2023 Tour de Suisse Stage Four – Race Report

How the race finished

Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) secured the overall victory as Niamh Fisher-Black claimed the stage win ahead of Kasia Niewiadoma.

Full results are available below.

How it happened

The fourth and final stage of the 2023 Women’s Tour de Suisse took place over a hilly 100.8km course starting and finishing in Ebnat-Kappel. With Team SD Worx defending first and second in the General Classification going into the stage, it was down to the teams of SD Worx, Jumbo Visma and Canyon//Sram to see if anyone could unseat them.

Early in the race, Julie van de Velde (Fenix Deceuninck) and Tiril Jorgensen (Coop Hitec Products) got up the road. The pair were soon joined by Danielle de Francesco (Arkea Pro Cycling Team) and Eyeru Tesfoam Gebru (Team Grand-Est Komugi La Fabrique), before a larger group bridged across containing Eglantine Rayer (DSM), Rosita Reijnhout (Jumbo Visma), Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon//Sram Racing), Anastasiya Kolesava (Arkea Pro Cycling), and Valerie Demey (Liv Teqfind Racing). Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) initially made it into the break as well, but was dropped a short while later on a small rise. After the breakaway formed, they set about extending their lead out to over 2 minutes. With no riders representing SD Worx or Trek-Segafredo in the break, they both worked to keep things in check. 

On the major climb of the day, a category 1 climb up to Wintersbergstrasse, the peloton was shredded under the pace of Niamh Fisher Black, who set the pace for SD Worx. Up front, the race was also attritional. By the top of the category one climb, only three of the original ten riders remained up front: Rayer, Cromwell and van de Velde, who had her eye on the Queen of the Mountains points available, after picking up some yesterday. 

As the descent rolled up again, Brodie Chapman (Trek-Segafredo) kicked on, attacking the peloton. Niamh Fisher-Black marked the move, while Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//Sram Racing) tried to bridge across. Behind them, Marlen Reusser was pulling the peloton back across a long. The group were virtually reabsorbed when Niewiadoma pushed on, and once again Fisher-Black followed. Up the road, Cromwell had dropped back from the break, and when the duo reached her she put in a strong pull to draw them further away from the peloton. Cromwell was done shortly after, but her work had solidified the advantage for Niewiadoma, who rode on with Fisher-Black on her wheel.

On the first ascent of the Schorüti, with around 45m to go, the pair caught the two remaining riders from the break, Rayer and van de Velde. They formed a quartet out front with a 1 and a half minute gap back to the peloton. Behind them, Mikayla Harvey (UAE Team ADQ) put in an attack on the climb, and Amanda Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) went over the top. Reusser bridged across to Spratt with Elise Chabbey (Canyon//Sram Racing), Elise Longo-Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), Amber Kraak (Jumbo Visma) and Demi Vollering (SD Worx) on her wheel. Once over the top, the small group didn’t push on, and dropped riders made their way back on.

Up front, van de Velde claimed more Queen of the Mountain points. Niewiadoma pushed on through the banners, launching into the descent and briefly gapping Fisher-Black, who defended her teammates’ lead with a strong ride to come back across. Between climbs, Niewiadoma launched again to pick up bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint, but again Fisher-Black tracked her. By this point, the leaders had established such a gap on the chasing bunch the Niewiadoma was the virtual leader of the general classification. 

Feeling the pressure, Vollering pulled on the front of the peloton, but riders continued to return from behind. Reusser, wearing yellow, went back to get her own bottles from the car – a sight rarely seen. With 32km remaining the four out front were still together, holding their gap at 2 minutes. 

The next time up the climb, Vollering set a hard tempo on the front, but Niewiadoma rode just as strongly at the front. Despite continuously trying to shake off Fisher-Black, on both the climb and through the descent, Niewiadoma was unable to break the kiwi rider, who fought back onto her wheel again and again. Rayer and van de Velde, however, finally succumbed to the pressure, and were dropped. On the descent, Reusser decided enough was enough and set off on her own. She quickly pulled 30 second out of the gap, before settling into her trademark time trial position.

Going into the final lap, Reusser had reduced the gap to 47 seconds, all but securing her overall victory. Niewiadoma, however, wasn’t giving up, with the opportunity to get herself on the podium still in play. In the group behind, Longo-Borghini tried to defend her third place, with Vollering, Rayer, van de Velde and Petra Stiasny (Alpecin Deceuninck) on her wheel. 

Coming into the finishing straight, Fisher-Black played it as everyone expected, staying in the slipstream until Niewiadoma launched her sprint. From there, her fresher legs carried her away to the win. With that, Fisher Black also bumped herself to 8th on the GC, and claimed the young riders jersey. 

Reusser was able to watch her teammate win from behind them in the finishing straight, before raising her arms to celebrate her overall victory. She also claimed the points jersey. Vollering brought home the chasing bunch for fourth place, with Longo-Borghini managing to keep Niewiadoma off the podium by seven seconds. Despite van de Velde’s great ride, Chabbey held the Queen of the Mountains Jersey.

Stage Four – Results

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Overall General Classification Results

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