Kasia Niewiadoma secured an impressive third place overall as the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift came to a close today at La Super Planche des Belles Filles. The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider rode into third overall after an exciting second stage and could keep her place on the GC podium after more than a week of racing as the tour moved from flat and undulating parcours to steep mountains.
CANYON//SRAM Racing also won the team classification by a phenomenal 14 minutes and 19 seconds. The team held the classification lead for the first three stages of the tour and despite slipping down to second mid-tour, was able to regain the lead in the final two days in the mountains. A combined effort from the roster of Alena Amialiusik, Elise Chabbey, Tiffany Cromwell, Kasia Niewiadoma, Soraya Paladin, and Pauliena Rooijakkers.
Kasia Niewiadoma: “I was dreaming of a podium in the GC and I really targeted that in my preparations. Third place hasn’t sunk in yet but I can say that it was a team effort and I’m extremely happy. I’m also proud of our victory in the team classification and of my teammates. It was amazing to see everyone riding so committed and for us to really show the potential of the team and what we can achieve together.”
“I feel like it was one of the hardest races I’ve done, with everyone pushing themselves to the limit. It was amazing to finally see the amount of media attention and live coverage around the world. We received a lot of energy from the fans on the side of the road and it motivated us to go harder. It was really nice to be in this position when you can give something to the fans and the fans give something back to you. I’m grateful for our team’s partners who are also such a big part of our success at the tour and who have kept faith in our team.”
CANYON//SRAM Racing Team Manager and Sport Director Ronny Lauke: “It was an excellent tour for us. Although we did not win a stage, I believe we fulfilled our goals. We aimed for the top five in GC and we achieved third which is exceptionally good. Especially, it shows the development Kasia has made as an athlete.”
“The win in the team GC shows the strength and depth of the entire group and for me personally, this is so rewarding to see how this group of riders stuck together throughout the tour. On the way to achieve those two podiums at the end of the race, we also took two stage podiums and a Most Combative award.”
“I’m incredibly pleased that the team was ready to perform and to really leave a footprint in the race and not only be a part of the race. We have been visible in every stage and were able to animate the race while we tried to achieve results. Sometimes it’s a risky strategy but it’s also a strategy that is interesting for spectators. I think we found a good balance and I’m personally happy with that.”
“The attention level that this Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift created is unmatched. We have not experienced that in our sport before and I’m confident it will be the benchmark for many years. The ASO is the most experienced and biggest race organiser in the world, but the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift is still very young. I hope other race organisers stand up and aim to create something near this level. From the beginning, the quality and depth of race information we received were at a new level. The enormous amount of media attention received during the race helps spread the word about our sport further. Overall, I’m extremely relieved that our long-term partners like Canyon, SRAM, Zwift, and all of our team’s partners, could finally receive attention on the highest stage.”