Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Riejanne Markus has finished seventh in the queen stage of the Women’s Tour. In the fifth stage to The Black Mountain, Karlijn Swinkels and Romy Kasper raced actively for a long time, but towards the last climb, the classification teams took the initiative. Markus achieved her second consecutive top ten place.
The pace was high in the hilly opening phase and many riders were soon dropped. An eleven-rider front group, including Karlijn Swinkels, seemed to get space, but they were caught on the first climb. A few kilometres later, one rider shook off the bunch, after which Romy Kasper went in pursuit during a descent and she closed the gap with ten companions. However, the peloton kept control, and the breakaway group was reeled in just before the final. Markus rode uphill at her own pace and could follow in front for a long time. In the last kilometre, the 27-year-old Dutch rider tried to attack, but her attempt proved to be in vain. Afterward, she could not join the attack of later stage winner Elisa Longo Borghini.
“It was the toughest stage so far”, Markus said. “Soon after the start, we already had two climbs and there was a lot of hard riding. The middle part was quieter, and we had Romy up front, which was a pleasant situation. The last climb was really tough again. The girls positioned me well at the beginning of the climb and it was up to me to follow. I attacked with one kilometre to go, but unfortunately I didn’t get any space. I tried to hang on as long as I could and I think seventh place among these girls is a really excellent result.”