Wow, this stage was completely thrilling! So hard to keep up with the action, and with Kasia Niewiadoma going in with a weakened team to defend her General Classification lead against the massed peloton of ravenous, attacking, ferocious big squads, it was always going to be nail-biting.
And wow, they didn’t disappoint! On the short, sharp climbs and descents, it was attacking at every opportunity, with the Leader’s jersey being passed back and forth – where would it end?
As usual, videos first, then the final Look Mum No Hands! #RiderResults game – and then results, reports, more videos, photos and the usual media. As always, I’ll edit more in as I see it.
Next, shorter highlights from the race organisers and the UCI.
#RiderResults Stage 5 pick
Every day, I’ve been picking riders for the Look Mum No Hands! #Rider Results competition. We name a rider, and all you have to do is tweet LMNH with where you think she’ll come in the stage, before the last 5km, and you could win podium pants (erm underwear, non-Brits) from their fantastic shop.
I’m picking today’s rider because I always enjoy her racing, and her tweeting. Check this out:
ORICA-Scott came into the race without their big GC contenders, and their plan was clearly for stage wins – and wow, they managed that in Stage 4! But Gracie Elvin was also out in the breaks during this race, and really trying her hardest.
She’s a tough rider who’s usually found domestiquing, although she has a strong sprint – and coming second in the Ronde van Vlaanderen this year has to be the highlight of her career, so far. She’s not usually known as a bunch sprinter, but she does like getting into breaks, as in last year’s Ronde van Drenthe WorldTour…. where do you think she’ll end up today?
Now, back to the race….
1. Sarah Roy (Aus) ORICA-Scott, 3:27:48
2. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans, + 00:01
3. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Sunweb, + 00:05
4. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini, + 00:17
5. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM, s.t.
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5, s.t.
7. Alexandra Manly (Aus) ORICA-Scott, s.t.
8. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Sunweb, s.t.
9. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb, s.t.
10. Sofie de Vuyst (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota, + 00:22
I think my excitement for this win really showed in this moment and also the ones that immediately followed 🙊 Thank you so much to my team, coach, fam and friends who always support me and can laugh with me on this. Also, the race organisers, staff, volunteers and spectators who were so kind to me and make this tour so awesome! ✌️ • • • #ovowomenstour #wwt #cycling #womenscycling #womeninsport #victory #teamwork #squadra #stackedittho #heavycrash #droppedmyself #goober #gumby #donkey #hindsight #liveitdown Pic: @tdwsport
So against all the odds, Niewiadoma managed to keep her GC lead, although it shortened. Here’s the GC after Stage 4, and here’s what she had to say after the stage:
Love how Niewiadoma was always smiling!