Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Riejanne Markus has finished seventh in the fifth stage of the Vuelta Femenina. Markus had to let go of the competition in the steep final kilometre in the stage with an uphill finish. Marianne Vos lost her red leader's jersey to stage winner Demi Vollering.
On the first climb of the day, 25 riders including Markus, took off. Vos was in the second group and had to follow. The lead group's advantage quickly grew to several minutes, but the group around race leader Vos tried to close the gap.
The difference was only a few seconds at the foot of the final climb, but the connection was never made. At the front, Markus cleverly kept her place among the better riders after the Dutchwoman had also taken six bonus seconds in an intermediate sprint just before the climb. As the final kilometre drew near, she had to acknowledge that the competition was stronger. She finished the day in seventh place, leaving her in third place in the general classification with two stages to go.
"I am still in a good position for the GC"
"It was a particularly tough stage", Markus said. "The first climb came early, and the pace picked up quickly. We broke away with a strong group. Then the focus was on the final ascent. I got the bonus seconds just before the bottom of the climb. I could stay with the group on the steep final climb for a long time, but I had to give in just before the last kilometre. I am still in a good position for the GC. We can be proud of this as a team."
"The Vuelta has been great for our team so far"
Vos swapped her red jersey for the green jersey, which belongs to the leader of the points classification. "We anticipated that I would lose the red jersey because of the profile of today's stage. But you don't want to lose it just like that. The Vuelta has been great for our team so far. We were in a good position from the start because of our performance in the team time trial. We have kept up a positive mindset over the previous four days since our team time trial victory. A stage victory is fantastic, but earning the leader's jersey is something special. This is not just any race; it is a grand tour at the highest level", Vos said.