Defending champion Demi Vollering (SD Worx) relished the thought of climbing the iconic Alpe d’Huez at the 2024 Tour de France Femmes, a childhood ambition of hers. The fabled alpine climb serves as the climax of the 2024 edition, revealed on Wednesday, October 25, in Paris.
Vollering dominated the 2023 race and the queen stage, taking a solo victory on the Col du Tourmalet and cementing herself as the overall champion. Her eventual winning margin was 3:03 after the stage 8 time trial.
“It’s really special, also because when I was like a little kid, Alpe d’Huez was the first mountain I knew about,” said Vollering after the route reveal.
“It was the first mountain I thought I wanted to ride, but it actually never happened. Now I can finally do it and even in the Tour de France.”
The SD Worx star was the best rider in 2023 and took wins at all of Strade Bianche, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallone, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Vuelta a Burgos, Tour de France Femmes, Tour de Romandie, and was second overall at La Vuelta Femenina, Itzulia Women, and Tour de Suisse.
She also won the road race title at the Dutch national championships. Her historic season saw her rewarded with the Velo d’Or.
Vollering, 26, was also excited for the Dutch homecoming as the 2024 race starts with four stages in the Netherlands and Belgium. Vollering was born in Pijnacker, a Dutch town in between Rotterdam and the Hague, the start and finish locations of the opening stage.
“It is really exciting to see the course now finally because I dreamed a lot already about it. Maybe it’s even passing my home,” said Vollering.
Vollering was brilliant in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2023, taking her national title and completing a famous Ardennes Classics triple into Liège, the finish location of stage 4. It will also be raced on a parcours akin to that of Liège–Bastogne–Liège and contain many of the same famous climbs.
“Also, I became Dutch Champion in Limburg and Amstel Gold Race, of course, so a lot of emotions came back, and I’m really excited.”
It’s fair to say Vollering would arrive as the out-and-out favourite were the race to start tomorrow, with main GC rival Annemiek van Vleuten recently retiring from the sport after a stunning career, but a lot can happen between now, and August and a new challenger to Vollering’s crown could come to the fore.