The longest stage of this Tour de France Femmes was relatively quiet until the final 40 kilometres. A massive crash disrupted the chase on the lead group. Unfortunately almost the whole Liv Racing Xstra team was involved in the crash. The team showed grinta, returned to the bunch and played its role in the finale.
A stage of almost 176 kilometres brought the peloton to Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. A group of four riders jumped away early in the stage and animated a big part of the stage. The peloton kept the momentum and didn`t let the gap get bigger than three minutes. All seemed under control, till a massive crash with 40 km to go changed the scenario. Liv Racing Xstra was riding well together the whole day. Unfortunately almost the whole went down in the crash, only Jeanne Korevaar managed to stay upright.
After all Liv Racing Xstra riders were back on the bike, the chase was on to get back in the peloton. Once that objective was completed the purple train headed to the front in the final kilometres to push the tempo in the peloton. After the last early escapees were caught with 3 kilometres to go it was time for the expected bunch sprint. The team worked hard to bring Rachele Barbieri in position and the Italian sprinter was well placed in the last kilometre. At 400 metres a rider made a wrong turn and that disrupted the sprint of Barbieri. The Liv Racing Xstra rider tried to recover as much as possible, but had to be satisfied with a fourth place.
“The team was very strong again today. The girls rode well together as we saw in the earlier stages. It was a real pity we were involved in that massive crash. Luckily our riders could get back on the bike quickly. The girls showed really grinta to get back to the peloton and then take over the lead in the bunch to prepare the sprint for Rachele. We were unlucky again after that move of that rider in the final kilometre, which caused that Rachele had to wait. That ruined her chances for a podium spot today. Still we are very proud on the girls, they did some impressive stuff coming back after that crash”, sports director Wim Stroetinga told after the stage.