Team DSM overcome a tough 6th stage of Tour de France Femmes

Team DSM overcome a tough 6th stage of Tour de France Femmes

The team always knew that stage 6 was going to be a day of attacks and relentless pace for setting up GC riders before heading into the mountains tomorrow.

After a hugely impressive day on the front for the team yesterday, Franziska Koch got herself into a strong breakaway of fourteen riders that stayed away for most of the stage following a very fast first hour of racing. The teams missing from the break kept the pressure on at the front of the bunch, keeping the advantage under control. With 22 kilometres to go on the penultimate descent Lorena Wiebes unfortunately came down in a crash that resulted in her losing contact with the main bunch. Following checks on the road she was about to push on and finish the stage.

With Wiebes out of contention for the stage, the plan switched to Pfeiffer Georgi, Liane Lippert, and Juliette Labous setting a furious tempo to chase the remaining breakaway riders up the road that had a gap of around one minute. With 11 kilometres to go, there were three riders at the front of the race attacking one another into the final climb. Lippert attacked hard over the top of the final climb to get a gap before it quickly got brought back on the fast, technical descent into the finish.

The final breakaway rider got swept up on the descent as the pace ramped up into a hectic finale. Labous and Lippert stayed in touch with the GC favourites and finished safely within the bunch.

After her crash at today’s stage, Wiebes suffered a few abrasions and needed stitches on her elbow. Despite this, she is doing well. She will be monitored closely overnight before assessing if she’s OK to start tomorrow’s stage.

Juliette Labous gave her thoughts on the race: “Today was never easy as there were a lot of attacks. Franziska got into the breakaway which was really impressive after her day yesterday. Behind we stayed really sharp. Lorena felt really good but sadly she crashed on the downhill badly, so it wasn’t great. When we knew she would not come back, we started chasing to bring the break back… not to close it but perhaps for Liane to jump across on the last climb. Although in the end, the climb wasn’t hard enough and so she tried but everybody followed her and everything came back together. In the final, it was a bit hectic and dangerous so I didn’t take any risks.”

Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “The day started OK with Franziska getting in the break of fourteen, giving us a little bit of rest in the bunch. So the day was pretty controlled and easy. We expected to have a little bit more fight to maybe jump to the break but that didn’t come about, and then Lorena crashed so we pretty much made a switch to do something with Liane. It didn’t really work out for us. It wasn’t maybe our day but we tried, and we tried to at least make something out of the race afterwards. Sometimes you have good and bad days, and this was one of the ones to forget.”