After a hell of a very heavy fifth stage, Riejanne Markus has moved up two places in the general classification of the OVO Energy Women's Tour. She came in at 22 seconds behind stage winner Elizabeth Deignan and therefore did not give in much to the favourites for the overall victory. The organisation spoke in advance of the toughest stage ever in the fairly early history of this race.
“There was a fast pace from the start. At that moment I already felt that my legs were good. After a leading group of three was formed, the race was controlled in such a manner and the peace returned. At that time it was mainly a matter of waiting for me to reach the final”, says Riejanne.
“The last categorised climb made it very tough and I did everything to stay ahead”, says Riejanne. “After the top there were many unpleasant sections in between. Nevertheless, I have raced quite some time at the front. In the last 5 kilometres, the road went downhill where I tried to position myself for the final. I am happy with my 14th place.”
Riejanne is now five seconds behind the number ten in the general classification. The gap with GC leader Elizabeth Deignan is one minute and seven seconds. “Today was the toughest one of this race, but Saturday's final stage is also difficult. I have never climbed as well as today. Hopefully I will have those strong legs again tomorrow. The top ten is a great goal to pursue.”
Nice closing stage
Pauliena Rooijakkers also did well on Friday. “In the beginning, the pace was high with many breakaways. The road went constantly up and down, which made it tough. I was too far behind at the final climb, which prevented me from moving forward. Pity. I don't have the top legs here that I had in Thüringen and California, but I still want to perform well in the final stage tomorrow.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos