Video: Annemiek van Vleuten wins 2022 Women’s Tour de France

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It seems only fitting that Annemiek van Vleuten — a cyclist whose career has been defined by comebacks — won the long-awaited revival of the Women’s Tour de France following a “rollercoaster” ride of her own.

Van Vleuten, who began feeling sick just hours after stage one on Sunday, was struggling just to eat and drink earlier this week. The two-time Olympic medalist turned things around in the mountains, winning stage seven on Saturday with a dominant solo ride.

The 39-year-old Dutchwoman entered the eighth and final stage of the 2022 Tour de France Femmes with a 3 minute, 14 second lead, but her victory appeared in jeopardy early on Sunday due to mechanical issues that resulted in six bike changes.

But van Vleuten came back. Like she always does.

Six years ago at the Rio Olympics, Van Vleuten was leading the women’s road race and having the best race of her career when she had a horrendous crash on a downhill turn. She was placed in intensive care at a Brazilian hospital, where she was diagnosed with three small spine fractures and a concussion.

Van Vleuten was back on her bike within two weeks and went on to win her first world title in 2017 and two Olympic medals (gold in the time trial, silver in the road race) at last summer’s Tokyo Games.

On Sunday, van Vleuten attacked with six kilometers remaining and went on to win both the stage — a 123-kilometer mountainous climb from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles — and the 2022 Tour de France Femmes title. (A video highlight is embedded above.) 

“That’s actually a dream that comes true,” she said. “It was not an easy stage. It was not an easy week… and even today it was not easy. But to finish here in yellow? Solo? (That’s) the best way.”

2022 Tour de France Femmes: Results, highlights, event history, stage details and more

Van Vleuten, who has said she plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2023 season, also hinted at the progress still left to be made in women’s cycling.

“I hope it’s a big start for more and that you can build this event to a bigger event for the women, also. Men and women,” she said.

2022 Tour de France Femmes – Final General Classification Ranking (Top 10): 

Rank Athlete Team Total Time / Time Behind
1 Annemiek van Vleuten Movistar Team 26h 55′ 44″
2 Demi Vollering SD Worx + 3′ 48″
3 Kasia Niewiadoma Canyon–SRAM + 6′ 35″
4 Juliette Labous Team DSM + 7′ 28″
5 Silvia Persico Valcar–Travel & Service + 8′ 00″
6 Elisa Longo Borghini Trek–Segafredo + 8′ 26″
7 Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig FDJ Suez Futuroscope + 8′ 59″
8 Évita Muzic FDJ Suez Futuroscope + 13′ 54″
9 Veronica Ewers EF Education–EasyPost + 15′ 05″
10 Mavi García UAE Team ADQ + 15′ 15″

2022 Women’s Tour de France: Stage-by-Stage Results and Standings

Stage

Date

Course

Distance and Course Type

Stage Winner

Yellow Jersey (General Classification Leader)

Green Jersey (Points Classification Leader)

Polka Dot Jersey (Mountains Classification Leader)

Young Rider Classification Leader

Team Classification Leader

Combativity Award

Stage 1 24 July Paris (Tour Eiffel) to Champs-Élysées 82 km (51 mi) — Flat stage Lorena Wiebes Lorena Wiebes Lorena Wiebes Femke Markus Maike van der Duin Canyon-SRAM Gladys Verhulst
Stage 2 25 July Meaux to Provins 135 km (84 mi) — Hilly stage Marianne Vos Marianne Vos Marianne Vos Maike van der Duin Maike van der Duin
Stage 3 26 July Reims to Épernay 133 km (83 mi) –Medium-mountain stage Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig Femke Gerritse Julie De Wilde Alena Amialiusik
Stage 4 27 July Troyes to Bar-sur-Aube 126 km (78 mi) –Medium-mountain stage Marlen Reusser Julie De Wilde SD Worx Marlen Reusser
Stage 5 28 July Bar-le-Duc to Saint-Dié-des-Vosges 175 km (109 mi) –Hilly stage Lorena Wiebes Julie De Wilde Victoire Berteau
Stage 6 29 July Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Rosheim 128 km (80 mi) –Flat stage Marianne Vos Julia Borgstrom Marie Le Net
Stage 7 30 July Sélestat to Le Markstein 127 km (79 mi) –Mountain stage Annemiek van Vleuten Annemiek van Vleuten Demi Vollering Shirin van Anrooij Canyon-SRAM Annemiek van Vleuten
Stage 8 31 July Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles 123 km (76 mi) — Mountain stage Annemiek van Vleuten Mavi Garcia

Final Winner

Annemiek van Vleuten

Marianne Vos

Demi Vollering

Shirin van Anrooij

Canyon-SRAM

Marianne Vos

You can watch a replay of stage eight of the 2022 Women’s Tour de France via Peacock

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC