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We knew going in that this would be a tough day, with six climbs and a punishing neutral that ascended steeply before the flag even dropped.
A break of two went away after a combative first hour, and stayed ahead long enough to scoop up some points in the climbers’ classification. The real fireworks began on the day’s only category two ascent, with Yara Kastelijn of Fenix-Deceuninck bursting free of the peloton and taking enough at the top to secure the maillot a poids.
The peloton broke apart under the stress of several more attacks, and another small escape got itself a healthy gap.
Throughout these skirmishes. Barbara and Audrey fought hard and came through the challenge, with Eri riding high in the peloton for most of the stage to provide tactical and positioning support. The break was caught on the loop, with Liane Lippert (Movistar) taking the win.
Although there was rainfall throughout the day, with an almighty downpour on the finishing circuit that caused several crashes, all our riders stayed upright. Thank you, Goodyear.