28.07.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
AGNIESZKA AGONISINGLY CLOSE IN BLAGNAC, SORAYA SPRINTS TO 5TH
Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka came agonisingly close to victory on today’s stage six of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider was caught just metres before the line, swamped by the peloton and finished in tenth place. Teammate Soraya Paladin sprinted to fifth place, the third time she’s been inside the top ten this tour.
Skalniak-Sójka countered an early move on the first climb after 27km of racing, leading the race solo until joined by two more riders.
“I had a gap of 40 seconds. When it came to 25 seconds for the two riders to come across, I decided to wait for them. We worked well together. I believed we would make it to the finish,” explained Skalniak-Sójka.
“In the last part, we dropped Alonso (WNT), and it was just Noorsgard (MOV) and myself. In the final 1.5km, she didn’t take a turn. I wanted to fight until the end, so I kept pushing.”
As the gap fell from two minutes to 18 seconds in the final 5km, it looked like the breakaway would succumb to the pressure of the peloton. Three riders ahead became two, but Skalniak-Sójka and Norsgaard still had 10 seconds advantage under the flamme rouge with 1km remaining. In the long finish straight, Noorsgard started her sprint early, gapping Skalniak-Sójka, who fought to the end. The peloton passed Skalniak-Sójka with just over 25m to the line but was unable to reach Noorsgard, who crossed the line with one single second spare.
“I’m really disappointed. It was so close,” said a distraught Skalniak-Sójka after the finish with her teammates.
“I don’t have regrets. If I didn’t go hard, I wouldn’t have a chance. So I pushed until I crossed the line.”
For her efforts, Skalniak-Sójka was awarded the Most Combative Rider on the stage and will use the red numbers tomorrow, taking over from her teammate Ricarda Bauernfeind who won the award after her stage five victory.
“I’m proud of my shape and to do such a hard ride. I’m happy to be on the podium for the team and get the red numbers for tomorrow’s queen stage,” added Skalniak-Sójka.
With twelve riders within two minutes from the yellow jersey worn by Lotte Kopecky, tomorrow’s stage seven’s summit finish on the Col du Tourmalet will be an enthralling battle. Kasia Niewiadoma is fifth at +55 seconds, and Ricarda Bauernfeind is ninth at +1:42. CANYON//SRAM Racing are second in the team’s classification.
HOW TO WATCH
The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift can be followed on Twitter with #TDFF2023 and #WatchTheFemmes.
A daily broadcast can be found on France 3, RTBF, VRT, DKTV2, TG4, NOS, TV2, Eurosport, GCN, RTVE, SRG-SSR, FloBikes, CNBC, Peacock, ESPN, BeIn Sports, SKY Sport, VRT, SSC, Zhibo.tv and TV5 Monde.
Stage 7 | Lannemezan – Tourmalet | 89.8km | 16:15CEST | Broadcast 16:05CEST
Stage 8 ITT | Pau – Pau | 22.6km | First rider 14:30CEST | Broadcast 15:20CEST