After stage 3 of the Simac Ladies Tour was disrupted by a huge crash in the peloton in the run-in to what should have been a bunch finish, stage 4 saw nine riders not start and 19 more riders exit the race.
Before the stage began there were several notable absentees from the starline including Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) who suffered a small concussion as a result of yesterday’s crash, Sarah Roy of Team BikeExchange who suffered a broken scaphoid, and Christine Majerus and Elena Cecchini of SD Worx who both did not finish stage 3 after crashing.
As well as those who were affected by the crash, the entire Ceratizit-WNT squad were forced out of the race after a Covid-19 positive within the team, including Kirsten Wild for whom this has been said to be the final road race of her career - although Wild only hinted about her impending retirement on social media.
Only 57 riders finished the stage which was a wet and windy 148km over eight laps of an 18.8km course. The first rider to pull out of the stage was Emma Norsgaard of Movistar who was caught up in the stage 3 crash and looked to be suffering from a wrist injury.
Later on in the stage, both Brodie Chapman and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope suffered a crash and subsequently abandoned the race.
Chloe Hosking of Trek-Segafredo started the stage despite having been caught up in yesterday’s crash but also abandoned during stage 4, as did Vittoria Guazzini of Valcar Travel & Service, and yesterday’s breakaway rider Daniek Hengeveld, and Georgia Williams and Jess Allen of Team BikeExchange.
Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) won the stage from a three-rider breakaway, with Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) moving into the race lead.
Tomorrow’s final stage was initially billed as a point-to-point race from Arnhem to Posbank but will now be held on a short, flat, and technical circuit in Arnhem. With many of the main sprinters out of the race we could see the win go to a rider like Marianne Vos or Amy Pieters.
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