'The girls who were still there can blame themselves': Annemiek van Vleuten critical of team-mates at World Championships

Demi Vollering was due to be a key rider for the sprint but didn't have the legs after multiple mechanicals

Ellen van Dijk and Annemiek van Vleuten
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Annemiek van Vleuten was not happy after the women's elite road race at the World Championships, saying that only Ellen van Dijk and herself did the job of making the race hard.

After working hard for Marianne Vos, Van Vleuten and Van Dijk also tried multiple attacks to try and soften up the opposition, but then eventually had to try and set Vos up for the sprint.

Van Vleuten was not happy with the performance of her team, as Vos was beaten in the dash for the line by Italy's Elisa Balsamo,  while Demi Vollering finished seventh. 

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Speaking to Het Nieuwblad (opens in new tab) after the race, Van Vleuten said: "From the Flandrien circuit we would make it hard, but I kind of have the feeling that I was the only one who did that.

"How can that be? I think you should ask the others that - If you look back at the sprint, that should be better. If that makes her [Vos] second, that's a real shame. It wasn't up to Ellen [van Dijk] and me to do the lead-out. The other girls who were still there can blame themselves for that.”

After the race, a clearly upset Vollering was also interviewed about how she thought the race went.

The 24-year-old Vollering spoke about how she wasn't able to give Vos the lead-out wanted as she had used up all her energy coming back from multiple mechanicals and crashes throughout the day.

Then she started to cry, saying: "It's just a shame because Marianne deserved that jersey. That's too bad. The emotions always come to me very quickly, but I'm just bummed that I couldn't help those girls today. 

"Did I do a lot of work? I think the girls think otherwise. They didn't look at me after the race, so I don't think they're very happy. Anyway, I think everyone is very disappointed after the second place. I'm sure it will be fine."

The next big focus in the women's calendar is the first ever women's Paris-Roubaix,  Vos and Van Vleuten will look to take revenge, albeit as rivals with their trade teams. 

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