Anger, tears, guilt, and deep disappointment for Vollering: "Stupid, foolish, I'm very angry at myself" Cycling

Anger, tears, guilt, and deep disappointment for Vollering: "Stupid, foolish, I'm very angry at myself"

Anger, tears, guilt, and deep disappointment for Vollering: "Stupid, foolish, I'm very angry at myself"

Last year, Demi Vollering not only won the Amstel Gold Race but also La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, completing the entire hill trilogy. This year, however, has been different, as the Dutch rider from SD Worx-Protime still sees her victory count at zero. After finishing third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, she was extremely disappointed.

It was Grace Brown who ultimately claimed La Doyenne, winning a sprint among six riders. Top favorite Elisa Longo Borghini finished second, and Vollering completed the podium. was also on site in Liège, where it was immediately apparent how upset the 27-year-old from South Holland was. Understandably so, considering she had been the prime winner in all the Ardennes classics the previous year. The Dutch champion first reacted to NOS, where she appeared in tears and angry at herself in front of the camera. "I waited too long to make my move," she began regarding her final sprint.

"I think I was in Elise Chabbey's wheel and I had hoped that she would close the gap to Longo Borghini and Kasia Niewiadoma," she continued her account of the day. "In such a race, you can usually only start a sprint too early, but this time I went too late and that was really foolish. I'm very angry at myself. It's just a gamble, because I've gone too early here before. It's always a tricky sprint. But in hindsight, I now also know that Chabbey had been leading all day and was more exhausted. Then they are less likely to close gaps. It just sucks, because I had really good legs and such a mistake is incredibly frustrating. I feel like I threw away the victory, yes."

Vollering then concluded that it was a relatively easy edition. "That was due to the headwind. The race only really started from the Redoute, but I felt very good. I tried to wait for the last climb and that's when Elisa went. Then we had to close the gap to the group ahead of us and that’s where the tactics played out. Canyon//SRAM had two women and kept attacking alternately. I tried to gamble there and that actually went perfectly. I felt very much in control and that I had them figured out."

Read more below the photo.

Anger, tears, guilt, and deep disappointment for Vollering: "Stupid, foolish, I'm very angry at myself"
Last year Vollering won the sprint against Longo Borghini

Vollering is deeply frustrated by her mistake in the finale of Liège-Bastogne-Liège

It's logical then that the disappointment was even greater for Vollering, who clearly blames herself. "That final sprint was just awful, very disappointing. It was foolish, because I could have finished it. My teammates worked so hard all day for nothing, and that's a pity. It would be great if I could erase that zero at the Vuelta and win in the red-white-and-blue jersey, since that hasn't happened yet either."

Vollering expressed similar sentiments at the press conference, an hour after the end of the 150-kilometer race in Wallonia. "I knew that the Canyon//SRAM girls were going to attack in turns. And that's exactly what happened. So, I had to stay very sharp. Longo Borghini was alone just like me. She also had to respond to everyone who attacked."

In the final sprint, as mentioned, Vollering started very late. In the elite group of six, she started her sprint from the sixth position, something that will likely keep her awake for a while. "That's where I lost the race. I gambled too much and lost there. I stayed in the draft too long. That was a foolish mistake. It was an easy day, with a peloton that hardly wanted to race. It wasn't until the Redoute that the real racing began. I'm extremely frustrated that I missed out on the victory."

Read more below the photo.

Anger, tears, guilt, and deep disappointment for Vollering: "Stupid, foolish, I'm very angry at myself"
Vollering also looked crestfallen after place two in the Flèche Wallonne

Praises SD Worx-Protime teammates, but haunted by a 'ridiculously foolish mistake'

Vollering praised the efforts of her SD Worx-Protime teammates. "Mischa Bredewold at one point dropped back from the first group to help chase. That was really helpful. Niamh Fisher-Black was also very strong. She pushed hard on the Redoute. It definitely wasn't my teammates' fault. They helped me more than enough. The gap was eventually closed, so it wasn't on them. They actually did very well. Femke Gerritse and Blanka Kata Vas also kept me safe throughout the race and helped with positioning. I'm grateful to them for that."

Vollering's emotions also came up. These were not only directed at the loss in Liège but at the entire season so far. "In the Amstel Gold Race, we rode what was essentially a criterium, which was disappointing. However, there was nothing to be done about it. The Waalse Pijl was easier than usual. It wasn't like other years. But I felt really good there, only Kasia was just a bit stronger. I made no mistakes there. Here in Liège, I was in a position to win, but I made such a ridiculously foolish mistake. I really threw the victory out the window. I'll be nursing a hangover from that for a few days. I quickly realized that I was left empty-handed again. That makes me even more eager for that first victory. It will give me more power, I'm sure of it," she concluded with ambitious words.

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