2023 Tour de France Femmes Stage 4 Preview

2023 Tour de France Femmes Stage 4 Previewcyclingmole

Cahors > Rodez 177km

The fourth stage is another opportunity for the GC riders to have a look at each other before the big mountain stage later in the week. The final 40km of the stage features three categorised climbs and a steep ramp up to the finish. Not only that but this is the longest in the race, it’s likely to be the longest stage most of the peloton have ridden before, I’ve struggled to find a longer one.


Sunshine and clouds, temperatures will be around 20 degrees. 

The Climbs 

Côte de Colombiès kicks off the finale, it’s a cat 3 climb. Soon after, there’s a bonus sprint but the break will likely take the seconds on offer. 

Côte de Moyrazes is a cat 2 climb; this is where we’ll start to see a lot of riders dropped from the front group. The crest comes with 15km to go. 

After a 4km descent, the riders bounce straight into Côte de Lavernhe, which is a steep little climb. From the top of this one, there’s just 9km to go. 

This is a nasty, nasty finish. 700m at 7.2%, but that includes a flat final 100m or so. To win this stage, you need a big punch. It’s the same final 650m that has been used in the men’s edition back in 2015 and 2017, when Van Avermaet and Matthews won. If you can remember those days, you’ll know just how hard this finish is.


Can anyone wrestle control of the race away from SD Worx? If there was ever a stage to do so, this is the one. Both Movistar and Lidl – Trek have two riders high on GC, will they be bold enough to sacrifice one of their leaders to put pressure on SD Worx? The problem with being bold is Marlen Reusser, she looks in imperious form. Say a rider like Lippert goes long, Reusser will follow, but will the two riders work together? I think Reusser would refuse, Lippert is too dangerous in terms of the fight for the yellow jersey. Can Lippert or Spratt attack and get away from Reusser or Kopecky? This is unlikely, but I hope we see attacks as teams need to try something before the final ramp to the line. 

SD Worx will look to do their usual. Sit back, let others control the peloton and monitor the attacks. If they feel bold, Reusser could be allowed to attack and put pressure on Movistar, but I think they would rather hold everything together and set Vollering up for a big finish.  


Demi Vollering – this looks like a perfect stage for Vollering. The steep finish is perfect for someone who’s won Flèche Wallonne, she’ll start this stage full of confidence, and will have hopes of winning the stage and putting a little bit of time into her main rivals. SD Worx have the riders to close any attacks, setting us up for a big finish. 

Annemiek van Vleuten – this is a big day for the world champion, can she get close to Vollering for the first time this season? As she doesn’t have the same snap as her rival, I think the goal will be to not lose time. 

Liane Lippert – got her stage win on Monday, and as she finished 2nd in Flèche Wallonne, this is a stage that Lippert will look forward to. Movistar have two of the strongest riders in the race, I hope they go risky and look to attack before the finish. Vollering is better than both Lippert and van Vleuten in this type of finish, if Movistar want to win, they need to be creative. 

Katarzyna Niewiadoma – looking strong, but she rarely wins. To win this stage, Niewiadoma needs to go long, which is a risky tactic considering the strength of the other teams. 

Ashleigh Moolman – another rider who’s impressed in the opening stages of this race. I don’t see her winning this stage, but a place in the top 5 is more than likely. 

Elisa Longo Borghini – the Italian champion has the punch required to challenge for the win, and as they also have Spratt high on GC, she can play it safe throughout the day. Hopefully Lidl – Trek attack with Spratt, allowing Longo Borghini to safe everything for the finish.  

Juliette Labous – had a poor opening stage but responded well on Monday. Labous was one of the favourites for the yellow jersey, but she now sits about 1 minute down on her main rivals, which is a big gap to make up. Hopefully she has another good day and can challenge for the win. 

Lotte Kopecky – she’s going very well just now, but as the team have already given her two opportunities, I think she’ll be riding for others.

Prediction Time 

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A big GC day and a win for Demi Vollering. I think there will be some gaps at the finish too.