PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES, France (AP) — Veteran rider Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Tour de France for the first time on Sunday after clinching the eighth and final stage in style.
The 39-year-old Van Vleuten won the stage by 30 seconds from Dutch countrywoman Demi Vollering, who also finished the race second overall. Italian rider Silvia Persico was third in the stage, 1 minute, 43 seconds behind the winner.
In the overall standings, Movistar rider Van Vleuten was 3:48 clear of Vollering (Team SD Worx) and 6:35 ahead of Polish rider Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon–SRAM) in third spot.
Van Vleuten had just about enough energy to punch the air in delight when crossing the line after the 123-kilometer (76-mile) mountain stage in the Vosges mountains of eastern France. It featured two category 1 climbs, the second ascent being the stage-ending trek up La Super Planche des Belles Filles, which finished with a daunting gradient of 23%.