Evita Muzic Takes First WWT Win In 4 Years At La Laguna Negra On Stage 6

The sixth stage of La Vuelta Femenina 24 provided a pivotal 132.1km journey from Tarazona to the challenging summit finish at La Laguna Negra, Vinuesa. Marked by strategic breakaways, significant wind challenges, and a fierce final climb, this stage epitomised the tactical depth of professional women’s cycling, crucial in the overall classification battle.

Key Developments from the Start

The race began with 124 competitors, notably absent were Gaia Realini and Kasia Niewiadoma, impacting team strategies. The early kilometres saw multiple breakaway attempts as riders were eager to gain an early advantage. A breakaway including Laura Molenaar, Fauve Bastiaenssen, Claudia San Justo, and Aurela Nerlo eventually formed, carving out a lead of 3’50” by the 70km mark.

Dynamics Leading to the Climax

As the race approached Vinuesa, Marianne Vos leveraged the intermediate sprint to extend her lead in the points classification, showcasing her strategic acumen. The main group, driven by Team SD Worx-Protime, intensified their pace, absorbing the early breakaway just 18km from the finish, setting the stage for the final showdown.

The Final Climb: La Laguna Negra

Making its debut in the women’s race, La Laguna Negra proved to be a battleground for the climbers. Yesterday’s winner Demi Vollering, the red jersey holder, took command in the latter part of the climb, supported by her teammate Marlen Reusser. Their efforts were crucial in shedding riders from the main group. In the critical final kilometres, Vollering’s pace was relentless, leading to a select group that included only the strongest climbers.

Climactic Finish

In a thrilling sprint finish, Évita Muzic of FDJ-SUEZ emerged victorious, surpassing Vollering in the final metres to claim her first stage win of this edition. Muzic’s performance not only highlighted her climbing prowess but also her tactical insight, as she was the only rider capable of consistently matching Vollering’s pace.

Évita Muzic expressed her strategy and satisfaction, “When I saw I could follow, I focused intensely. Winning today feels incredible, especially since my teammates worked so hard.” Demi Vollering reflected on the stage, “The climb was tougher with the headwind today, but maintaining position was key. Despite not winning, extending my lead in the GC feels like a victory.”

Overall Impact on General Classification

Vollering’s efforts saw her extend her lead in the overall standings, now leading Elisa Longo Borghini by 56 seconds and Riejanne Markus by 1:14. Her performance underlines her dominance and strategic intelligence, setting her up well for the upcoming stages.

Preview of Upcoming Stages

Looking ahead, the race continues with a flatter stage before entering the final mountain challenges in the Community of Madrid. This next stage maybe offers the sprinters one last opportunity to shine despite the gradient, thereby promising exciting racing dynamics as the Vuelta Femenina approaches its climax.

Stage 6 of La Vuelta Femenina 24 was a testament to the strategic depth and physical demands of professional women’s cycling, with Évita Muzic and Demi Vollering showcasing exceptional athleticism and tactical nous. As the race heads into its critical final stages, the excitement continues to build, with all eyes on the red jersey and the potential for further dramatic shifts in the general classification.

2024 Vuelta Femenina Stage 6 result

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Main photo credit: CXCLING