Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten has won the first edition of a new stage cycling race, the Tour de France Femmes.
Van Vleuten took the title by almost four minutes, despite having health problems in the early stages and changing her bike several times. With a price of €250,000, it is the richest race in women’s cycling.
Van Vleuten, 39, won the final stage by 30 seconds over the Netherlands’ Demi Vollering, who also finished the race second overall. Polish rider Katarzyna Niewiadoma was third.
Van Vleuten also has three Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile titles, Olympic gold in the time trial and two world championship golds in the same discipline on her name.
‘I’m super proud to be the first winner of the Tour de France for women, of this new version,’ Van Vleuten said after her victory. ‘I hope it’s a big start and we can build this into an even bigger event. It’s a milestone to win the first one of, hopefully, many more.’
The eight day event is organized by the Amaury Sport Organisation which also runs the Tour de France and is part of the UCI women’s world tour.
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