SaintDiédesVosges, France: Lorena Wiebes sprinted to victory in the fifth stage of the women’s Tour de France on Thursday in Saint-Die-des-Vosges.
The Dutch rider blew away her rivals to cross ahead of Italian world champion Elisa Balsamo and yellow jersey wearer Marianne Vos to claim her second stage win after Sunday’s opener in Paris.
“I felt strong in the sprint and I’m delighted to win it after such a long stage,” said Wiebes after the longest stage of the week over 176.5km from Bar-le-Duc to Saint-Die.
The Team DSM rider proved she is almost unbeatable in a sprint with only Balsamo managing to beat her twice this season. Wiebes claimed her 17th victory and the 53rd of the 23-year-old’s career.
Jumbo-Visma’s Vos took four bonus seconds thanks to her third place and gained time over all her rivals going into the final three days of racing.
“The aim is to take the green jersey,” said Wiebes of the honour going to the top sprinter.
The 35-year-old Vos, one of the great names of cycling, leads the general standings after her fifth top five finish in as many stages.
But several top sprinters lost out after being caught up in a mass crash 45km from the finish line.
Belgian Lotte Kopecky was delayed and then slowed down by mechanical problems with Dane Emma Norsgaard taking a hard knock to her left shoulder.
Friday’s sixth stage covers 129km to Roshelm before the weekend in the Vosges mountains.
Men’s Tour de France Champion: Jonas Vingegaard made a triumphant return to Denmark on Wednesday following his victory at the Tour de France, as tens of thousands of people lined the streets to welcome him home. The 25-year-old became the first Dane to win the Tour de France.
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