An ecstatic Annemiek van Vleuten on Sunday said she was “very proud” to be the winner of the inaugural women’s Tour de France after her perfectly judged ride secured her victory the eighth and final stage.
The 39-year-old Movistar Team rider, who grabbed the lead with a brilliant solo performance in the mountains on Saturday, bided her time in the peloton on the 123km route from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges before powering up the final climb to seal her triumph.
She crossed the line 30 seconds ahead of fellow Dutch rider Demi Vollering of SD Worx who took second overall, 3 minutes, 48 seconds behind her compatriot. Polish rider Katarzyna Niewiadoma of Canyon—SRAM came third in the final standings after a fourth place finish on Sunday’s stage.
“That is a dream come true: winning in yellow, on top,” a delighted Van Vleuten said.
It marked a big moment for women’s cycling which has flirted with versions of a Tour de France in the past, each of them short-lived.
This new version began in Paris a week ago just hours before Jonas Vingegaard claimed victory on the Champs-Elysees in the men’s Tour de France.
It has attracted good crowds on the route and strong television coverage, suggesting that the race might finally be here to stay.
“I am so proud to be the first woman to win this new version,” said Van Vleuten, who can add the crown to her many other titles, including three Giro d’Italia wins and Olympic time-trial gold in Tokyo last year. “I hope it is a big start for more and that we can build this event to a bigger one for women.”
“Finally I can really enjoy it. Yesterday was an unbelievable day, but I still wanted to keep the focus and not to celebrate,” she said. “Now I can finally go for ice cream and pizza tonight and celebrate with the team. Sometimes we take too little time to celebrate, it [cycling] always continues. But tonight I can celebrate without thinking about tomorrow.”
Erik ten Hag’s first competitive game as manager tomorrow should herald a fresh start for Manchester Untied, but familiar failings behind the scenes have made the Dutchman’s difficult job an almost impossible one. Ten Hag’s predecessor Ralf Rangnick signed off from his miserable caretaker spell last season by stating that the United squad needed “open heart surgery” and up to 10 new players after laboring to a sixth-placed finish in the English Premier League. So far, only three new faces have arrived at Old Trafford — Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen. The United squad is arguably weaker than last season, with
Taiwanese infielder Chang Yu on Saturday made his major league pitching debut when he was pulled off third base in the bottom of the eighth to preserve the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen in their 9-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Chang’s chance to take the mound came as the Tigers’ scoring was already out of hand for the Rays. Detroit mounted a rare offensive outburst, leading Rays manager Kevin Cash to preserve his pitchers by allowing Chang to throw an inning. He retired Willi Castro on what the scoreboard called a 40mph curveball, but Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop hit the next pitch for
Australia’s Donna Lobban said she and her Scottish husband Greg Lobban would not be signing “divorce papers” after she beat him in mixed doubles squash competition at the Commonwealth Games on Friday. Donna Lobban and her partner, Cameron Pilley, came back from a game down to win 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 and reach the semi-finals in Birmingham, England. The defending champion, 35, said she was braced for her husband’s reaction. “I might have to put up with him being in a terrible mood for a while, but if I had lost it would have been him putting up with me being in a
Taiwan yesterday outlasted the Dominican Republic 9-5 in a rain-soaked slugfest in Tainan to take home the bronze medal in the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. Taiwan, who won the previous edition of the tournament in 2019, were eliminated from gold medal contention on Friday with a loss to the US, and needed a comeback win over South Korea a day later to reach yesterday’s third-place playoff. The US and Venezuela were playing for gold in a game that started at 7:45pm. The US were leading 7-2 at the bottom of the fifth inning as of press time last night. In what was