After only 24 km in stage 3 of this year’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift we saw 14 riders form a breakaway that gradually gained about 10 minutes on the peloton. With 28 km remaining in the stage, Yara Kastelijn battled Audrey Cordon-Ragot for bonus points at the intermediate sprint. She lost the sprint but decided to keep going and was able to distance herself from the breakaway.
Back in the peloton, Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering were attacking each other, thinning out the pack. The GC duo managed to catch the breakaway, but Yara Kastelijn was still more than 1 minute ahead when she crossed the finish line. Here are the impressive power numbers that Kastelijn put out during her 37 minutes of riding solo where she had to climb Côte de Moyrazes and Côte de Lavernhe to win the stage.
Kastelijn (37 minutes solo to the finish): average power 238W (~4.6W/kg)
Kastelijn (Côte de Moyrazes): time 13:21; average power 265W (~5.1W/kg)
Stage 7 was definitely the most demanding and exciting stage of the Tour de France Femmes, with two epic climbs Col d’Aspin (12 km with a gradient of 6.6%) and Col du Tourmalet (17.2 km with a gradient of 7.3%). The GC teams didn’t hold back and started pushing on Col d’Aspin already. Annemiek van Vleuten attacked 5 km before the top of Col d’Aspin and only Demi Vollering and Kasia Niewiadoma were able to follow.
Niewiadoma (Col d’Aspin): time 34:51; average power 255W (~5.2W/kg)
Col du Tourmalet
Kasia Niewiadoma was able to break away from Van Vleuten and Vollering on the descent from Col d’Aspin and built a lead of 58 seconds going into Col du Tourmalet. She paced her climb perfectly at around 255W despite the increasing altitude and dramatic foggy weather. Demi Vollering attacked with 5.7 km to go and showed the climbing performance of her life. She swiftly closed the gap to Niewiadoma and flew by to stage win nearly 2 minutes ahead of Kasia. Vollering was able to increase her effort by almost 0.5W/kg during her attack when everyone else was maxing out, truly incredible climbing.
Vollering (Col du Tourmalet): time 53:42; average power ~5.1W/kg; Last 5.7 km time 20:06; average power ~5.5W/kg
The last stage of Tour de France Femmes was a 22.6 km long individual time trial that included a stinging climb (1.4 km at a 7.4% gradient) in the middle. Kasia Niewiadoma was fighting for a spot on the GC podium and showed one of the best time-trial performances of her career. She blew past the first half of the course averaging 270W (5.5W/kg). She didn’t keep the same power in the second half but still managed to finish 9th in the stage beating Annemiek van Vleuten, the time trial world champion, by 18 seconds. This performance secured her 3rd place in the GC.
Niewiadoma (time trial): time 29:33; average power 259W (5.3W/kg); peak 5-minute power 289W (5.9W/kg