought she was really on top,” added Juliette Labous (DSM), now 4th overall. “It’s a machine, it’s a UFO, it comes from another planet”added Iris Slappendel, former teammate of Van Vleuten, now a consultant for Eurosport and who was able to follow the capital performance of the 39-year-old rider on a motorcycle.

The main interested party was in levitation, and a little in her world, indeed: “If I realize what I just did? Not reallyshe replied to the microphone of Eurosport. It’s a roller coaster, I was so sick, and there, winning here like that, it’s incredible. It’s also wonderful to finish this stage alone.”. Because the dazzling victory of the gold medalist in the time trial in Tokyo contrasts with the much more ordinary week that the immense champion has lived so far.

Juliette Labous: “I would like to be sick like van Vleuten”

And for good reason, at the end of an already trying Giro, she had arrived in France victim of intestinal problems “unable to eat and drink”. Suffering, she still managed to limit damage during the first 5 stages (21st, then 29th, then 30th, then 13th, then 22nd), attacking these last two mountain days in the Vosges with only 1 minute and 28 seconds behind overall.

While she had already shown signs of remission yesterday, she therefore took advantage of these conditions that she likes to place a relentless boost, as she admitted: “This stage was made for me, I trained like crazy for this kind of stage, which suits me perfectly”. “I wish I was sick like she is (laughs)!”noted, more teasing than jealous, the Frenchwoman Labous.

The moment everything changed: Van Vleuten’s decisive attack on Vollering

“I had to take my chance, because I was behind (in the standings), chained the one who will retire at the end of 2023. My style is to attack, and not to wait for the last moment. I had done a reconnaissance of the stage, and I had seen that the Petit Ballon was a difficult climb. After 6 days of surviving, I wanted to make the biggest gaps possible”.

A mad desire for a yellow jersey

Van Vleuten fulfilled her mission perfectly, putting 24 minutes in the bag for the former yellow jersey holder and double stage winner, Marianne Vos, and relegating Vollering, Niewiadoma, Labous and Ludwig to more than 3 minutes in the standings. general.

The PR debate: Can Labous finish on the podium?

While she aims to achieve an impressive Giro-Tour-Vuelta treble this year, she admitted that, with the help of the competition, she sharpened her teeth to snatch the most famous tunic in the world from her competitors: “For me, at the start, the yellow jersey was more something that was reserved for boys, so I didn’t have a special relationship with it. And then I saw Marianne Vos with it and… (she smiles). So yes I must say that it is a great victory”.

This 93rd pro success in no way guarantees the double winner of the Strade Bianche, Liège-Bastogne-Liège or the Tour of Flanders to finish in the lead, this Sunday, after the 123 kilometers between Lure and the Super Planche des Belles Filles. (step to follow LIVE commented on Eurosport). But after her demonstration at the Markstein, Van Vleuten sent a big message to her opponents: who can be more gluttonous than her to take the top step of the podium?

Annemiek van Vleuten – Tour de France Women

Credit: Getty Images


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