'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 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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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.