Marlen Reusser goes it alone to claim stage victory at Tour de France Femmes

Swiss rider wins fourth stage after lone attack as Mavi Garcia loses time after nightmare day

The Olympic silver medallist Marlen Reusser of Team SD Worx won stage four of the Tour de France Femmes after attacking alone with 20km to race, as the leading group exited the final gravel section of a chaotic stage from Troyes to Bar-sur-Aube.

The 30-year-old moved to the front on the Cote de Vitry climb, shortly before the final section of white road, the Chemin de Vitry, the last of four gruelling gravel tracks through the sloping vineyards. Although the Swiss was pursued by three riders – Evita Music, Veronica Ewers and Alena Amialiusik – over the final climbs, the Cote des Burgers and the Cote du Val Perdu, she retained her lead and rode into Bar-Sar-Aube with an advantage of well over a minute.

“We have our GC leaders, we always keep them in front and see they are there, but this team has an aggressive or open race strategy, so everybody in the team is allowed to do something, or to win a stage if possible,” she said. “In this Tour every day is hard, at least for me, and I think this stage suits the kind of rider I am, with these gravel sections.”

Behind Reusser, the rough gravel roads took their toll. While stage three winner Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and the pre-race favourite Annemiek Van Vleuten both chased back after mechanical incidents, the most battered and bruised of the overall contenders was Mavi Garcia who endured no less than three bike changes or punctures and then suffered the indignity of being knocked off by her own team car.


However, the Spanish national champion, third in the Giro Donne, did finish the stage but slipped down the overall standings.

Marianne Vos meanwhile, continues to exert a tight grip on the yellow jersey and maintained her overall lead of 16 seconds on Silvia Persico and Katarzyna Niewiadoma. – Guardian