Team SD Worx completed their dominant Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2023 with an absolute triumph. Marlen Reusser powered to the stage win in the closing ITT of Pau, ahead of Demi Vollering, 2nd on the day but the winner of the Maillot Jaune after she conquered the Tourmalet on Saturday, and Lotte Kopecky, whose performances also bring her the second place in the overall standings! Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//Sram) delivered a strong performance but she finishes 3rd due to the split seconds recorded in the ITT. The Polish climber conquers the polka-dot jersey, while Kopecky wins the green jersey on top of her GC achievement. Cédrine Kerbaol (Ceratizit-WNT) is the best young rider and Yara Kastelijn (Fenix-Deceuninck) was named the Super Combative of the race.
Among the very first starters, the U23 ITT world champion Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ-Suez) immediately sets a strong reference: 30’36’’ to cover the 22.6km at an average speed of 44.3km/h. Anna Henderson (Jumbo Visma) is 3’’ faster at the intermediate point (km 12.1) but she can’t keep up with Guazzini’s pace all the way to the finish and eventually drops 15’’ on the line.
Brown and Reusser up the ante
The intensity rises with the starts of the Australian ITT champion Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez), a silver medallist in last year’s Worlds, and the European ITT champion Marlen Reusser (SD Worx), a bronze medallist in the Worlds. Brown is 35’’ faster than her teammate Guazzini after 12.1km… But Reusser starts even stronger, already putting 27’’ between herself and the Australian champ!
Brown eventually betters Guazzini’s reference by 40’’… But Reusser powers to the finish with an average of 51.8km/h in the last 10.5km to build the same gap to Brown and clock a time of 29’15’’ (46.3km/h).
Kopecky edges Niewiadoma by the smallest margin
The top-10 riders on GC begin their effort as Amanda Spratt (Lidl-Trek) sets off at 16:43. Demi Vollering (SD Worx) is the last rider off the ramp, at 17:01. But she’s the best of the GC contenders at the first intermediate point, only 12’’ behind Reusser, while Kopecky (+30’’) threatens Van Vleuten (+1’01’’). Niewiadoma is off to a strong start (+31’’).
In the end, Vollering seals the overall victory with a 2nd place in the ITT (+10’’). Kopecky (+37’’) makes it a 1-2-3 for SD Worx… And Niewiadoma eventually drops 1’22’’. Kopecky moves past her in the overall standings due to the split seconds recorded in the ITT (27 hundredths of a second for Kopecky vs 48 for Niewiadoma).