Krista Doebel-Hickok climbed to an impressive seventh-place finish on stage 4 of the Tour de L’Ardèche after her teammate Sara Poidevin’s epic breakaway attack was reeled in with just one kilometre remaining.
Poidevin was caught at the flamme rouge after her day-long bid to move up the overall classification fell short. Poidevin maintained ninth on GC after holding on for 11th on the stage. She gave everything she had on the last climb.
“Today was just about putting it all on the line and that’s what we did,” said Poidevin. “Of course, I’m gutted to have been caught so close to the finish, but I really just emptied myself.”
“After the first climb and descent, Poido got away and I was just tagging people who tried to bridge. When a rider attacked, I went with her and it ended up forming a five-rider break over the next climb and descent.”
This quintet was eventually reabsorbed by the peloton and Poidevin was brought back soon after, from which point Doebel-Hickok’s focus switched to seeking out a result of her own.
“I haven’t gone that deep for a while. I knew I had to follow the best climbers and I gave it everything to the line. In the end, I can be happy with a top ten.”
Doebel-Hickok’s performance saw her climb into the top 20 overall but for her today was always about trying to improve Poidevin’s position.
“I’m really proud that we raced aggressively to move Poido up in GC rather than defend a top 10. It was the team’s goal today and we showed that in our actions.”
Emma White is beginning to look pretty comfortable in the purple ‘rush’ intermediate sprints jersey which she retained again today.
Tomorrow is definitely one for the sprinters, so watch out for Chloe Hosking as she tries to climb up a couple of steps on the podium and improve on her third place from stage 3.
Stage 4 results
1 Kristen Faulkner (Team Tibco – SVB)
2 Lauren Stephens (Team Tibco – SVB)
3 Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana)
4 Yara Kastelijn (Ciclismo Mondial)
5 Sandra Levenez (Team Arkéa)
6 Victorie Guilman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
7 Krista Doebel-Hickok (Rally Cycling)
General classification after stage 4
1 Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana) 6:56:38
2 Anna Kiesenhofer (Austria) +0:09
3 Lauren Stephens (Team Tibco – SVB) +0:41
9 Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling) +8:27
Rush classification standings
1 Emma White (Rally Cycling) 14pts
2 Marie Le Net (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) 8pts
3 Leigh Ann Ganzar 8pts