Dutch cyclist Yara Kastelijn emerged victorious in the fourth stage of the 2023 Women’s Tour de France. She covered a tough 177 kilometres course to triumph in Rodez as part of a breakaway that established a lead of more than ten minutes. “There is only one winner. Whether you come second or third, it doesn’t matter that much,” Kastelijn commented after her victory.
After a contentious previous stage, a determined group of fourteen cyclists broke away early in the race. The gap from the peloton widened to almost ten minutes before team SD Worx started a pursuit, with mixed results. The breakaway group’s lead grew to over ten minutes, despite efforts from Canyon-SRAM and UAE Team ADQ to support SD Worx.
Yara Kastelijn then made a decisive break from the leading group during a challenging ascent. She was able to maintain her lead as the race progressed, despite efforts from other riders including Lotte Kopecky and Annemiek van Vleuten. Kastelijn managed to increase her lead to over a minute as she started the steep Côte de Lavernhe.
Even as the Dutch favourites watched each other, a group featuring Kopecky, Elisa Longo Borghini, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, and Kasia Niewiadoma managed to make up some ground. But they were still over two minutes behind Kastelijn, who began the final climb with a significant lead. Demi Vollering launched an attack over the summit of the final climb but Sheyla Gutierrez put in a big effort to close the gap for leader Van Vleuten. She fought her way uphill and secured her first stage victory in the Tour de France Femmes.
Behind Kastelijn, Demi Vollering secured second place, and Anouska Koster took third after being a member of the original break. Van Vleuten came in fourth, losing some ground to Vollering. Overall, the differences among the favourites remained small. Despite finishing fourteenth in the stage, Kopecky retained the yellow jersey in the Tour de France Femmes.
2023 Tour de France Femmes Stage 4 result
Results powered by FirstCycling.com
Photo credits: ASO/Charly Lopez