The fourth stage of the Tour de l’Ardèche saw Silvia Zanardi of BePink claim both the stage victory and the overall lead. Covering a distance of 101.6 kilometres between Saint-Rambert-d’Albon and Hauterives in the Drôme region, the day’s events have once again reshuffled the leaderboard, signalling an exciting narrative in the ongoing race.
It was a successful day for the 23-year-old Zanardi who, after coming close in previous stages, was the first across the finish line. An eight-rider breakaway was able to stave off the main peloton, finishing nearly two minutes ahead. In the culminating sprint, Zanardi showed her prowess, beating out challengers Anastasiya Kolesava of Arkéa and Isabel Martin of Eneicat-CM Team-Seguros Deportivos. Additionally, Miryam Nuñez from Massi-Tactic made it to the final sprint, whereas French cyclist Pauline Allin from Cynisca Cycling finished fifth, a mere twenty seconds behind the leading group.
With this victory, Zanardi dethrones the previous race leader, New Zealander Michaela Drummond from the Farto-BTC team who won Stage 2. The Italian has now secured her second stage win in this esteemed French race, having previously clinched a stage win last year. The triumphant sprint quartet of Zanardi, Kolesava, Martin, and Nuñez not only battled for the day’s win but also dominate the general classification leaderboard at the same time.
The earlier stages of this edition had seen Daria Pikulik from the Human Powered Health team setting the pace. But now, with the dynamics shifting, Zanardi’s triumph highlights the unpredictable and ever-evolving nature of the Ardèche tour. Despite her young age, Zanardi has solidified her status as a formidable competitor, and with this latest accomplishment, she’s established herself as the rider to watch in the coming stages.
Yet, as the peloton approaches the queen stage at Mont Lozère on Saturday, predictions and speculations abound. Will Zanardi be able to defend her newly-acquired lead, especially when the terrain favours the climbers? The ascent of Mont Lozère promises to be the battleground where the general classification contenders will stake their claims, setting the stage for an electrifying showdown.
2023 Tour de l’Ardeche Stage 4 result
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