Demi Vollering wins women's Liège-Bastogne-Liège to complete historic Ardennes Triple

The SD Worx rider beat Trek-Segaredo's Elisa Longo Borghini in a finish line sprint

Demi Vollering
(Image credit: Getty)

Demi Vollering completed an historic Ardennes Triple by out-sprinting Elisa Longo Borghini to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Off the back of wins in Amstel Gold and La Flèche Wallonne, the SD Worx rider made it a hat-trick of triumphs in a week and secured her fifth win in just eight race days this spring; she has previously won Strade Bianche and Dwars door Vlaanderen.

Vollering pipped Longo Borghini to the line, the duo having jumped clear from a chase group in the final 15km. Vollering's teammate Marlen Reusser got her reward for a valiant performance by placing third.

The win wraps up an utterly dominant spring from SD Worx, with Vollering, 26, now arguably the undisputed strongest woman in the peloton.

She is only the second women ever after Anna van der Breggen in 2017 to take the Amstel-Flèche-Liège triple.

With 30km to go, however, it looked more likely that it would be Reusser on the top-step of the podium, the Swiss rider enjoying a lead of around one minute after attacking from the breakaway group of five she helped to instigate.

Reusser was joined in the break by other big-name riders: Anna Henderson was representing Jumbo-Visma; Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Amanda Spratt were riding for Canyon-Sram and Trek-Segafredo, respectively; and Esmée Peperkamp was DSM's hope.

The quintet only shackled themselves from the peloton after 70km of racing, and it was on the climb of Côte de la Redoute - so often the decisive point of the race - that Reusser was able to go clear alone.

As Reusser went into solo mode and built a lead that hovered around the 45 seconds margin, attacks came from the peloton, including from Annemiek van Vleuten. None, however, amounted to anything significant, until 15km to go when Spratt and her Trek-Segafredo teammate Shirin Van Anrooij launched off the front in an attempt to bring Reusser back.

Before long, the Swiss rider was swallowed up, and it was then Vollering and Longo Borghini who were at the head of the race, riding around 20 seconds in front of the chase group of five that included Reusser and Van Vleuten.

It became ever more certain that one of the two would be crowned the winner, and as they turned into the final kilometre, the cat-and-mouse games began with Longo Borghini reluctantly leading Vollering out. At 250m to go, the Italian opened up the sprint but Vollering jumped off her back wheel and came round her to make it three wins in as many Ardennes races.

Results: Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes (142.8km)

1. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx, in 3:50.47
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at same time
3. Marlen Reusser (Swi) SD Worx, at 22s
4. Riejanne Markus (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-Sram
6. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar, all at same time
7. Gaia Realini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 25s
8. Liane Lippert (Ger) Movistar, at 1-24
9. Soraya Paladin (Ita) Canyon-Sram
10. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZL) SD Worx, all at same time

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