The fourth stage of the Thüringen Ladies Tour was won by Lonneke Uneken. The SD Worx rider was by far the fastest of a leading group of three that had broken away in the finale. Marta Lach came in second, with Christina Schweinberger third. The leader’s jersey is unaffected and stays on the shoulders of Mischa Bredewold.
Stage four of the Thüringen Ladies Tour went to and from Gotha. The final leg of the 133.7-kilometre race was not particularly hard, compared to some of the earlier stages, but there were a few climbs to overcome along the way. In the first part of the stage, we saw Maaike Coljé and Raphael Wales go on the attack. The Dutch and Australian riders managed to secure a lead of about a minute. However, even before halfway, there was an acceleration in the peloton, which broke up into three parts as a result. Many SD Worx riders, including Lorena Wiebes, Lotte Kopecky, and overall leader Mischa Bredewold, were in the first part. They also ensured this first group split caught up with the two leaders.
Coljé proved not to be exhausted. The Arkéa rider made another breakaway, this time on her own. However, her second attempt didn’t last long. With 34 kilometres to go, she was caught for good. Things looked set for a bunch sprint but Lonneke Uneken, Christina Schweinberger, and Marta Lach had other plans, as they chose to break away together. Their lead quickly grew to over a minute.
Despite Uneken’s presence in the leading group, SD Worx took part in the chase and launched bridging moves with Kopecky and Wiebes but their rivals wouldn’t contribute and so these came to nought. With no representation up front, UAE Team ADQ also put multiple riders at the front. The gap with the leaders, where Uneken took turns, thus fell to less than half a minute. However, they couldn’t close the gap completely, allowing the three leaders to sprint for victory after a huge amount of work by Marta Lach on her birthday.
That sprint was emphatically won by Lonneke Uneken. Lach managed to stay somewhat in touch and finished second, with Schweinberger coming in a few seconds later in third place. Uneken’s victory marked the fourth consecutive win for SD Worx in this race and the 14th in a row overall. After winning the team time trial on day one, Bredewold and Barbara Guarischi went on to win a stage each.
2023 Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 4 result
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Main photo credit: Arne Mill