In the end, world champion and yellow jersey Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) was impossible to beat on the queen stage of the Simac Ladies Tour, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Especially Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) did all she could to animate the race, going on the attack with Pfeiffer Georgi (Team dsm-firmenich) and then going hell for leather on the final Cauberg ascent.
“I’m really happy with the way we raced. I’m happy that the race was aggressive, and we could be involved in different moves from the start, so I felt like I was racing and not waiting for the last Cauberg. I needed a race like this,” said Niewiadoma.
On a hilly section, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) had launched a series of attacks that Kopecky had to close down herself. Niewiadoma was the only rider who could follow Van Vleuten’s moves, and when they were brought back, only Kopecky, Niewiadoma, Georgi, Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) and Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Team Jayco AlUla) were still at the front of the race with 50km to go.
Then, Georgi and Niewiadoma went off the front together, quickly establishing a gap. They were caught 28km from the finish, and Niewiadoma’s teammate, 18-year-old Zoe Bäckstedt, was part of the next move of six riders that lasted until the penultimate ascent of the Cauberg.
“The team was great; we all tried to be in the front and in control. On the last Cauberg, I just went all-out; of course, I was hoping to win the stage because I love this climb, yet I had to bow down to Lotte and Wiebes – which is alright,” the 28-year-old was gracious in defeat.
After the Limburg stage, Niewiadoma is now sixth overall, 48 seconds behind Kopecky. Bäckstedt is two seconds ahead of her teammate in fifth place, defending her white jersey and getting the day’s combativity prize.
“I moved up in GC, Zoe kept the youth jersey and is also high in GC, so I think it was a positive day for the team,” Niewiadoma finished.
The final stage starts and finishes in Arnhem and consists of seven laps east of the city with the climbs of the Emmapiramide and Posbank, followed by five-and-a-half laps in Arnhem itself with the climb of the Zijpendaalseweg.