Simac Ladies Tour stage 5: Wiebes finally wins a stage, Kopecky secures overall

Van Vleuten crossed the line, the final rider to do so, after stopping to hug her mom in her final bike race.

Wiebes sprints to victory ahead of Balsamo and Kopecky. Simac Ladies Tour, stage 5.

An aggressive final stage of the Simac Ladies Tour left just 26 riders to fight for the win, and of course, it was Lorena Wiebes who took the stage, her first of the week despite two sprint finishes early on. She was delivered to the line by her SD Worx teammate Lotte Kopecky, who remained unchallenged for the overall and finished third on the day. Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek) finished second, her third time on the podium at the Simac Ladies Tour.

Annemiek van Vleuten rode across the line in the second group and took a minute to raise her arms in celebration of an incredible career. She was greeted by her mom and a slew of fans, signs and banners.

Annemiek van Vleuten greets her mom after her last race.

How it happened

Did Niewiadoma attack today? Is the sky blue?

Brief stage results


GC results


That’s another sprint victory for Wiebes

Brief analysis

Saying goodbye to a legend

Van Vleuten didn’t manage to win the overall at the Simac Ladies Tour as she did in both 2017 and 2018, but as she said before the race it wasn’t her goal. Back in 2007, when it was the Holland Ladies Tour, a young Van Vleuten lined up for her first professional race. She would crash out of the first stage, DNFing the race, a far cry from the dominant rider we have had the privilege of watching over the years.

Can you spot Van Vleuten in the crowd of supporters?

After the race concluded various people got up on stage and spoke about Van Vleuten. Tears were shed. Dances were danced. And a legend took her final bow.

Annemiek van Vleuten raises her arms in goodbye to the sport in Arnhem after the final stage of the Simac Ladies Tour, 2023.

Up next: Tour de Romandie, September 15-17

The final WWT race on European soil kicks off on Friday in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. The race consists of three road stages, all of which are pretty hilly, the second stage even features a fun little mountaintop finish.

There will definitely be some interesting riders lining up in Switzerland. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, the winner of the 2022 edition, will hopefully be present. Perhaps even Tour de France Femmes winner Demi Vollering after she exited the Simac Ladies Tour early due to illness. As for Movistar, with Van Vleuten retired as of Sunday, leadership will pass to the German national champion Liane Lippert. It’s the dawn of a new age in women’s cycling.

Stage 2 of Tour de Romandie on Saturday, September 16

A preview will be available here on Escape Collective prior to the start of the race, so if you’re keen for more information, come back soon.

It’s not the end of the season for the women, there is still a stage race and a one-day in China (both races have been cancelled for the last three seasons but have finally returned to the calendar for the 2023 season).

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