This story originally appeared on VeloNews.com.
Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) took victory in the bunch sprint after a difficult and hilly stage of the Tour de France Women with Zwift.
The Dutch ace passed Marta Bastianelli and Lotte Kopecky to claim a dominant second Tour win and extend her GC lead.
Jumbo-Visma and then Trek-Segafredo led the peloton sprint to Rosheim after the breakaway was caught in the final kilometers of a hilly stage to Rosheim.
Longo Borghini started first but Vos passed about 150 meters to mark his second leg of the race.
Two mountain stages ahead meant a brutal battle for the day’s break.
A group of 14 riders from 14 teams finally left, and that meant business.
Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo), Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM), Christine Majerus (SD Worx), Ruby Roseman-Gannon (BikeExchange-Jayco), Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) and Joss Lowden (Uno-X) were among the riders in a stellar escape.
UAE ADQ and Valcar Travel & Service were two of the few teams to miss the break and held on to the breakaway in hopes of a reduced sprint in Rosheim.
The race exploded on the descent of the Mollkrich climb 25 km from the finish.
Majerus and Henderson raced down the fast descent to pile on the pressure, but not separate, the breakaway.
Meanwhile, about a minute late, Alena Amialiusik (Canyon SRAM), Lotte Kopecky (SD Workx) and green jersey Lorena Weibes (DSM) hit the bridge hard as the peloton raced down the twisty hill. All three were quickly back on the bike, but Weibes looked bloodied and struggling as she slowly returned.
DSM didn’t give up after Wiebes was eliminated. The black and blue team crowded into the peloton as they worked for both Wiebes and co-captain Lianne Lippert.
Henderson continued to throw in pursuit of the stage. The Briton attacks again in a small climb outside the category 15 km from the line, and the breakaway companions Lowden and Marie Le Net (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope) set off crossed.
Crunchy Côte de Boersch
Movistar lit things up on the Côte de Boersch as the stage steamed through its final 10 kilometers. Annemiek Van Vleuten’s train of pain brought the trio of breakaways within 20 seconds.
The Net kicked Henderson and Lowden atop Boersch’s climb, but the peloton didn’t let go of the stage.
Trek-Segafredo, Canyon-SRAM and DSM all piled up on the Côte ridge and caught up with the flying Frenchwoman just 6km from the finish as the course crumbled towards its finish in Rosheim.
Coming soon: Mountains to wreak havoc among GC contenders
Stages 7 and 8 will close the race and prove that Queenmakers in the first Tour de France Women.
Saturday’s stage to Le Markstein Fellering will be decided by a 13.5km run to the Grand Ballon and the tricky plateau up and down to the line.
The yellow jersey will be decided on Sunday with what should be a spectacular confrontation on the arrival at the stony summit of the Super Planche des Belles Filles.
Tour de France Women (2.WWT)
Saint-Die-des-Vosges → Rosheim