07.05.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
RICARDA BAUERNFEIND CLAIMS GC 5TH AT LA VUELTA
Ricarda Baurnfeind climbed to fifth place in today’s last stage of La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour in Lagos de Covadonga. Bauernfeind crossed the line less than two minutes behind the stage winner, catapulting her from tenth to fifth overall.
“It‘s a really great feeling to finish the week with fifth place today and top five in the GC. I didn‘t expect it, but it gives me a lot of confidence,” says Ricarda.
“On the final climb, I tried to find my own rhythm and push all the way to the top. I knew it was going to be a hard climb, and it was. I could see (Evita) Muzic just ahead for a lot of the climb and crossed the finish just behind her wheel.”
Despite the final climb being the focus of the 93km stage, the peloton raced aggressively from the start. Elise Chabbey was caught behind a small crash in the early part of the race and, with the high pace on the first climb, wasn’t able to rejoin the main peloton. Kasia Niewiadoma tried to gain an advantage before Lagos de Covadonga by attacking in the valley. Her one-minute 15-second lead was swallowed up before the bottom slopes. Only a small group of climbers could remain in contention for the stage win, and overall GC placings on the hors categorie climb. Ricarda rode strongly, just losing contact with the leaders with around 8km to go, but she was able to maintain her pace and finish powerfully. She could close the gap to Muzic, who had lost contact with the three leaders with 4km remaining, to finish just behind.
Ricarda continued, “A seven-day stage race with the team was a new experience for me. I enjoyed every day with my teammates around. We had a good team spirit all week and supported each other. So, I‘m happy to finish this team effort with fifth in GC.”
Teammate Kasia said after the stage, “Now I can say I’m really happy that I didn’t give up after the stomach issues earlier in the week. On Friday, I didn’t feel great in my body, and mentally, I was done after a hard day of constantly chasing. I felt better yesterday and was able to help the team. So I was motivated to help Rica and fight as much as I could despite the earlier obstacles in the tour. I’m beyond happy to see Rica embracing her talent and power to storm to the top five at La Vuelta!”
“Doing this stage race after the classics season was good for me to realise how much I need to change in my preparations towards Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift to be the best climbing version of myself,” adds Kasia.