A stage race is a multiple-day event with a general classification overall the stages together. Within the month of July, we raced in Czech Republic, France, Belgium, and of course in the Netherlands.

Early July we went to Czech Republic, to race the Tour de Feminin UCI 2.2. Four stages, starting with a time trial, followed by three regular stages. This year’s edition was heavier than previous years, with more altitude meters, steep climbs, especially the last day. Starting off good with 13th place in the time trial for Manon, which gave us a good starting position for the second stage. Mechanical issues at an inconvenient moment brought Manon in a chasing position, losing the good spot in the general classification. Nothing left for us then to keep the heads up high and just “go for it” on day 3. Eline understood what was left to do and went for the attack, staying away for half the race with only 3 riders. The gap between the leaders and the chasing group stayed around 1 minute for a long time but the breakaway got caught with 20km to go. The last day was the toughest of all, it turned out to be too tough for most of the riders (including ours). Only 60(!) ladies finished the race, with among them Manon!

The second stage race we did was Tour de Belle Isle en Terre - Kreiz Breizh France. This UCI 2.2 stage race had an impressive starting list, with teams as DSM and Jumbo Visma present. 2 tough stages to concur, over hilly roads in Bretagne. Stage 1 was a good one; a breakaway of 4 riders (2 DSM, 2 Jumbo Visma) followed by the first group of seventeen riders, including Quinty. This group was followed by the remaining of the peloton where Sophie was still managing. The second day turned out to be a bunch of sprints of a thinned peloton, catching the breakaway on the finish line. Senna finished at 28th, Quinty 33rd, and Sophie 34th. Because of the time differences on the first day, Quinty managed to end up at 16th place overall!

Stage races especially will contribute to stamina, experience, and the process of making racing decisions. Up to the next!