PLANCHE DES BELLES FILES, France – Veteran rider Annemieke van Vleuten completed the eighth and final stage in style on Sunday to win her first women’s Tour de France.
Van Vleuten, 39, won the race by 30 seconds, with Demi Vollerng of the Netherlands finishing second overall. Italian rider Silvia Persico finished third, 1 minute 43 seconds behind the winner.
In the overall standings, Movistar rider Van Vleeten is third, 3:48 ahead of Volring (Team SD Works) and 6:35 ahead of Poland’s Katrzena Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).
Van Vleuten had enough energy to punch the air with joy as he crossed the line after the 123km (76 miles) mountain stage in the Vosges Mountains in eastern France. It features two Category 1 climbs, the second ascent being a high-level walk to La Super Planche des Belles Fils, with an impressive 23% completion.
She went into the final stage with a 3:14 lead over Voller.
On Saturday’s final stage, Van Vleuten started from eighth overall and took the yellow jersey from Marianne Voss in an impressive fashion in the Vosges.
Van Vleuten added this victory to a long list of achievements, including three Giro d’Italia women’s titles, Olympic gold in the time trial and two World Championship golds in the same discipline.
Her career was threatened six years ago when she broke her spine in a fall during the women’s Olympic road race at the Brazil Games and was placed under intensive medical care.
Voss was one of the favourites, but the three-time Giro d’Italia champion finished 26th overall.