My Best & Worst Ever Race Days – Demi Vollering

Aug 18, 2020

BEST DAY

It was at the Giro dell’Emilia, at the end of last season. I won the race, but what made it special is that the team kept me out of the wind the whole day and then in the finale Lorena [Wiebes] took me to the front and dropped me in the perfect position before the last climb so that I didn’t have to waste any energy. They put so much confidence in me.

 The first kilometre of the climb was ridden really hard, so I had to give it everything to stay near the front. The group became smaller and I knew that I felt strong. Elisa Longo Borghini was there and riding well but I had already beaten her in a sprint at the end of a climb so that gave me more belief that I could do it. I felt so much confidence that day and didn’t feel afraid of anyone else.

I had ridden all day with the idea in my head that I was going to win that race and my teammates kept saying that they were really confident in me too. In fact, they had talked about this race all year, saying ‘Demi, you will win this race!’ When I then won the race, it was so special, and it made a really nice end to the season.

WORST DAY

The last stage of the Tour of Norway last year was really bad. I had crashed three times already, and the day before I had placed third on the stage that was my goal, so it felt a bit like my race was already over.

From the start of the season, the Tour of Norway had been a big goal for me, but two weeks before it I rode the RideLondon Classique and crashed really hard [in the horrific finish straight pile-up]. I had taken Lorena to the front and then when they started sprinting Kirsten Wild really changed her line which caused the whole peloton to crash. There were bikes flying everywhere. I flipped over my bike and crashed onto my belly really hard. I couldn’t breathe for what felt like a long time and there were girls lying all over the road. It looked like a warzone. It was scary.

I spoke with my coach and DS and we decided to still do the Tour of Norway, but with no pressure because I wasn’t really fit. From the start of the race the weather was really bad. On the first stage the peloton split in the wind while I was struggling to remove my rain jacket. I tried to get across to the first group but crashed on a very slippery roundabout.

My goal had been to go for a GC result and my chances disappeared straight away because I lost a lot of time. The second day was also bad, and then on stage 3 I crashed twice and somehow still finished third.

By the last stage, my motivation was really gone. I had crashed so many times, my body was really painful, my head was gone, and the weather was bad too. My goal on the last day was to help Lorena in the final but I didn’t make it. I was able to close a gap for her before the final and then I was done, I couldn’t do any more. I was happy that I could still help the team a bit.

Demi rides Factor’s O2 VAM for the 2020 season.

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