With three first-category climbs, the Tour’s penultimate stage promised a real battlefield. Vos, who had announced before the stage that it would be challenging to retain the yellow jersey, was dropped from the group of favourites on the first climb. Surrounded by her teammates, Vos crossed the finish line much later than Van Vleuten.
“I didn’t feel that good today”, Vos said. “We rode full speed to the bottom of the first climb and from there, it was full throttle uphill. I tried to find my own pace and luckily my teammates guided me to the finish line. After the first climb, I enjoyed the crowd standing along the side.”
For Riejanne Markus, the day went better. The Dutch road champion rode uphill at a steady pace and eventually crossed the finish line in twelfth place. “I had a good day. I rode uphill at my own pace and wanted to see where I would end up. Along the way, I picked up a lot of riders and that resulted in a nice twelfth place”, Markus said.
The team already expected Vos would lose the yellow jersey, Markus said. “We knew this stage would be too hard for us. Our main goal was to win a stage and we did. We even won two and as a bonus, we got to ride in the yellow jersey for five days. We can conclude that our Tour was a success.”
Vos looked back on an ‘incredibly beautiful week’. “It was extraordinary to be able to ride in yellow for five days, but I am also happy that I can ride in green for one more day.”