The Tour de Feminin concluded today with a dominant performance from the AG Insurance-Soudal NXTG team. Mirre Knaven clinched the final stage victory, while Julia Kopecky secured the overall win.

The 114.6-kilometre stage from Varnsdorf to Krásná Lípa was gruelling, featuring nine categorised climbs. Despite favourable weather, the stage was not without incidents. Lore De Schepper, who started the day in second place overall, was forced to abandon after a crash, although she fortunately avoided serious injury.

Aggressive Racing and Tactical Attacks

Throughout the stage, breakaway attempts were frequent, yet none could sustain a significant lead. Henrietta Colborne initiated a promising escape, joined by Nikol Plosaj and Febe Jooris, but they were reeled in 60 kilometres from the finish. Mirre Knaven consistently took points on the climbs, securing her win in the mountain classification early on.

With 30 kilometres remaining, Nikola Bajgerová launched a solo attack. She was briefly chased by Jarmila Machačová, but both were caught before the final climb. Femke de Vries, Kopecky’s closest rival in the general classification, tried to break free on the last ascent, but Kopecky remained glued to her wheel.

Sprint Finish and Podium Celebrations

The race concluded with a reduced peloton sprinting into Krásná Lípa. Knaven emerged victorious, closely followed by Kopecky, and Eilidh Shaw from Great Britain finished third. Kopecky’s second-place finish secured her overall victory, adding to her wins in the U23, points, and best Czech rider classifications. Mirre Knaven was crowned the best climber, and AG Insurance-Soudal NXTG topped the team standings.

Julia Kopecky expressed her delight after the stage: “Today was a tough mountain stage. Mirre attacked after about 15 kilometres and was solo at the front. It was a shame that no one joined her, so she had to ride almost 80 kilometres alone. For us, this meant we could ride calmly in the peloton all day. We stayed at the front because the roads were slippery, and we had to be cautious about crashes. It was quite a ‘boring’ race until Mirre was caught 15 kilometres from the finish.”

Reflecting on her strategy, she added, “We had agreed beforehand to race aggressively, so at a certain point, we started attacking one by one. With 6 kilometres to go, I made a move and managed to hold on until the finish. Two wins in two consecutive days is really amazing for me and the team. We now look forward to the coming days and will of course try to keep the yellow jersey.”

Historic Victory for Kopecky

This victory marks a historic moment for Czech cycling, as Kopecky becomes the first Czech rider to win the Tour de Feminin overall classification in 35 years. She was joined on the final podium by Femke de Vries and Xaydee Van Sinaey, both of whom finished over a minute behind her.

2024 Tour de Feminin Stage 4 result

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2024 Tour de Feminin GC result

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All photo credits: Josef Vaishar