A tough and challenging 107 kilometre long parcours awaited the women’s peloton this morning as they took on the eighth edition of La Course by Le Tour de France. With uncategorised and categorised climbs littered throughout the day, plus a stinging and punchy ascent to the line, it was set to be a hard day out.
From the flag drop it was a fast start to the race with multiple attacks at the head of the peloton. Eventually a solo rider broke clear, before one more rider counter attacked across, and then went over the top. However, the peloton were always in control and as they hit the local laps with 45 kilometres to go it was all back together. Covering the attacks well, Liane Lippert was sprightly and responded to a move on the finish circuit climb, breaking clear in a group of 13. Despite getting a 30 second gap, there wasn’t a lot of cooperation in the group and on the next passage of the line the reduced peloton brought them back.
Once again the attacks started, with Juliette Labous making the front selection for the team. This time their gap reached over a minute and with ten kilometres to go the race was perfectly poised. However, the peloton upped the pace and things regrouped as they hit the foot slopes of the climb for the last time. Lippert showed great legs by making it into an elite eight rider group on the stinging gradients while Labous stayed with Coryn Rivera in the next group on the road, setting a steady tempo. It was incredibly tactical at the front of the race and after the pace slowed Lippert attacked, trying to get a gap, but the rest of the group was quickly on her back wheel. The race came down to a sprint between the front group, with Lippert crossing the line in a good eighth place for the team, while Rivera showed her speed and ‘won’ the sprint from her group to take 12th place.
“It was a really hard race from the start, with a lot of attacking,” said Lippert at the finish. “It was all about covering the attacks until the local laps but nothing would really stick. On the first time up the climb I ended up in the breakaway but it came back together. Juliette was then in the next break and the peloton only caught them on the bottom of the final climb. I gave it my all and ended up with the seven best climbers. I tried to attack in the final but couldn’t get away and in the end it was a sprint where I got boxed in a little bit, which was a shame. We’ll take a few things from the race and our shape is all really good. Overall, It was a good but hard race, and I think we rode we well together and gave it our all today.”
Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “We were present in every important group today with Liane or Juliette which was really good. Towards the final time up the climb we made a few small mistakes but it was good Liane was still there and we also had Juliette and Coryn too. There are a few improvement points we can take from it, but I think we showed that everyone is in good shape and we rode well as a group, so we’ll take that with us into our next races.”
|1||VOLLERING Demi||SD Worx||2:50:29||400|
|2||LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup||FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||,,||320|
|3||VOS Marianne||Team Jumbo-Visma Women||,,||260|