Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) soloes to stage 7 victory at the 2022 Tour de France Femmes.

Tour de France Femmes: Van Vleuten takes stage 7 and yellow jersey with dominant solo ride

Dutchwoman finishes over three minutes clear of nearest rival Demi Vollering on race's Queen stage.

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

This story first appeared on VeloNews.com.

Pre-race favorite Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) bounced back from stomach problems and a resulting time loss earlier in the Tour de France Femmes to seize the yellow jersey with a standout display on Saturday’s 127.1 kilometer queen stage of the race. 

The Dutchwoman went clear with Demi Vollering (SD Worx) inside the first hour or so of racing, dropping the other riders on the first of the day’s three category one climbs. 

She then shed Vollering on the second ascent and gained time on the rest of the field from there, cresting the summit of the final climb and then plunging down to the finish in Le Markstein over 3:26 clear of her compatriot. 

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Suez Futuroscope) won a three-woman sprint for third, 5:16 behind. Juliette Labous (Team DSM) and Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing), who had done the bulk of the riding on the final climb, were a further two seconds back. 

It was a dominant display by Van Vleuten and puts the 39 year old into a commanding position heading into Sunday’s final stage of the race.

“It was such a rollercoaster after being sick,” she said. “I was so sick, and then to win here like this is unbelievable. And beautiful to finish here solo. Incroyable.”

Asked if she had planned to attack so early on the stage, she confirmed it was a deliberate decision. 

“For sure I had to try it, because I was behind. I lost some time [earlier in the race], some seconds. And my style is always attacking, and not waiting until the final. I did recon the stage and I saw already that Le Petit Ballon was a hard one. This was such a hard stage that I knew that if I would be fit enough after being sick, it would be my day.

“After six days waiting and surviving and recovering, I wanted to make the biggest time gaps. And that also means going on the first climb. I am a little bit older than the other girls so I can do a lot of training, so this stage was really suited to me.”

Part of the reason for Van Vleuten’s superiority has previously been attributed to training long distances and also with male riders. She commented on her buildup for races in this regard. “I want to make something clear. It is not that my colleagues should train as much as I do, it also has something to do with training years,” she said. “I have a lot of capacity and then it comes down to fitness, and that is something I am really good in. And this stage suited that really well. If my colleagues continue for some more years they can for sure also do it.”

She jumped up seven places to first overall and will begin Sunday’s final stage well clear of the rest. Vollering is 3:09 back, Niewiadoma at 4:20 and Labous is at 5:09. Uttrup Ludwig and Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) are fifth and sixth, just under six minutes in arrears. 

“Before the yellow was for me something of the guys, and I didn’t have a feeling with it,” Van Vleuten said about the maillot jaune. “But then I saw Marianne Vos riding with it. I have to say it is a nice one. It is a beautiful extra present of this beautiful victory.”

Tour de France Femmes (2.WWT) Sélestat → Le Markstein

VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek
1
VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek Movistar Team
2
VOLLERING Demi Team SD Worx
3
LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup FDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope
4
LABOUS Juliette Team DSM
5
NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna Canyon//SRAM Racing
6
PERSICO Silvia Valcar - Travel & Service
7
LONGO BORGHINI Elisa Trek - Segafredo
8
ŽIGART Urška Team BikeExchange - Jayco
9
MUZIC Évita FDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope
10
ROOIJAKKERS Pauliena Canyon//SRAM Racing

VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek

VOS Marianne

VOLLERING Demi

VAN ANROOIJ Shirin

Canyon//SRAM Racing

Editors' Picks