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Juliette Labous claims brilliant 4th on queen stage and moves up to 4th on GC

The penultimate day at the Tour de France Femmes saw the peloton take on one of the toughest stages on the calendar, with three big climbs and 3000 metres of ascent packed into just a 127-kilometre-long route. It was a fast and attacking start to the day, with Pfeiffer Georgi making an original group of 33 that escaped before the opening climb; where unfortunately double stage winner Lorena Wiebes abandoned the race.

Despite it being a large group, they were caught on the lower slopes and the race completely exploded with eventual stage winner Van Vleuten making an early move. After being well positioned by the rest of the team, Juliette Labous climbed well to make it into the third chasing group behind the leading duo of Van Vleuten and Vollering, and the solo chaser of Longo Borghini.

With the kilometres and climbing ticking by, Labous rode a mature and measured ride; pacing herself really well. Onto the final ascent her group caught Longo Borghini before Niewiadoma then pushed on, with only Labous and Uttrup Ludwig able to follow. Working well together, the trio extended the gap to those behind and kept their pace up over the top of the ascent and onto the rolling plateau before the line. Fighting it out for third place on the day, Labous gave it her all to take a fine fourth place on the stage – the same position she moves up to in GC for the team ahead of tomorrow’s final day of racing.

“It was super hard today,” explained Labous as she recovered on the rollers. “It was just really full gas from the start and didn’t stop until the finish. It’s great to move up to fourth on GC and we will try our best to keep a hold of it tomorrow and even see if we can move up. We’ll give it everything we have.”

Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “The stage went well for us. We had Pfeiffer in a big group of 30 that went clear on the flat but they were brought back pretty quickly on the climb, where it then exploded. The race then entered a bit of a status quo with the two out front, one behind and then Juliette in a group of seven. I think the situation was good for us. We wanted to stay in the group, really focus on it and work to close Longo Borghini in the valley. In the end they caught her on the climb which was also good for us. In the end we could benefit from that as Juliette had a really good day and climbed super well. We managed to take a really nice fourth place and move up some spots on GC. We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”


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