Veronica Ewers powers to 4th on Tour de France Femmes gravel stage

'I couldn't have asked for more today'

July 27, 2022

With a fine, white dust coating her face after racing across the French gravel roads for hours, Veronica Ewers crossed the finish line. After a late surge, she earned fourth on stage four at the Tour de France Femmes.

“I’m pretty excited. That’s my first top five result in the WorldTour so I’m pretty excited. And it was in the Tour de France! I feel some tears coming on right now,” Veronica said. While the American would have preferred to have taken the stage win, she said, “It’s pretty huge for me and I think for the team. Maybe we’ll get a higher result next time.”

In the closing kilometers, Veronica and two companions knew the win would be claimed by a rider over a minute up the road, but she was determined to push for the best result possible.

“I knew that the group was chasing really hard behind. I kind of bit the bullet and played my cards, knowing that I’d probably get fourth in that scenario, but it’s better than getting caught by the bunch,” she said.

EF Education-TIBCO-SVB sports director Daniel Holm Foder is happy that Veronica gambled, even if it didn’t necessarily work out the way the team had hoped.

“For us it’s about taking the risk,” Daniel said. “If we want to win or have a top result, we have to do that. The plan was if we are in that position with one of our riders up the road to be on the aggressive side because then you can take the initiative. Otherwise we have to play by their rules so we made our rules. Sometimes it is easier that way because when you take that first step and you’re committed, you have no doubts anymore. You know what you have to do. You put everything on this one chance so then you stick with it. Not only for Veronica’s development but also for the development of the team, I think it’s a good lesson that when you try to challenge the big names, it is possible. That is the lesson from today.”

With nearly 13 kilometers of gravel spread through the 126 kilometer course, as the stage wore on the peloton shed more and more riders with mechanicals and punctures. That was not the case for Veronica.

“No flats, no bike issues. Cannondale and Vittoria saved the day for me,” she said.

Veronica noted that riding the course in the weeks ahead of the stage gave her valuable insight and confidence.

“This is maybe my fifth or sixth time on gravel so I think reconning the course and knowing how intense some of the gravel sections were was really helpful and knowing how jarring some of the sections were and being prepared,” she said.

“Luck was on my side today. And my legs. And my bike, my trusty steed which our mechanics Zane and Adrian fixed up after yesterday’s crash. I couldn’t have asked for more today.”

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