Roy goes on the attack on stage four of the Women’s Tour

Thu 13 Jun 2019

Australian Sarah Roy went on the offensive on stage four of the Women’s Tour, attacking early on and spending 130-kilometres in the breakaway.

The 33-year-old picked up the combativity award for her efforts after eventually being reeled in inside the final 15-kilometres as a reduced bunch contested the win on the tour’s first uphill finish.

On The Attack

After mixing it in the sprint finishes on the opening three days, Roy opted for a different tactic and went on the attack 30-kilometres into the stage. The peloton appeared happy enough to allow the two-time Women’s Tour stage winner go down the road and the gap quickly went out to over a minute.

With the bunch easing up, two more riders jumped out of the pack and eventually joined Roy, giving her some much needed assistance at the head of the race.

The three leaders worked well together and they stretched their lead out to a maximum of eight minutes, with the peloton knocking off the pace behind with 80-kilometres still remaining on the tour’s longest stage.

The Finale

By the time the race hit the 40-kilometre to go marker the break of three was down to two, with Roy still committed to the move as the advantage on the chasing peloton shrunk to three minutes over the hilly terrain.

The race then came alive over the first passage of the finish line, with three riders using the slopes to attack clear of the reduced bunch. The trio eventually made it across to the leading pair, but the peloton weren’t far behind as Roy’s time out front came to an end.

The stage win honours were then set to be contested by a small group of 25 riders as the head of the race came back together. Grace Brown was the only surviving member for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the front of the race, but the 26-year-old couldn’t go with the attacks on the final climb as Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM Racing) took the victory.

Sarah Roy:
"The plan today was for us to take chances. That finish doesn’t really suit me and so my best option was to get a head start on the peloton before the climbs start so I was keen for an early break." 

"At the time a few people had tried some moves and then there was a lull and I just went with the free speed I had. I didn’t think too much about it other than it’s good to play a bit and maybe the next attack with Alex (Manly) or Gracie (Elvin) in it could be the move to go which would have been good, but as it was I was on my own for a while." 

"I think I got a few minutes before two riders came across. I waited for them and then we worked well together to extend the lead to over eight minutes. I did think there was a chance we could stay away, it all depended on what happened behind us. I found it a little tough out there, I felt like I was the one picking the pace up and doing the climbs so when I was caught on finish climb one lap before the finish I was cooked. I just rolled home in the second group after that."

"But I'm really happy with the day, my legs have been a bit crap so I am proud that I still tried to race as though I have good legs. You just never know, that’s the beauty of cycling."

Women's Tour - Stage 4 Results:
1. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM Racing) 4:18:29
2. Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) ST
14. Grace Brown (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:22

General Classifcation After Stage 4:
1. Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) 13:47:56 
2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM Racing) ST
17. Grace Brown(Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:42

Photos courtesy of Getty Images