British cyclist April Tacey of Drops Cycling and Scottish-born Freddy Ovett of Israel Start-Up Nation were the respective winners of the women’s and men’s races yesterday at the Virtual Tour de France, with four of the six stages now completed.
Yesterday’s course on Zwift covered two laps of a 22.9 kilometre circuit designed to reflect the landscape of south west France, complete with fields of sunflowers, with Jossy Lowden of Drops Cycling, wearing the polka-dot jersey, taking the day’s first two climbs and using a feather power-up to move past her rivals on the last ascent of the day.
Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, who retain the overall lead on 277 points ahead of Drops Cycling on 219 points and Canyon//Sram Racing with 206 points, pushed hard on the descent and secured third and fourth place through Lauren Stephens and Leah Dixon.
Tacey’s victory, ahead of with Team Sunweb’s Anna Henderson, was the second stage win for the 19-year-old from Leicester, who took the opening stage last weekend.
In the men’s race, Daniel Turek of Israel Start-Up Nation took maximum points on the first two KOMs to help defend team-mate Ovett’s polka-dot jersey.
Trek-Segafredo’s Ryan Mullen made a solo attack inside the last 20 kilometres but was chased down by NTT Pro Cycling, who were looking to set up yellow jersey wearer Michael Valgren for the stage win.
The Dane looked well positioned to take victory in the sprint but had to be content with third as Ovett – born in Dumfries but an Australian citizen, and the son of two-time Olympic gold medal-winning middle-distance runner, Steve Ovett – came through and edged out Mitchelton-Scott’s Nick Schultz for the win.
NTT Pro Cycling continue to top the overall standings with 263 points, while Rally Cycling are second on 188 points and Trek-Segafredo third with 162 points.
The Virtual Tour de France concludes next weekend with a stage to Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux on Saturday followed by six laps of the iconic Champs-Elysées circuit in Paris on Sunday.
There will also be the final chance to ride a Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France, with 16 sessions next weekend of a 22.9-kilometre route tasking in Mont Ventoux, with the finish at the observatory at the top of the fabled mountain.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.