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Tour de France Femmes: Van Vleuten goes for glory on closing stage – dwell!

Key occasions

1.5km to go: Utter dominance, once more, from Van Vleuten. The hole between her and Vollering is now 32secs. She is rounding off this race in fashion.

She can be becoming a member of Lorena Wiebes and Marianne Vos in profitable two phases of this eight-stage race.

The followers are packed alongside either side of the street, and they’re urging Van Vleuten on to glory. It’s nailed on now.

3.3km to go: Vollering of SD Worx, sporting the polka-dot jersey, is doing every little thing she will be able to to attempt to shut the hole to the extremely robust Van Vleuten of Movistar, but it surely appears of little use. In truth the hole grows to 25secs.

At this fee we’re not going to see any change within the high three within the GC. Van Vleuten, Vollering after which Niewiadoma would be the order of the highest three. Niewiadoma stated earlier than the race she was aiming for the rostrum, so it’s trying prone to be mission completed.

4km to go: Van Vleuten now has almost 20secs on Vollering. Behind them, Niewiadoma is in a gaggle with Labous, Ludwig, Longo Borghini and Persico, amongst others.

That is one other dominant day from Van Vleuten, and she or he is climbing in the direction of her second stage win of the race and the yellow jersey. It’s 33 years for the reason that girls’s peloton had a Tour de France, and Van Vleuten’s title goes to be on high of the standings this night.

5km to go: Vollering now tries to bridge throughout to Van Vleuten. Van Vleuten will get out of the saddle and accelerates once more … she does have time to take a look again over her shoulder to see if anybody is involved. Vollering has her rival in sight however the hole is rising.

5.5km to go: Scratch that. Garcia comes again, and excessive of Rooijakkers, and she or he is out entrance on her personal … however Van Vleuten pumps previous her on the entrance! The yellow jersey, after a hectic day of motorbike adjustments and managing assaults from her rivals, leads the ultimate stage of the Tour de France Femmes.

6km to go: Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon/SRAM) has attacked out of the breakaway. She places in a harmful effort that creates a niche to the remainder. Mavi Garcia offers chase, however is visibly struggling to seek out the ability to get again.

6.5km to go: A video right here through Le Tour information on Twitter that particulars the ultimate climb –

8km to go: The breakaway powers in the direction of the foot of the climb, however Trek-Segafredo are doing work to shut the hole, and it’s fallen to 38secs.

The group behind consists of 13 riders, in line with the dwell tracker, with Van Vleuten, Vollering, Labous and Longo Borghini all in there.

12km to go: Now we have lower than 5km to race till the foot of the ultimate climb, or not less than the official start line, because the street has already kicked up. Garcia and Brown trade phrases on the head of the breakaway group, Brown taking it up on the entrance.

This closing climb can be all about who has managed to preserve essentially the most vitality over what has been a punishing week-long race. The escape group has a bonus of a minute, which I reckon is just not going to be sufficient to permit them to struggle it out for the stage win with no interference from the chasing pack.

14km to go: García once more tries to up the tempo on the entrance of the race, hoping to forge a decisive benefit earlier than the ultimate climb.

We’re undoubtedly going to see a giant scrap on the ultimate climb, definitely for podium locations. Niewiadoma does have a good cushion of 51secs on the fourth-placed rider, Labous of Crew DSM, nevertheless.

17km to go: Out on the street, Manon Lloyd offers an informative replace from the ultimate climb for Eurosport. She says that some groups have positioned not one however two spare bikes within the closing phases of ultimate climb – these can be arrange with completely different gearing that’s extra suited to the punishing gradients of the upper components of La Tremendous Planches de Belles Filles. “It’s going to be savage,” Lloyd says.

21km to go: Now, Van Vleuten is pictured driving alongside serenely on a flat part and having a chat with a rider from a rival crew. She out of the blue seems much more relaxed with the scenario. Does she go for the stage win to underline her dominance, or will she sit again and let others struggle it out? I reckon the latter, as a result of she stated earlier than at present’s stage that yellow is the precedence and she or he is just not planning to ‘placed on a present’.

She definitely needed to toil to get again to the principle bunch after these bike issues, although.

Annemiek Van Vleuten. {Photograph}: Dario Belingheri/Getty Photos

22km to go: García assaults from the entrance group, looking for to make it a extra selective bunch of riders by the point they hit the ultimate climb. However her transfer is reeled in by the opposite 9 riders.

Mavi García rides on the front of the break.
Mavi García rides on the entrance of the break. {Photograph}: Dario Belingheri/Getty Photos

23km to go: The surviving 10 riders within the break:

Mavi García (UAE Crew ADQ)
Paula Patiño (Movistar Crew)
Elise Chabbey (Canyon/SRAM)
Liane Lippert (Crew DSM)
Riejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma)
Yara Kastelijn (Plantur-Pura)
Coralie Demay (St-Michel Auber93)
Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM)
Leah Thomas (Trek-Segafredo)
Grace Brown (FDJ Suez Futuroscope)

27km to go: The group of favourites speeds down the descent, and Van Vleuten is distanced, however solely by a few seconds. This isn’t going to be almost sufficient to make any sort of dent within the Dutchwomen’s general lead. That stated, her rivals are definitely making her work at present.

31km to go: Marianne Vos of Jumbo-Visma, within the inexperienced jersey, is again within the fourth group on the street. The world champion Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) can also be there, which in line with the dwell tracker contains 11 riders. They’re over 4 minutes down on the leaders and about 3min 30secs behind Van Vleuten’s group.

Marianne Vos.
Marianne Vos. {Photograph}: Dario Belingheri/Getty Photos

32km to go: Six teams on the street, the final of which is simply summiting the Ballon d’Alsace climb now.

33km to go: The riders can begin fascinated with the ultimate climb, “La Tremendous Planche des Belles Filles”: It’s 7km lengthy, with a mean gradient of 8.7%, but it surely kicks as much as 24% in locations. As if that wasn’t exhausting sufficient, the “Tremendous” bit is the gravel street on the high …

38km to go: The breakaway – now 10 riders – crests the climb of Ballon d’Alsace. Van Vleuten and the group of favourites are 1min 15secs behind. Santesteban and Christoforou are between these two teams, 38secs behind.

It’s going to take one thing spectacular for Van Vleuten to be denied right here – she is inside 40km of general victory and has over three minutes’ benefit in GC.

40km to go: It’s 11 riders on the entrance now as they close to the highest of the climb. Doebel-Hickok (EF Training-Tibco-SVVB) efficiently joined the leaders. However Santesteban and Christoforou have been dropped.

Vollering, in polka-dots, assaults from the group containing Van Vleuten. Are rival groups going to tag-team Movistar and Van Vleuten and see if they’ll crack her?

One factor’s for sure, this isn’t a largely ceremonial roll to the end line for Van Vleuten, as she might count on on the ultimate stage of a three-week Tour de France.

41km to go: The professional rider Lizzy Banks appropriately factors out that crashes occur in males’s racing in addition to girls’s.

42km to go: On the Eurosport motorcycle, Iris Slappendel simply defined what number of bike adjustments Van Vleuten has had (5?!), and the issues with the varied bikes. I couldn’t fairly comply with it if I’m trustworthy. However as said, Van Vleuten has over three minutes to play with in GC, so there is no such thing as a actual hurt for her or Movistar in what’s gone on thus far.

5 bike adjustments now. What’s the most bike adjustments a rider has had in a race? #TDFF

— Sadhbh O’Shea (@SadhbhOS) July 31, 2022

43.5km to go: It’s all a bit fluid up on the entrance … seems like 12 riders on the entrance now, Berteau one of many stage hopefuls who has dropped again.

Now, Van Vleuten decides to have one other bike change, and she or he discards the yellow model for what presumably is her regular bike that she’s been driving all week.

It’s not precisely been a stress-free day for the yellow jersey or for her crew, however there is no such thing as a vital injury carried out.

The breakaways.
The breakaways. {Photograph}: Dario Belingheri/Getty Photos

44km to go: The 14-rider breakaway group is as follows:

Mavi García (UAE Crew ADQ)
Paula Patiño (Movistar Crew)
Elise Chabbey (Canyon/SRAM)
Liane Lippert (Crew DSM)
Riejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma)
Yara Kastelijn (Plantur-Pura)
Coralie Demay (St-Michel Auber93)
Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM)
Leah Thomas (Trek-Segafredo)
Grace Brown (FDJ Suez Futuroscope)
Victoire Berteau (Cofidis)
Jeanne Korevaa (Liv Racing Xstra)
Antri Christoforou (Human Powered Well being)
Ane Santesteban (BikeExchange–Jayco)

They’ve stretched their benefit to 44secs as they energy up the Ballon d’Alsace.

Two riders, Mischa Bredewold of Parkhotel Valkenburg and Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Training-Tibco-SVB), are attempting to get throughout.

46km to go: The lead group is as much as 14, so the aforementioned four-rider chase group has joined forces with the unique 10. Their benefit over the peloton has shrunk to 32secs. Behind the principle bunch, there’s a group of eight dropped riders.

Now, Van Vleuten stops to get again on a spare bike. Impressively it’s additionally an all-yellow paint job so Movistar splashed out on not less than two yellow bikes for his or her GC hopeful. (Until, now I give it some thought, they mounted the issue with the unique yellow bike?!)

46km to go: Van Vleuten is again within the bunch, however she’s nonetheless on her teammate’s bike. Spectacular stuff.

48km to go: Van Vleuten takes it up on the entrance of the chase group! She is being pressured to shut this down herself. It seems like she’s now sans Movistar teammates.

It’s a gaggle of six riders, and Van Vleuten appears to be asking them to share the workload and assist her get again in contact.

50km to go: Van Vleuten, after that bike downside, is 25secs down on the peloton. She has two Movistar teammates who’re driving as exhausting as potential to get her again in contact with the principle group and all her rivals for the general.

I suppose this raises a query about Tour de France protocol, because it’s usually thought-about poor type to assault the yellow jersey after they undergo a mechanical. However the peloton clearly isn’t ready. The commentators level out that Van Vleuten will nonetheless want to change bikes when she does get again to the peloton.

Van Vleuten is down to 1 teammate on this chase group, I believe … out of the blue the GC race seems to be again on.

53km to go: The lead group of 10 is now on an uphill part which ends up in the foot of the second climb of the day, the category-one Ballon d’Alsace.

A four-rider chase group has now fashioned behind them: Berteau (Cofidis) is there and she or he’s with Korevaa (Liv Racing), Christoforou (Human Powered Well being) and Santesteban (BikeExchange–Jayco)

55km to go: There’s a motorbike downside for Van Vleuten! She has deserted her yellow bike, and rapidly takes an alternate from a teammate on the high-speed descent off the Côte d’Esmoulières. It doesn’t appear to be an enormous downside for Van Vleuten at this stage, however little doubt she’s going to wish to seize one in every of her personal bikes from the crew automotive, quite than experience one which has been arrange for a teammate.

56km to go: In different biking information, three riders are in hospital following a giant crash within the velodrome, in one of many scratch race heats.

Will Unwin has all the most recent right here:

60km to go: The hole between break and the principle bunch is 1min 33 secs. However that doesn’t inform the entire story: In response to the dwell tracker, there are six teams on the street. Victoire Berteau (Cofidis) is second on the street, alone, making an attempt to get into the break. She is 32secs behind them. Then 5 riders behind her, additionally seemingly making an attempt to chase into the escape group.

Behind that, a gaggle of 85 (if the tracker is to be believed) the place Van Vleuten and Vos are positioned.

There can be some drained our bodies within the peloton after yesterday’s antics, and with teams all around the street now, that is going to be removed from a structured/relaxed day for most of the riders.

62km to go: Teams all around the street. There was an enormous scrap to get within the break, and the ten riders who’ve succeeded are:

Mavi García (UAE Crew ADQ)
Paula Patiño (Movistar Crew)
Elise Chabbey (Canyon/SRAM)
Liane Lippert (Crew DSM)
Riejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma)
Yara Kastelijn (Plantur-Pura)
Coralie Demay (St-Michel Auber 93)
Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM)
Leah Thomas (Trek-Segafredo)
Grace Brown (FDJ Suez Futuroscope)

They’ve a bonus of 1min 47 secs.

67km to go: It’s now a 10-rider breakaway they usually have a niche of 1min 11secs. Names of the escapees to comply with in a second …

68km to go: The pack has splintered on the primary climb and there’s a six-rider breakaway.

Van Vleuten has phrases [pre-recorded before the stage] with Eurosport, sporting the yellow jersey, and an all-yellow bike to go together with it: “It’s an exquisite current to put on the yellow jersey on the final day. I’m the sort of particular person that isn’t dreaming about issues. I’m the sort of particular person that’s setting targets and planning, to work in the direction of my targets. It’s not that I’m dreaming of turning into Olympic champion, or of jerseys. I work in the direction of the plan and I benefit from the second if it’s there.

“Possibly [today’s stage] is extra for the puncheurs, like Alaphilippe sort of particular person, I’m probably not like that, and I don’t must assault. A very powerful factor is the yellow, I received’t placed on a present like yesterday.”

72km to go: Niewiadoma, who’s third in GC, had a chat with Eurosport earlier than the stage and was requested about yesterday’s stage: “Positively it was probably the most brutal days I’ve ever spent on my bike, for positive … Maybe at present goes to be exhausting once more … I believe it’s going to be extra of a breakaway till the final climb.”

“There’s going to be a struggle [for the podium] … I wouldn’t be shocked to see assaults from the beginning … the race [overall] has been wonderful … it’s good to be seen, lastly.”

I’m positive Niewiadoma and others might need been pleased to see a break go early at present, however that’s not been the case. It’s been full-on and flat-out.

72km to go: Rachel Neylan (Cofidis) assaults on the primary climb, the Côte d’Esmoulière, which is 2.3km lengthy and has a mean gradient of 8.5%.

75km to go: Confalonieri (Ceratizit–WNT Professional Biking) wins the ultimate intermediate dash of this race, and mops up 25 factors in consequence. Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon–SRAM) is second, Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma). Given the gaps on the high of the standings, none of that may have a lot final result on the vacation spot of the inexperienced jersey.

At the moment’s stage takes in 2,530m of climbing. The highest part of the ultimate climb is a gravel street, and the gradient is at steep as 24% in components. Ouch.

77km to go: The bunch is sort of on the intermediate dash at Faucogney et la Mer. Marianne Vos will not be profitable the general, however within the dash classification, she is means forward:

1) Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) 267pts
2) Lotto Kopecky (SD Worx) 164pts
3) Confalonieri (Ceratizit–WNT Professional Biking) 102pts

82km to go: The kilometres are ticking down sharpish, and with three categorised climbs to come back, that is going to be a severely draining day for the riders on the finish of eight exhausting days of racing. FDJ Suez Futuroscope are driving it on on the entrance of the bunch. We’re positive to see a really selective group struggle for the stage win, as a result of solely the strongest are going to outlive this.

Nonetheless, the excellent news for Kopecky and co. is that they’ve fought again into contact with the peloton and it’s all again collectively.

Peloton
{Photograph}: Dario Belingheri/Getty Photos

Through the official Tour de France Femmes web site, some quotes from Trek-Segafredo’s Elisa Longo Borgini summing up her expertise of the race: “It’s been a really good week. It’s been incredible to experience on these roads with so many individuals. Yesterday was an epic stage. I struggled on the final climb but it surely was stunning. I believe it was a pleasant Tour de France.

“This implies so much [for women’s cycling]. I must thank all of the folks that had been supporting us and in addition those that weren’t supporting us, as a result of they offer us consideration, so thanks anyway to the haters! However we love those who cheer for us. At the moment is the top, we have to go full fuel on the final climb.”

Fear after they don’t discuss you, as somebody as soon as stated.

86km to go: A variety of riders have been dropped with the bunch setting a scorching tempo. Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) is amongst them. They’re at present 47secs down.

90km to go: “Listening to Annemiek van Vleuten this morning (in Dutch), she’ll be extra controlling than attacking at present,” emails Peter van Balen. “The end is extra for punchers, like Niewiadoma, who will attempt to win at present’s stage. Vollering will attempt to as effectively, however her important goal is preserve second place and the polka dot jersey. Benefit from the race.”

Thanks Peter, you too.

92km to go: The peloton continues to be collectively but it surely’s under no circumstances relaxed. Loads of breakaway hopefuls are there or thereabouts on the entrance of the bunch. BikeExchange-Jayco riders are significantly energetic as they attempt to type an escape group.

In the meantime, under are the stage stories from this week. My favorite stage was quantity two, when that insanely robust breakaway group went away on the ultimate circuit, and Marianne Vos accelerated away from all of them to take the yellow jersey. What was yours?

96km to go: The peloton continues to be all collectively and rushing alongside at a wholesome tempo in the direction of the day’s first climb. They’ve fairly a major, uncategorised climb to deal with shortly, earlier than an extended barely uphill drag, together with the intermediate dash level, to the beginning of the day’s first categorised climb, the Côte d’Esmoulières.

Any ideas on the motion? You possibly can electronic mail me or contact me on Twitter.

100km to go: There are some very good pictures in our Tour de France Femmes gallery.

Hats off specifically to Jeff Pachoud of AFP for capturing these fantastic photos of a French girl and her cat having fun with the motion on stage six, someplace between Saint-Dié-les-Vosges and Rosheim:

An elderly woman waits for cyclists with her cat on her doorstep.
An aged girl waits for cyclists along with her cat on her doorstep. {Photograph}: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Photos
The peloton arrives.
The peloton arrives. {Photograph}: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Photos
Tour de France Femmes stage six.
Tour de France Femmes stage six. {Photograph}: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Photos

106km to go: The typical pace thus far is a really wholesome 41.5km/h. The temperature is 30.3C within the shade, and due to this fact significantly hotter than that on the street. It’s going to be a scorching one for the riders.

108km to go: The peloton is all collectively after 15km of racing. The numerous factors alongside the route are as follows:

Intermediate dash: Faucogney et la Mer
Cat 2 climb: Côte d’Esmoulières
Cat 1 climb: Ballon d’Alsace
Cat 1 climb (summit end): La Tremendous Planche des Belles Filles

Preamble

The Tour de Frances Femmes – again in a brand new format after a 33-year hiatus – has packed in no scarcity of drama throughout the previous week. There was the uncooked pace of the Crew DSM sprinter Lorena Wiebes, who received two phases, starting in Paris final Sunday when she took the yellow jersey with a fearsome dash end on the Champs-Élysées.

To not point out the unsurpassed race-craft and all-round capability of Jumbo-Visma’s Marianne Vos, who has additionally received two phases, and who took the yellow jersey for herself till Annemiek van Vleuten’s pièce de résistance for Movistar Crew on the primary main mountain stage yesterday.

The emotion of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Suez Futuroscope) after her gorgeous stage-three victory in Champagne nation was one other memorable second, however the place does this all go away us? The scenario within the classement général going into at present’s closing stage, after Van Vleuten’s dominance yesterday, is that the Dutchwoman leads second-placed Demi Vollering (SD Worx) by an enormous 3min 14secs. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM Racing) sits third general, 4min 33secs off the tempo set by Van Vleuten.

Can any rider or crew hope to overtake Van Vleuten and Movistar? It seems an not possible process however there may be at all times the celebrated prospect of a stage win atop La Tremendous Planches des Belles Filles. The peloton is off and rolling for stage eight. Allez!




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