Jumbo-Visma doesn’t need Marianne Vos to win

Dutch national champion Riejanne Markus continues to make strides with Simac Ladies Tour stage 4 win.

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Four days into a six-stage race, with a time trial around the corner, is not the time to let Riejanne Markus ride away, but ride away she did. Markus won the Queen stage of the Simac Ladies Tour with an impressive solo breakaway, not all that surprising for a rider who recently finished third in the European Championships ITT.

A pre-race favourite for the overall, Markus sits second overall ahead of the stage 5 time trial behind Lorena Wiebes who has held the jersey since stage 1.

It was a textbook day of teamwork from the women who generally go all in for the G.O.A.T., Marianne Vos. With Vos sitting out of the Simac Ladies Tour, the team handed over leadership to those who usually ride in supporting roles, mainly Markus, Coryn Labecki, and Anna Henderson. Unfortunately, a crash on stage 1 took Labecki out of the running, and the upcoming World Championships, but even one rider short Jumbo-Visma proved they don’t need Vos to win a bike race.

Henderson had a chance at the stage as well. The Brit spent most of the day up the road in a three-person breakaway, which allowed Markus to wait patiently in case the move was brought back. After splits on the first day, Henderson was too close to Wiebes in the general classification so she was never allowed much breathing room.

Team DSM did the work to make sure Henderson didn’t get too close to Wiebes ahead of the time trial, and Markus was perfectly positioned to counter the move when the time came.

Behind Markus, yellow and black jerseys of Jumbo-Visma could be seen patrolling the front and slowing down the chase. In the end, Markus won by 14 seconds, not enough time to even move into the top ten of the general classification, but the win is a welcome one for the team that usually struggles without their top rider Vos.

It’s been a breakthrough season for Markus, who won the Dutch national championship road title in June. She took her first WorldTour win last year at the Tour of Norway and has continued to step up ever since. A key domestique for her team, Markus rarely gets to ride for victory, but another WorldTour win should keep the confidence growing and should put more pressure on the team to give her opportunities in the future.

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