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Tour de France Femmes

Tour de France Femmes: SD Worx ‘super motivated’ for final mountain stages

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak riding with stitches in her arm following mass crash on stage 5.

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ROSHEIM, France (VN) — SD Worx has had a quiet start to its general classification bid at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, but the Dutch team is ready to ramp up its efforts for the weekend’s mountain stages.

The team has taken a stage victory already with Marlen Reusser’s win on the gravel Wednesday, but Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Demi Vollering are sitting in wait as they look to climb the GC standings.

The pair is sitting fifth and six respectively in the overall classification at 55 seconds and 1:01 behind the yellow jersey.

“We started not great but also not dramatic. The Champs Élysées was a bunch sprint, which everybody expected. The second day was, for us, not the perfect day because we were not in that move, but it was also not too bad because our GC riders are not in a bad position,” the team’s road captain Chantal van den Broek-Blaak said.

“The last few days, I have seen a super motivated team. I think the atmosphere is very good and our GC riders are confident they feel good and they’re safe. The win from Marlen was also great, the pressure is off and we will go for the GC in the next few days. The last two days will be all-in for Ashleigh and Demi.”

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While the team has managed to avoid any major injuries or illness so far, Van den Broek-Blaak was one of the many fallers caught in the large pileup in the final 50 kilometers of stage 5. Soon after the fall, the former world champion could be seen riding with blood trickling down her arm and a rudimentary bandage on her arm as she waited for medical attention.

She was eventually seen to during the stage and also had a visit from the doctor after it finished to get her wounds stitched up.

“I’m fine. I have some stitches in my elbow but I don’t have any pain. It could have been better,” she said. “In the race, I went to the medical car because I could see that it wasn’t bleeding. I had some help from the team car already with a towel and a hairband from Anna [van der Breggen — DS], because the medical car was busy with others.

“When I went to the medical car, they said that I needed to go to see them after the race to get some stitches. It’s OK. It looks good and I don’t have pain.

“I didn’t have pain and I could move everything. Then you know that there’s nothing broken and it’s just some blood you know you can keep doing the Tour.”