Vuelta Femenina: Garcia and Smulders in the front again

Spanish champion Mavi Garcia made a strong impression on the only climb of the day. Silke Smulders went in a breakaway earlier in the stage, but was caught before the climb.

Without Rachele Barbieri the peloton started for the fourth stage of La Vuelta Femenina. After a nervous opening part of the stage with several fruitless attacks and some crashes a breakaway of four riders took off. With 40 kilometres to go the leaders were caught and new breakaway attempts followed. Silke Smulders was involved in one of them. Together with four other riders she took a small lead. With the Alto del Horche coming up the group with Smulders was caught.

On that climb it was Mavi Garcia how was at the front of the peloton making a strong impression uphill. Just after the summit there was an attack of Annemiek Van Vleuten. She was followed by Demi Vollering and our Spanish champion Garcia. The chasers kept them on a tight leash and reeled the trio back in quickly.

Eventually the stage finished in a sprint of a select first group. Marianne Vos took the stage win, Garcia finished in the first group and entered the top-20 in the general classification. “It was a nervous stage again. I felt really good today. The team is also very strong. They surround me the whole stage and help me whenever they can. On the climb I tested the legs for a time and they responded very well. Unfortunately we were caught, but this gives a lot of confidence for the next hard stages”, Garcia commented after the race.