News Round-up: Solo raid decides thrilling stage 5 of Tour de France Femmes

There was another exciting day of racing on stage 5 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift as riders traded blows on an attritional course. In the end, the stage was decided by a long-range, daring solo raid from one of the young stars of the peloton. Elsewhere in the world of cycling, Lorena Wiebes withdrew from the race ahead of stage 5 due to illness, the CPA president Adam Hansen has criticised the conduct of motorbikes, plus Tadej Pogačar is taking a well-deserved break from racing following his latest Tour de France exploits.

Clock17:00, Thursday 27th July 2023
Lotte Kopecky in action on stage 5.

© Velo Collection (Alex Broadway) / Getty Images

Lotte Kopecky in action on stage 5.

| Ricarda Bauernfeind storms to solo win on stage 5 of Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

It was another solo victory for a young rider on stage 5 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, as 23-year-old Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon-SRAM) held off the chasing favourites to take a big win in Albi.

After Canyon-SRAM worked to reel in the day’s early breakaway, Bauernfeind attacked with 36km to go, and took advantage of the discord in the chasing group to pull out an impressive lead, which she defended all the way to the finish.

SD Worx and Movistar eventually started to chase more deliberately behind, but could not reel back the German. Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) and Liane Lippert (Movistar) chipped off the front of the group in the finale to pick up second and third, whilst Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) finished fourth to continue her lead in the overall standings.

“To be honest I still can’t believe it, it’s just incredible,” Bauernfeind said at the finish. “I had the support from my teammates, from the cars behind and all the partners. Everyone helped me and supported us and it was just an incredible team ride I would say.

“We had to chase the first group because we missed it, and my teammates did such a fantastic job. Then it was up to me and I tried to attack, and it worked out.”

Despite no big GC action, Demi Vollering (SD Worx) did lose 20 seconds on the stage after being handed a time sanction for a drafting behind her team car when trying to return to the peloton after a mechanical.

| CPA President Adam Hansen criticises conduct of motorbikes at Tour de France Femmes

CPA President Adam Hansen has called for “better education” for motorbike riders at cycling races after an incident on stage 4 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

Two motorbikes tried to pass a group of riders on the Côte de Lavernhe with 19.4km of stage 4 remaining, with one of the motorbike riders appearing to place a hand on the back of Kathrin Hammes (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) as they passed.

“I've really enjoyed watching ( Tour de France Femmes, but in what universe is a motorbike allowed to push a rider out of the way?” he said in an X post. “Or is it just to let her know that the next motor is about to take her out? If you can't pass safely, don't pass. We need better education for some motorbike riders.”

The criticism comes after a number of incidents involving motorbikes at the men’s Tour de France, including one involving Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech) who collided with a neutral-service motorbike on stage 14.

On the same stage, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) was also held up behind two motorbikes on the Col de Joux Plane as he launched an attack against rival Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma). Both motorbikes were subsequently removed from the race.

| Lorena Wiebes withdraws from Tour de France Femmes ahead of stage 5

SD Worx were dealt a blow ahead of stage 5 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift as Lorena Wiebes was forced to pull out of the race due to illness.

It was a disappointing end to the race for the sprinter who had already picked up a win on stage 3, adding to the two victories she took in the inaugural edition last season. There were more opportunities to add to that number in the coming days, including on stage 5’s unpredictable route.

"Of course this is a loss for Team SD Worx, because there were still sprint opportunities. But health always prevails," sports manager Danny Stam said in a short statement.

Despite the loss, SD Worx still find themselves in a strong position at the race, with Lotte Kopecky holding the overall lead after the stage, although teammate Demi Vollering dropped down the standings to seventh having started the day in second.

| Tadej Pogačar to take a break after the Tour de France

After a long three weeks of racing at the Tour de France, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has confirmed that he’s taking a break from racing to recover. The Slovenian was provisionally on the start list for this Sunday’s Championnat d'Europe des grimpeurs - the new European mountain time trial championships - but has been replaced by teammate Felix Großschartner.

“After the Tour we decided it was best to take a bit of a break, so unfortunately I won’t make it this time,” Pogačar confirmed in a UAE Team Emirates press release. “After a bit of downtime, I’ll see where my next races will be, but the focus right now is on rest. I wish Felix the best of luck, after his performance in the Tour de France I think he will be a big favourite for the title. I will be cheering for him.”

Pogačar’s break may only be a short one if, as expected, he’s named in the Slovenian team for the upcoming World Championships in Glasgow. The road race is on August 6, exactly two weeks after the Tour drew to a close last Sunday.

| Tobias Foss to attempt to defend time trial title at World Championships

After being announced in the Norwegian squad for the event, Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) will return to defend his time trial world title at the Glasgow World Championships.

The Jumbo-Visma rider shocked the favourites in Australia last year to claim the title, beating Stefan Küng (Switzerland) by three seconds. As Foss is the defending champion, Norway can select three riders for the event, and he’ll be joined by Iver Johan Knotten and Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X).

Wærenskjold will also ride the road race alongside Uno-X teammates Jonas Abrahamsen, Tobias Halland Johannessen, Alexander Kristoff and Rasmus Tiller, with Andreas Leknessund (dsm-firmenich) rounding out the squad.

Meanwhile, Spain has also announced its men’s team for the road events.

Spanish road race champion Oier Lazkano (Movistar) will double up at the Championships, taking on the road race before assuming sole responsibility for the time trial with Spain only filling one of its two available spots.

The Movistar rider will be joined in the road race by Iván García Cortina (Movistar), Álex Aranburu (Movistar), Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar), Ion Izagirre (Cofidis), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), Jesús Ezquerra (Burgos BH) and Roger Adria (Equipo Kern Pharma).

| Oded Kogut to turn pro with Israel-Premier Tech

The transfer merry-go-round continues to swing as riders tie down contracts for the coming season.

While some riders are moving to pastures new, others are staying put, including Oded Kogut who will make the step up from Israel-Premier Tech’s Academy to their pro team for the 2024 season. The 22-year-old has signed a two-year pro contract having first joined the team’s Academy in 2021.

“We are developing strong riders in our U23 Development program,” Israel-Premier Tech owner Sylvan Adams said in a press release. “Oded’s promotion to the pro team is validation that we are on the right path.”

| Alessandro De Marchi extends contract with Jayco AlUla, according to rumours

According to Ciro Scognamiglio of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Alessandro De Marchi will remain at WorldTour level in 2024 after agreeing a contract extension with Jayco AlUla.

The experienced Italian signed a one-year contract with the team at the beginning of the season having ridden for Israel-Premier Tech for the previous two years. It would continue the 37-year-old’s long career, having first jumped to the WorldTour level with Cannondale Pro Cycling in 2013.

Since then, he’s taken three stage wins at the Vuelta a España and narrowly missed out on a maiden victory at his home Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, in May, finishing third on stage 10.

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