Van Empel also strongest in Boom
Fem van Empel has won the fifth race of the Superprestige classification. In Boo...
“They’ve laid out a nice route”, Marianne Vos responds to the course of the Tour de France Femmes. “With the start in Paris at the same time as the finish of the men and then seven stages over diverse terrain, it is a varied route that different kind of riders will enjoy. It would be very nice for the tension in the race if the decisive moment only comes at the end.”
“To be honest, I did expect a time trial”, Vos continued. “It completes a stage race. But I also think that the tension is perhaps even stronger in a stage than in a time trial. This choice was perhaps made for that reason.”
Vos is not surprised by the fourth stage, which covers a whopping 175 kilometres and includes four gravel sections. “Of course the level of difficulty depends on the conditions and the kind of strips that are included. I think it’s a stage that fits perfectly into such a race. It’s not just about the spectacle, of course, but I think a ‘Strade Bianche stage’ is wonderful in a stage race. From my cross experience, it should suit me, but ultimately, I think many riders can handle this well. We see that every year in Strade Bianche.”
Vos is clear on the recognition of women’s cycling. “Recognition does not only depend on the Tour de France and the ASO, but this is of course a great contribution. We’ve gotten a lot of great new races on the calendar in recent years. La Course was a very big step and the fact that the ASO has now decided to expand the one-day to an eight-day stage race is going to have a lot of impact. The Tour is a race in which everyone wants to participate. I’m happy that the Tour is back in this capacity. I also think it’s good that the men’s and women’s Tour follow each other. That allows for keeping full focus on both races.”
“The lack of a time trial will contribute to increasing the tension of the race. This course offers opportunities for our team to go for the podium in the final classification, in addition to stage wins”, sports director Lieselot Decroix added. “We will have to make choices in that regard but with this course I certainly don’t rule it out. It’s also good to see that there is also a big prize pool for the women and assured media attention.”