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Jumbo-Visma rewarded for aggressive tactics at Simac Ladies Tour

Team effort delivers Markus to victory, keeping Henderson and Swinkels in overall contention.

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Jumbo-Visma played an aggressive tactical game on stage 4 of the Simac Ladies Tour, and the team’s efforts delivered Riejanne Markus to the stage win in Landgraaf.

After three days of dominance from Team DSM, Jumbo Visma was finally able to expose a weakness in Lorena Wiebes’ team and stop the European champion from completing a hat trick of wins.

As well as the stage victory, the team placed three riders in the top-10 and has several options on the general classification going into the last two days of racing.

The first big move from Jumbo-Visma on Friday came when Anna Henderson bridged to lone leader Kirstie van Haaften (Parkhotel Valkenburg) in the middle of the stage, taking some pressure off the team behind.

Despite having a rider up the road, Jumbo-Visma helped to keep the pace high on the hilly circuit, tiring Team DSM. An unfortunate crash and abandon for Pfeiffer Georgi also dented DSM’s efforts, but several riders were already struggling to match the pace being set on the climbs.

Also read: Riejanne Markus soloes to stage win in Landgraaf

Going into the final 25km of the stage, Jumbo-Visma’s tactics had successfully isolated Wiebes, leaving her as the only DSM rider in the lead group whilst four of Jumbo-Visma’s riders had made the cut.

With several riders able to cover moves, Jumbo-Visma controlled the last part of the stage, creating the situation from which Markus launched her solo move with 6km to go. Behind, Henderson and Karlijn Swinkels successfully disrupted the chase, occasionally sitting on the front to slow the pace and allow their teammate to solo all the way to the line.

With no teammates, Wiebes struggled to chase down Markus and settled for second in the sprint from the bunch.

After missing the front group on stage 1, Markus lost a minute on the general classification early on so perhaps won’t be Jumbo-Visma’s first choice for the overall, but the team still has several options to consider.

Their biggest hope comes in the form of Henderson. After being on the attack on Friday, the Brit still placed sixth on stage 4, showing good form. A former national time trial champion, Henderson is a favorite for tomorrow’s stage and is equally suited to the circuit race to come on Sunday.

As well as Henderson, the team has Swinkels sitting second overall after one of the most consistent performances of the week, finishing in the top nine every day. With a good time trial, Swinkels could well leapfrog Lorena Wiebes on the overall classification.