Team SD Worx reigned in the final stage of Itzulia. The Dutch World Tour formation surprised by opting for the attack with Marlen Reusser. The Swiss metronome successfully completed a 12.8-kilometre effort and arrived solo. Good for the double, as on the final day of Itzulia, she thus took over the leader’s jersey from teammate Demi Vollering, who sprinted to second place. “I can’t believe it yet. Our tactical plan came out exactly. I am overwhelmed by this success.”
The race broke open about 30 kilometres from the line when Annemiek van Vleuten posted an acceleration uphill. Demi Vollering did not give her an inch of space and joined the world champion over the top. Not much later, Marlen Reusser also came up top in an elite group. Vollering then stopped her legs and everything came together again, after which Reusser accelerated scorching and systematically increased her lead. The Swiss arrived solo and won by 2 minutes 38 seconds ahead of Demi Vollering, who won the sprint behind. Good for 1 and 2 again for Team SD Worx in the final stage of Itzulia as well as in the final classification.
“I can’t believe it,” said Marlen Reusser. “I am overwhelmed by this success. Our plan came completely true. We chose to ride aggressively again and not limit ourselves to defending Demi’s leader’s jersey. I would go on the attack. I checked with Demi how she felt about it should I take the overall victory because of this tactical move, but she granted it to me. It showed, because when she was the only one able to follow Annemiek, she stuck to our plan and waited for me. That gave me the chance to make my attack. She is a real champion.”
Reusser eventually won solo with a comfortable lead. “I am happy with my performance. The whole team was phenomenal in Itzulia. I don’t quite realise yet that I take the overall win. For me, Demi and I win here together. Our bond is really special. We went on altitude training together and after that we have won so many times. This couldn’t have gone better.”
Demi Vollering was also happy for her teammate. “Every stage I was on the podium together with Marlen. So I am super happy that she takes the last stage and the overall win. When someone from Team SD Worx wins, we all win.”
The Dutch World Tour formation won every stage of Itzulia, had two riders on the podium each time and also finished first and second overall. Marlen Reusser also took home the points jersey, while Demi Vollering took the mountain jersey. Blanka Vas finished second in the youth classification and Team SD Worx was also best in the Itzulia team classification.