LANDERNEAU, France (AP) — Dutch rider Demi Vollering won a sprint finish on Saturday to claim a maiden victory in La Course, the women’s one-day race organized as a Tour de France curtain-raiser.

There were several unsuccessful attacks in the last three kilometers uphill before former champion Marianne Vos launched the sprint from a reduced group in the final stretch leading to Landerneau, in the western Brittany region.

Vollering edged Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of Denmark in the last meters and Vos — another Dutch rider — finished third.

Vollering won the prestigious Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic earlier this season.

It was the last La Course. Organizers ASO had been holding the event since 2014 in the absence of a women’s Tour de France.

A women’s version of the Tour de France will return from next year, with a start in Paris after the conclusion of the men’s event.

Advertising

The “Tour de France Femmes” aims to become a permanent fixture on the women’s world tour cycling calendar after various failed attempts in the past.

A women’s Tour stage race took place from 1984 to 1989, running parallel with the men’s race before later being shortened.

The latest version of the women’s Tour is scheduled to start on July 24, 2022.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports