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Annemiek van Vleuten has said she “laughed really hard” at Demi Vollering’s tearful interview. She was commenting on the day the Vuelta lead, and ultimate victory, was lost by Vollering

Annemiek van Vleuten may not have been as strong as Demi Vollering this season, including at La Vuelta Femenina, but she still won the Spanish race after Vollering stopped for a nature break on stage 6, with van Vleuten attacking her.

She gained 1:06 on Vollering and took the race lead from her. Even though Vollering went on the attack on the final stage 24 hours later, gaining time and winning the stage, van Vleuten fought to limit her losses and won the race by nine seconds.]

After stage 6, Vollering gave an interview to Dutch broadcaster NOS and was clearly upset and disappointed at how the stage had gone. However, on the same day van Vleuten was delighted her rival had made a mistake – see video below – and now she has doubled down on that.

She said she was greatly amused when Vollering gave her tearful interview, insisting her rival’s tactics on the day were “not smart”, adding she had always planned to attack when she did because a crosswind section was approaching.

“I thought the interview she gave afterwards was hilarious,” van Vleuten has now told the Bureau Sport podcast. “We had been planning to accelerate there for a long time, and afterwards it turned out that all teams already knew this. So it just wasn’t the right time to pee. So I actually laughed really hard at her ‘cry cry’ story. It just wasn’t a smart move.”

Van Vleuten has also insisted there is no bad blood between her and compatriot Vollering, saying she embraced the rivalry because people seemed to enjoy it.

“I don’t hate Vollering. She is a completely different person and has a completely different motivation in top sport. She shows that she can also achieve top performances from a completely different training discipline. However, she didn’t motivate me to win more.”

Back in May, Annemiek van Vleuten clearly delighted in taking Demi Vollering’s race lead at La Vuelta

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