Stage 4 was the longest stage in this year’s Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift, covering 177.1 km. between Cahors and Rodez and over four and half hours on the bike. Quite early in the stage, a large breakaway went up the road and built a gap of more than 10 minutes. Romy Kasper represented the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step team in the break. When caught, she even had some energy left to make sure Ashleigh Moolman Pasio maintained her third spot in the general classification. It also means another day in green for the South African.
“The break went after the first climb, really early in the stage. I was in a good position. There were three riders at the front and I jumped across. It was a perfect situation,” said Romy. “It was hard at the beginning, because they didn’t want to let us go straight away. When it was one minute, it went up really fast. I was happy to be there and not in the bunch chasing this group down,” she said with a smile.
“The pace on the climbs was pretty steady, so I could survive them. At one point, Servais told me that Ashleigh lost some metres on Annemiek and Demi. I stopped immediately and waited for her. It was at nine kilometres to go. I put all the energy I had left to get Ashleigh back in good position and that was my day.”
Ashleigh was grateful as ever for the support of her teammates.
“Romy did a great job in the breakaway,” said Ashleigh. “When there was a little gap on the climb in the final, like magic Romy was there to close it for me. It was a very exciting finish and my team were brilliant again. I can’t thank them enough.”
The fifth stage on Thursday takes the riders from Onet-le-Chateau to Albi in the Pyrenees. There will be more climbing as the battle for the general classification heats up. Ashleigh still sits in third position and is confident for the second half of the race.