Race report

Liane Lippert 5th on punchy uphill finish in Segovia

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta

The longest stage of the race lay ahead of the peloton today as they rolled out of Palencia. Faced with a total of 160 kilometres, the route was incredibly hilly in the opening part of the day before a longer flatter section and a punchy finish, which included some gravel and cobbles in the closing ten kilometres.

It was an attacking start to the day but Olympic champion Kiesenhofer eventually broke the elastic and forged on solo, building up a gap that reached over nine minutes. Unfortunately, the team lost Léa Curinier who abandoned the stage after a crash.

As the afternoon and early evening hours ticked by, Kiesenhofer’s gap reduced but for a long time the stage result hung in the balance. However, after a big increase in pace going onto and after the gravel section, the peloton had Kisenhofer in their sights and the catch was made inside two kilometres to go. After being well positioned by the team, Liane Lippert launched a stinging attack after coming out of the last hairpin bend with 700 metres to go. Pushing all the way to the line, a quartet of riders would finish ahead of Lippert on the cobbled uphill finale – but she would still take home a strong fifth place for the team – and move up to fourth on GC ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.

Speaking after the stage Lippert said: “Today was a really long stage and one of the longest we’ve had as a women’s peloton. In the beginning Kiesenhofer attacked and everyone then let her go and the pace really went out in the bunch, and the gap grew to ten minutes. At one moment Movistar then started to chase for GC and brought it down to five minutes where other teams began to help, and we jumped in with Francesca. Unfortunately, we lost Léa in a crash earlier in the day. Towards the final it was pretty crazy with the gravel part as that always makes it really nervous. Megan did a really good job of bringing us into that, then Floortje took over and was really impressive; I think for the next ten kilometres I didn’t leave her wheel – she delivered me in a perfect position. I turned onto the climb in a nice position and felt good so gave it a go, but unfortunately the climb wasn’t as tough as we thought so they were quickly onto my wheel. In the sprint I then had no chance after spending that energy, so in the end it was fifth which is good and I moved up on GC which is also nice. Yet, we also came here for the stage win and if the climb was harder from the bottom then I think it might have been possible to go for it. We’ve still got one more stage to go where we’ll give it our all for Megan tomorrow in the sprint.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 PERSICO Silvia Valcar - Travel & Service 4:11:01 50
2 VOLLERING Demi Team SD Worx ,, 40
3 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa Trek - Segafredo ,, 30