2024 La Vuelta Femenina – Stage Seven Race Report

How the race finished

Marianne Vos (Visma | Lease a Bike) again showed her prowess on a punchy finish, claiming the win ahead of Kristen Faulkner (EF Education Cannondale) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl Trek).

Full results are available below.

How it happened

Stage Seven was the final flat stage of the race, before the final showdown in the mountains tomorrow. After cross winds caused major splits on another flat route earlier in the race, the peloton were attentive to the risks, with all the major players looking to secure their positions.

The race got off to an aggressive start, with multiple attempts to start a breakaway. A number of groups looked to have gone clear, but were reeled back by various teams who had missed out each time. Eventually, at 25 kilometers into the race, a group of four riders managed to put some daylight between themselves and the chasing peloton. The quartet of Laura Tomasi (Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi), Anna Kiesenhofer (Roland), Yuliia Biriukova (Human Powered Health) and Veronica Ewers (EF Education-Cannondale) were joined by Angela Oro (Bepink-Bongianni), Quinty Schoens (Volkerwessels) and Stina Kagevi (Coop-Repsol) to make a breakaway of seven. 

Visma | Lease a Bike came to the front of the peloton, looking to control the gap, which had grown out to 1 minute. With the help of Movistar, the breakaway never got much more than that – and, somewhat surprisingly, were caught again just over the halfway point of the stage.

Anna Kiesenhofer (Roland) immediately attacked again, setting off on a solo adventure. Behind her, Tota Magalhaes (Bepink-Bongioanni) went on the counter attack. A few kilometres later a group of five more riders clipped off in pursuit, including Anya Louw (AG Insurance-Soudal), Laura Molenaar (Volkerwessels), Georgie Howe (Liv-AlUla-Jayco), Carolina Vargas (Eneicat-CM Team) and Flora Perkins (Fenix-Deceuninck). As the group was about the make contact with Kiesenhofer, Vargas was dropped.

The leading group of six now held a lead of approaching two minutes, and were joined by Cristina Tonetti (Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi) and Silvia Zanardi (Human Powered Health), who brought Vargas back to the front with them. Once again, Visma | Lease a Bike set the pace the at the front of the peloton, holding the gap at around one minute. 

Through the intermediate sprint…Vargas took maximum points ahead of Tonetti and Zanardi, then immediately went backwards. A turn into narrower roads and an exposed, windy section set the scene for cross winds. Reijanne Markus put the power down and put it in the gutter, with Elisa Longo Borghini and Marlen Reusser rolling through. The pressure on, the peloton stretched out, with gaps starting to open up. Elisa Longo Borghini drove on straight past the breakaway riders, as the gaps grew.

Kim Cadzow (EF Education Cannondale) and Laura Molenaar (VolkerWessels) found themselves in no man’s land chasing, while Yara Kastelijn (Fenix Deceuninck) missed the move completely, as did the whole Movistar team. Righting their wrongs from earlier in the week, FDJ Suez had both Evita Muzic and Grace Brown present at the front. The front group continued to roll through, holding the chasers at one minute.

At 10km to go the first attacks came from within the front group, with Mischa Bredewold kicking things off. She was followed by Amber Kraak (FDJ Suez) and Henrietta Christie (Human Powered Health), but it all came back together. The next attack came from Marlen Reusser (SD Worx Protime), followed by Ricarda Bauernfiend (Canyon//Sram Racing) and once again, Christie. After these attacks the front group began to stall, and the chasers pulled the gap back a little.

In the rubbish zone Reusser put in another move, this time followed by Alison Jackson (EF Education Cannondale) and Brodie Chapman (Lidl Trek), but again it was neutralised. Christie attacked again, drawing out a small group that was brought back by Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl Trek). Amanda Spratt (Lidl Trek) launched down the outside, getting a small solo gap with 5.6km to go, while the chasing group behind came within thirty seconds. Amber Kraak (FDJ Suez) again closed the move down.

Eventually, Mischa Bredewold (SD Worx Protime), Silke Smulders (Liv AlUla Jayco), Lily Williams (Human Powered Health) and Alison Jackson clipped off the front. FDJ put two riders on the front to chase, while Lidl Trek and Visma | Lease a Bike sat pretty, doing nothing to help. As the move was brought back Marlen Reusser went over the top, but was immediately neutralised.

After the right turn with 1.3 kilometres to go, Lidl Trek, Liv AlUla Jayco and EF Education Cannondale took up the lead. Kristen Faulkner (EF Education Cannondale) opened things up, but Marianne Vos (Visma | Lease a Bike) was too strong, easily coming through to claim the win. Faulkner held on for second ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl Trek).

 

Full Stage Seven Results

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Photography ©️ Unipublic/Alex Berasategi

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