(Montreal) “It looks really good for the next stages in the mountains,” cyclist Olivia Baril told Sportcom on Thursday after finishing 20th in the fourth stage of the Tour of Spain.
On Friday, in the final ascent of the Mirador de Peñas Lllanas, the UAE Team ADQ rider remained in the group of favorites until the last kilometer mark to end the day in ninth place (30 seconds).
It was the Dutch and world number one, Demi Vollering (SD Workx), who won this fifth stage, 3 seconds ahead of her compatriot, world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar). At the same time, Vollering endorses the red jersey of leader with a lead of 5 seconds over van Vleuten, winner of the last two editions of the Ceratizit Challenge, the former name of the Vuelta feminina.
“The kilometers before the (last) climb were a little bit difficult. So I was a little stressed for the finish. Honestly, I would have liked to do better, but hey, I gave it my all. […] I am really optimistic for tomorrow (Saturday),” explained Baril, who could still count on three teammates in the leading group before it withered away as the summit approached.
The disappointment of the athlete from Rouyn-Noranda can be explained because she really wanted to stay with the Vollering group until the very end of these 129 kilometers.
“That’s where I want to be, but I was misplaced at the start of the climb. She (Vollering) is really strong, but I don’t miss that much. One day I’ll be there too! promised the 25-year-old cyclist.
Among other Quebecers, Adèle Normand (Massi-Tactic) finished 45th (4 min 11 s), Magdeleine Vallières-Mill (EF Education – TIBCO-SVB) 72nd (8 min 27 s) and Simone Boilard (St Michel – Mavic – Auber93) 88th (22 min 9 s).
As was the case on Thursday, Olivia Baril once again made a leap in the provisional general classification. She goes from 15th to 7th place, 1 minute 7 seconds behind the new holder of the leader’s red jersey. Normand is 64th (17 min 2 s), Vallières-Mill 67th (19 min 26 s) and Boilard 83rd (25 min 51 s).
In her first participation in a grand tour, Adèle Normand found herself in a breakaway at the start of the stage in the company of five riders, including Simone Boilard. Their exit voucher expired after only twenty kilometers, except that Normand was still happy to have dared.
“It was not planned, but I wanted to try to start the bump (mid-term) with a head start because the big teams often set the tempo. »
The 21-year-old rookie says she hasn’t stopped learning since the beginning of the week and she promises herself more for the mountainous stage on Sunday where she will want to go on the offensive again. For example, she says that she was badly positioned in the peloton of the first stage.
“Since the second stage, I’m always at the front and it’s going great. I gained confidence in my investment in three days. […] (The big teams), it’s another world, but at the same time, it’s not that far away. It just takes a little experience to get there. It’s a big step, but it’s starting to be accessible, “adds the one who is proud to have rode a good part of the race in the group of the red jersey.
The penultimate stage of the Tour of Spain will take place on Saturday, between Castro Urdiales and Laredo, a 106 kilometer route that will include two second category climbs.