Kopecky Clinches UAE Tour Victory as Amber Kraak holds on for solo stage victory

Lotte Kopecky secured the overall victory at the UAE Tour for women, with her team, SD Worx-ProTime, focusing primarily on her success in the general classification. Lorena Wiebes, Kopecky’s teammate, came close to a stage win in the final race to Abu Dhabi but was pipped to the post by Amber Kraak of FDJ-Suez. Wiebes expressed her disappointment at just missing out on the win, highlighting the team’s efforts, especially the work of Femke Markus, Femke Gerritse, and Barbara Guarischi. However, securing Kopecky’s overall win was deemed the top priority.

Amber Kraak celebrated her first WorldTour victory, breaking away early in the final stage and holding off a strong challenge from Wiebes in the sprint. Kraak, who moved to FDJ-Suez from Jumbo-Visma this year, shared her reluctance to look back during the tense final moments of her solo escape, fearing the chasing pack might catch her.

The final stage was marked by an early breakaway, with Kraak managing to outlast her fellow escapees and solo to victory despite the concerted efforts of SD Worx-Protime and other sprinters’ teams to reel in the breakaway. Kraak’s win denied SD Worx-Protime a clean sweep of stage victories.

Mavi Garcia, riding for Liv AlUla Jayco, secured third place overall after navigating a late crash in the final stage. The Spanish champion, pleased with her podium finish, reflected on the mixed emotions of the day, balancing happiness with concern for her teammate Letizia Paternoster, who also crashed.

Chiara Consonni of UAE Team ADQ finished fourth in the final stage and expressed a mix of satisfaction and regret over her performance throughout the tour. Consonni, who achieved podium finishes in earlier stages, looked forward to improving her sprinting teamwork in future races.

Rachele Barbieri of Team dsm-firmenich PostNL also aimed for a strong finish in the final sprint but faced challenges, eventually placing sixth. Despite not achieving a higher finish, Barbieri appreciated the team’s effort and saw it as a positive start to the season.

As the UAE Tour Women concluded, Neve Bradbury of Canyon-SRAM confirmed her status as a significant talent, securing second place in the GC and leading the UCI Women’s WorldTour overall and U23 rankings. Bradbury’s performance throughout the race, particularly on the queen stage to Jebel Hafeet, has marked her as a rider to watch in the coming season.

2024 UAE Tour Women Stage 4 result

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Main photo credit: Cor Vos