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SIMAC Ladies Tour Preview

  • 1 September 2023
  • Latest news , News , Vox News

The SIMAC Ladies Tour is arguably the most prestigious Dutch stage race, and it enjoys its quarter century edition this year. The race comprises a Prologue and five stages, including an individual time trial. Last year’s winner was Lorena Wiebes, then riding for Team DSM, which gives a good indication of the type of rider who you can be expected to perform well, as the parcours is largely flat.

Having said that, this race does include a stage with significant climbs, including some of the iconic bergs featured in the Amstel Gold Race, so while sprinters may contest many of the stages, the GC winner will need to manage a fair bit of climbing, as well as being able to go well against the clock.

The race takes place from Tuesday 5 th to Sunday 10 th September 2023.

Prologue – Tuesday 5 th September – Ede – Ede (2.4km, ITT)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

A short ride against the clock will kick off proceedings, and it will be a matter of seconds that will allow the first leader’s jersey of the race to be awarded and put the rest in order heading into the first full stage.

Stage 1 – Wednesday 6 th September – Gennep – Gennep (139.6km, Flat)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

The first full road stage of the race centres around the city of Gennep. The course features two loops of a 62.7km circuit, followed by a shorter 16.3km lap heading to the finish line. It’s a pan flat course so almost guaranteed to finish with a bunch sprint.

Stage 2 – Thursday 7 th September – Leuven – Leuven (7.2km, ITT)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

Stage 2 sees a second opportunity for riders to go against the clock, this time in a slightly longer time trial. It’s a mostly flat course around Leuven, although there is one bump to overcome after just one kilometre, and it will allow slightly bigger gaps to open between the GC riders, though nothing that cannot be overcome in the later stages of the race.

Stage 3 – Friday 8 th September – Emmeloord – Lelystad (149km, Flat)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

Beginning in the town of Emmeloord, the peloton will cross the road bridge over the water to Lelystad, before completing two 60.4km laps of the town. There is barely a hiccup in the road all day, and another completely flat day will of course appeal to the fast women in the bunch, who will likely compete in a bunch gallop for the line.

Stage 4 – Saturday 9 th September – Valkenburg – Valkenburg (131.6km, Hilly)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

It’s a day for the Ardennes classics specialists on Stage 4, which takes the peloton around the city of Valkenburg, beginning at Landal castle and ending on the infamous Cauberg. The route travels through South Limberg, and finishes with two laps of a circuit featuring the Cauberg along with the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg. Those who have performed well in the Ardennes Classics will enjoy the opportunity to stretch their legs on some of the region’s most famous bergs.

Stage 5 – Sunday 10 th September – Arnhem – Arnhem (150.5km, Flat)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

The longest stage of the race is also the final stage, so differences in the general classification could still be overcome on a day that sees the action begin and end in the Gelderland province of Arnhem in the centre of the Netherlands, via two different circuits. The first of these takes in Emmapiramide and the Posbank, on a loop that’s repeated seven times, before the race heads through Arnhem for five laps of a circuit which features the Zijpendaalseweg and the Apeldoornsweg. It’s likely to be a sprint finish on the Zijpendaalseweg, unless the GC riders are looking to launch a final attack in their search for victory.

Riders to Watch

Annemiek van Vleuten of Movistar closes out her season, and her career, at home with the SIMAC Ladies Tour. It’s likely to be an emotional send-off for the Dutch former World Champion, and Annemiek will be hoping to finish with her held high, so expect her to challenge for the GC win and perhaps some stage wins along the way, where she feels she has the legs.

She will face tough competition as always from the likes of SD Worx, Lidl-Trek, Canyon//SRAM and FDJ SUEZ.

Riders to watch (GC)

5-stars Annemiek van Vleuten

When –  September 2023

Where – The Netherlands

What – 6-day stage race

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Simac Ladies Tour 2023 Race Preview

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Mathew Mitchell

  • Published on September 3, 2023
  • in Women's Cycling

Riejanne Markus 2022 Simac Ladies Tour Cor Vos

Simac Ladies Tour History

The Simac Ladies Tour, formerly known as the Holland Ladies Tour, is a cornerstone event in the Women’s WorldTour having had that status since 2017. Its history goes back to 1998, before becoming a UCI race in 1999. In 2022, Lorena Wiebes joined the list of winners with her stellar all-round performance. She won the opening two stages before hanging on with a great performance on the hills to take the GC win. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak seized the title in 2021. She didn’t win a stage in her GC win but was consistent across the week to beat Marlen Reusser by 17 seconds. Yet, the extraordinary Marianne Vos who remains the biggest winner in the Simac Ladies Tour history. She has an astonishing record of four successive titles to her name between 2009-2012, setting a standard that hasn’t been matched yet. Another Dutch legend Mirjam Melchers made her indelible mark by clinching victories in both 2000 and 2004 as well.

Table of Contents

This year’s race sees fewer time trial kilometres, with just a 2.4km prologue and 7.1km time trial in Leuven to earn time. There are two stages that feel like obvious sprint stages early on before a pair of lumpier stages. Stage 4’s race around Valkenburg will feature the Cauberg and other climbs from the Amstel Gold Race The final day in Arnhem will feature lots of short sharp accelerations and should be a reduced bunch sprint.

Previous Winners

2022 Lorena Wiebes 2021 Chantal van den Broek-Blaak 2020 Not held

Simac Ladies Tour 2023 Profiles

Prologue profile.

2023_Simac_Ladies_Tour_Prologue_Profile

Stage 1 Profile

2023_Simac_Ladies_Tour_Stage_1_Profile

Stage 2 Profile (TT)

2023_Simac_Ladies_Tour_Stage_2_Profile

Stage 3 Profile

2023_Simac_Ladies_Tour_Stage_3_Profile

Stage 4 Profile

2023_Simac_Ladies_Tour_Stage_4_Profile

Stage 5 Profile

2023_Simac_Ladies_Tour_Stage_5_Profile

TV Coverage

Saturday 5th September 2023 to Thursday 10th September 2023

Live on Eurosport/GCN

Prologue: 14:45-16:30 Stage 1: 14:20-16:05 Stage 2: 12:30-14:15 Stage 3: 14:30-16:15 Stage 4: 14:30-16:15 Stage 5: 14:25-16:10

All times in BST

Twitter:  #SLT2023

Startlist: FirstCycling

Simac Ladies Tour 2023 Contenders

Annemiek van Vleuten

The Annemiek van Vleuten retirement tour reaches its climax on home roads at the Simac Ladies Tour. The retiring star has said that she won’t be going for GC but will be soaking in the adulation from the crowds for the final time. We obviously heard that about the Tour of Scandinavia as well but this time, the parcours doesn’t really suit too much other than the final days. Even then the climbs in Valkenburg aren’t quite tough enough for her to make a big difference. The couple of short TTs also don’t swing the balance much either. She will still do fine but don’t expect any major solo breaks or a big effort to win this. Arlenis Sierra might be a threat for stage wins via the sprint, particularly the hilly stages late on. The Cuban isn’t in the best form though at the moment, with her best recent result coming in a time trial. We’ve not seen Mareille Meijering since June but she can do well in Valkenburg after top-10s in hilly one-day races this year. We’ve not seen much in terms of results from Floortje Mackaij recently, she’s been firmly working for others but the Simac Ladies Tour could see her back to a bigger role.

Lorena Wiebes won here last season and if anything, the race seems more likely to be hers this year if she can beat her teammates. The amount of time trial kilometres has been reduced, with the prologue and short TT both firmly in the wheelhouse of a powerful sprinter now. This time last year we weren’t sure about her climbing on a Valkenburg stage but that seems to have been smashed out of the water this season. There are potentially 3-5 stage wins for Wiebes here and if so, that’s probably a strong GC as well. Teammate Lotte Kopecky will also be here, repping the new rainbow bands jersey. She’s won a non-UCI race in it already but there are chances here too. If Wiebes is the main nod, then Kopecky can capitalise in either GC through the TTs or be released as the team’s best option on Stages 4 and 5. It will largely depend on how the GC shapes up by then but strong TTs could put the Belgian in the prime position. Demi Vollering is also going to be here too. The shorter TTs won’t suit quite as much as a longer one but when it comes to the Valkenburg stage this year’s Amstel Gold Race winner (after 2 years in a row finishing 2nd) will be a threat. Also can’t rule out Mischa Bredewold getting involved after her win at the weekend in Plouay .

Jumbo-Visma has got a good line-up here with plenty of all-round threats. Riejanne Markus took a great stage win in last year’s Simac Ladies Tour, ghosting clear on the climbs and not being caught again. The TTs are short but Markus should be able to make up time. It’ll be tough to see her beat SD Worx in GC but maybe the podium is there. Anna Henderson is a great prologue and TT rider and might be able to put herself into the top-10 contention as a result. 4th in the World Championships TT was a great result but this will be a different effort. She was 3rd in GC at the similar Baloise Ladies Tour this year. Karlijn Swinkels is due to leave the team this off-season but had a great 7th place at Plouay this weekend. She’s got a useful fast finish and will also do well against the clock.

Kasia Niewiadoma

Canyon SRAM might not pull off a strong GC threat here, even with Kasia Niewiadoma , unless the Pole can avoid losing time against the clock. The former Amstel Gold Race winner will relish the Valkenburg stage and maybe she can finally break her winless duck. Maike van der Duin might be back to her best here, her crash at the Madison in the World Championships seemed to carry over into the Tour of Scandinavia. It’s also the debut race on the team for new signing Zoe Backstedt and it’ll be interesting to see how she fits in.

Christina Schweinberger is having a great season, which the Austrian continued with 6th this weekend in the Classic Lorient Agglomeration. She’s on a run of 4 top-10 results in a row now at the very highest level. Her teammate Julie de Wilde will also be a fun one to watch this week. She can do well in the prologue and will be in the hunt for stage wins too.

Tamara Dronova continues her solid consistent season with 13th place at the weekend. She was 4th on the last day of the Tour of Scandinavia too and is able to take top-10 results almost anywhere. Her TT isn’t amazing so that will probably hamper GC efforts but all of the sprints and hilly stages are probably in her wheelhouse. 

Lidl-Trek will be really looking to take the race to their usual rivals SD Worx. Elisa Balsamo will be their sprint threat and might also be able to contest the hilly stages. The team pursuiter should be ok on the prologue and the TT isn’t much longer either. She’s starting to come back into form after the injuries she took at RideLondon Classique. There’s also Tour de l’Avenir Femmes winner Shirin van Anrooij . Her 30km solo break for the win was a huge effort, reminiscent of her win at Trofeo Alfredo Binda earlier this year. She should also be a GC threat here too. Lucinda Brand might also have a shout after winning the Baloise Ladies Tour. The TT there and 4 consistent finishes in the top 4 took her to the GC victory. 

Parkhotel Valkenburg has a strong recent result from almost every one of their riders at the moment. Femke Gerritse was 2nd on the final day of the Giro Toscana, Lieke Nooijen won 2 Districtenpijl – Ekeren-Deurne , Quinty Schoens was 2nd at Kreiz Breizh Elites and Scarlett Souren 2nd at Egmont Cycling Race. It’s tougher against Women’s WorldTour opposition naturally but the entire team is able to be a threat on any given stage.

Charlotte Kool

Charlotte Kool will be back going head-to-head against Lorena Wiebes. The tally has evened out since the UAE Tour earlier in the year but Kool represents one of the few riders able to beat the best sprinter in the peloton. 11 victories this year have been a great return steeping up in Wiebes’ shoes. Pfeiffer Georgi is another rider for whom the TTs at this year’s Simac Ladies Tour might help push her up the GC. 7th at the Amstel Gold Race this year means that she could be a threat in Valkenburg too.

Chiara Consonni will be confident after winning at GP Beerens on Sunday. The Italian won the final stage of the Giro Donne and had a 4th and 6th at the Tour de France Femmes before focusing on the World Championships. She’s not quite on the same tier as Wiebes/Balsamo/Kool but she is just below trying to close the gap.

Uno-X has a few stage-hunting possibilities. Susanne Andersen did an impressive 100km+ breakaway at Classic Lorient Agglomeration this weekend . She was powerful on the repeated short steep hills and we’ve also seen her clock up strong sprint finishes, including 2nd at Ronde van Drenthe . Maria Giulia Confalonieri is looking back to good form again. 4th at GP Oetingen was followed by 19th in Plouay. The Italian is a fast finisher on tough stages. Amalie Didikersen might be the flat-stage option. The Dane won the GP Eco-Struct earlier in the season and has top-10s in the Giro Donne and Konvert Kortrijk Koerse since. 

Ceratizit WNT comes with some strong options. There’s Arianna Fidanza , Martina Fidanza and Kathrin Schweinberger. Martina just finished 2nd at the GP Beerens behind Chiara Consonni, to go with another 2nd place at Veenendaal-Veenendaal and the Ronde de Mouscron victory. Sister Arianna Fidanza works well in tandem and after a strong spring has mainly been helping out the other fast finishers on the team. She hasn’t had a top-10 result since 2nd place at the Bretagne Ladies Tour back in May. Kathrin Schweinberger is in form at the moment, with 4th place at Konvert Kortrijk Koerse and just outside of the top-10 at GP Oetingen and GP Beerens.

If we get the Ally Wollaston who won the Festival Elsy Jacobs this year back on the road then the New Zealander might find herself in the top-10 of GC. She can certainly climb well on rolling hills and will be okay in the short TTs as well. She was knocking on the door with 3rd and 5th results at the Giro Donne before focusing on the track before the World Championships. I suspect Romy Kasper will be supporting but she had a strong Thüringen Ladies Tour this year and might be the sort of rider who can win a stage from the break at the Simac Ladies Tour. Maaike Boogaard is back in form as well, she was able to go clear at the GP Oetingen to finish 3rd ahead of the chasing peloton . She’s got a decent time trial too.

Top 3 Prediction

  • Lotte Kopecky
  • Lorena Wiebes
  • Riejanne Markus

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All times listed in ET. Times are subject to change.

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Simac Ladies Tour

  •   »  

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 1 KOPECKY Lotte
  • 2 WIEBES Lorena
  • 3 BREDEWOLD Mischa
  • 4 CECCHINI Elena
  • 5 GUARISCHI Barbara
  • 6 MARKUS Femke
  • 7 VOLLERING Demi (DNS #4)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 11 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek
  • 12 BIANNIC Aude
  • 13 ERIĆ Jelena
  • 14 GONZÁLEZ Alicia (DNF #5)
  • 15 MACKAIJ Floortje
  • 16 OYARBIDE Lourdes (DNF #5)
  • 17 SIERRA Arlenis

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 22 HENDERSON Anna
  • 24 MARKUS Riejanne (DNF #4)
  • 25 SWINKELS Karlijn
  • 26 VEENHOVEN Nienke * (DNF #4)
  • 27 OUDEMAN Maud *

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 31 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna
  • 32 BRADBURY Neve *
  • 33 CROMWELL Tiffany
  • 34 BÄCKSTEDT Zoe *
  • 35 SKALNIAK-SÓJKA Agnieszka (DNF #5)
  • 36 TOWERS Alice * (DNF #5)
  • 37 VAN DER DUIN Maike *

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 41 COUZENS Millie * (DNF #5)
  • 42 DE WILDE Julie * (DNS #4)
  • 43 KUIJPERS Evy
  • 44 SCHWEINBERGER Christina
  • 45 KASTELIJN Yara
  • 46 SCHREMPF Carina (DNF #5)
  • 47 WRIGHT Sophie (DNF #5)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 51 BAUR Caroline (DNF #5)
  • 52 COLES-LYSTER Maggie
  • 53 DRONOVA-BALABOLINA Tamara (DNS #2)
  • 54 HARTMANN Elena (DNS #5)
  • 55 PIRRONE Elena (DNF #5)
  • 56 SHARPE Alice
  • 57 VIECELI Lara (DNF #5)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 61 BALSAMO Elisa
  • 62 VAN ANROOIJ Shirin *
  • 63 BRAND Lucinda (DNF #4)
  • 64 CHAPMAN Brodie
  • 65 HANSON Lauretta
  • 66 KLEIN Lisa
  • 67 SANGUINETI Ilaria

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 71 DEMEY Valerie
  • 72 BUURMAN Eva
  • 73 DE JONG Thalita
  • 74 KOREVAAR Jeanne
  • 75 STULTIENS Sabrina (DNF #4)
  • 76 JASKULSKA Marta
  • 77 TON Quinty

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 81 GEORGI Pfeiffer
  • 82 HENGEVELD Daniek * (DNF #5)
  • 83 KOCH Franziska (DNS #5)
  • 84 KOOL Charlotte
  • 85 PLOUFFE Maeve (DNF #1)
  • 86 UIJEN Elise * (DNF #5)
  • 87 BARALE Francesca * (DNF #5)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 91 ALLEN Jessica (DNF #1)
  • 92 BAKER Georgia
  • 93 CAMPBELL Teniel (DNF #5)
  • 94 HOWE Georgie (DNF #5)
  • 95 ROSEMAN-GANNON Ruby
  • 96 MANLY Alexandra
  • 97 PATERNOSTER Letizia

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 102 BUJAK Eugenia
  • 103 CONSONNI Chiara (DNS #2)
  • 104 GASPARRINI Eleonora Camilla * (DNS #2)
  • 105 KUMIEGA Karolina (DNF #5)
  • 106 TOMASI Laura
  • 107 BERTIZZOLO Sofia

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 111 CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia
  • 112 AHTOSALO Anniina *
  • 113 ANDERSEN Susanne
  • 114 BARKER Elinor
  • 115 DIDERIKSEN Amalie (DNF #5)
  • 116 LUTRO Amalie
  • 117 KOERNER Rebecca (DNF #5)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 121 ALONSO Sandra (DNF #4)
  • 122 DE ZOETE Mylène
  • 123 FIDANZA Arianna (DNF #5)
  • 124 FIDANZA Martina (DNF #5)
  • 125 SCHWEINBERGER Kathrin (DNF #1)
  • 126 TEUTENBERG Lea Lin

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 131 KING Eluned * (DNF #5)
  • 132 LAURANCE Typhaine (DNF #1)
  • 133 LEECH Madelaine * (DNF #5)
  • 135 TACEY April (DNF #5)
  • 136 VAN DER WOLF Babette * (DNF #4)
  • 137 VIGIE Margaux (DNF #5)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 141 BOOGAARD Maaike (DNS #3)
  • 142 KASPER Romy
  • 143 GOOSSENS Marthe *
  • 144 LOUW Anya (DNF #5)
  • 145 PLUIMERS Ilse * (DNF #5)
  • 146 RIJNBEEK Maud *
  • 147 WOLLASTON Ally * (DNF #5)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 151 COLBORNE Henrietta
  • 152 DE GRAVE Britt * (DNF #1)
  • 153 DE VRIES Femke
  • 154 DIJKSTRA Anneke (DNF #5)
  • 155 LUNDMARK Clara (DNF #5)
  • 156 MOS Anniek * (OTL #2)
  • 157 UITERWIJK WINKEL Meike (DNF #5)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 161 GERRITSE Femke *
  • 162 NOOIJEN Lieke *
  • 163 SCHOENS Quinty
  • 164 SOUREN Scarlett * (DNF #4)
  • 165 VAN HAAFTEN Kirstie (DNF #3)
  • 167 VANHOVE Marith * (DNS #4)

simac ladies tour 2023 youtube

  • 171 AINTILA Wilma *
  • 172 BURLOVÁ Kristýna * (DNF #4)
  • 173 DE CLERCQ Katrijn * (DNF #5)
  • 174 GEURTS Mijntje *
  • 175 SAP Julie (DNF #5)
  • 176 HENDRICKX Julie * (DNF #4)
  • 177 VAN DE PAAR Ines * (DNF #1)
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Giro d'Italia stage 5 Live - Will Jonathan Milan win again?

Simac ladies tour: lotte kopecky fastest in stage 2 time trial, takes race lead.

Riejanne Markus second, Zoe Bäckstedt third in Leuven

Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) won stage 2 of the Simac Ladies Tour , a 7.2-kilometre individual time trial in the Belgian city of Leuven and took the GC lead.

Fifth-last off the start ramp, the Belgian ITT champion was the only rider to cover the course in less than nine minutes, stopping the clock at 8:59.35 minutes. Riejanne Markus (Team Jumbo-Visma) started right after Kopecky and came closest to her time, finishing in 9:01.18 minutes.

In the general classification, Markus is now two seconds behind Kopecky, with Wiebes in third place at 13 seconds.

"I am happy to win today, but I would have preferred to start in the rainbow jersey tomorrow," Kopecky joked after receiving the yellow leader's jersey on the podium.

"It wasn't an easy course, because you can't calculate your effort, it's just seven kilometres all-in to the limit, and that really hurts. But it is something that suits me," she described her winning effort.

Kopecky is having a spectacular 2023 season with lots of victories, now also including her first Women's WorldTour ITT win, and on home soil.

"It was great to see all the roadside support today, thank you for that. This year is very good, and I know that it can quickly go the other way, so I really want to take everything from this season and enjoy it to the fullest," she said.

"Tomorrow will be a sprint stage, and this weekend, we'll have two very tough days with a finish on the Cauberg and then the Arnhem stage with the Posbank on Sunday. I think it will be an interesting weekend," Kopecky looked ahead to the remaining three stages.

How it unfolded

No doubt because of the ever-increasing stardom of Kopecky, the Simac Ladies Tour held a stage in Belgium for the first time in its history. Starting and finishing in the centre of Leuven, the ITT route started and finished on narrow streets with some technical corners while the middle part was more straightforward in the city's industrial northern outskirts.

Daniek Hengeveld (Team DSM-Firmenich) was the fifth rider to start and set the first benchmark of 9:40.33 minutes, keeping the lead until Georgie Howe (Team Jayco AlUla) bested her time with 9:18.50 minutes.

Howe stayed in the hot seat for most of the ITT as rider after rider fell short of her time. Marthe Goossens (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick Step) came closest with 9:20.08 minutes, but then Howe's teammate Georgia Baker cut almost three seconds off the best time with 9:15.96 minutes.

The lead changed quickly from then on as Christina Schweinberger (Fenix-Deceuninck) bested Baker's time with 9:12.57 minutes before herself being beaten by Zoe Bäckstedt (Canyon-SRAM) with 9:10.59 minutes.

Only a few minutes later, Kopecky cut 11 seconds off that and set the winning time of under nine minutes that Markus just missed, having to settle for second place. Overnight leader Charlotte Kool (Team DSM-Firmenich) finished in 9:32.67 minutes, dropping to tenth place overall.

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.

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Simac Ladies Tour - Stage 4

  • Dates 9 Sept
  • Race Length 131 kms
  • Start Valkenburg
  • Finish Valkenburg
  • Race Category Elite Women

Team SD Worx

Movistar team, team jumbo-visma, canyon//sram racing, fenix-deceuninck, israel-premier tech roland, liv racing teqfind, team dsm-firmenich, team jayco-alula, uae team adq, uno-x pro cycling team, ceratizit-wnt pro cycling, lifeplus wahoo, ag insurance-soudal quick-step team, gt krush rebel lease pro cycling, parkhotel valkenburg, lotto dstny ladies.

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Race leader Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) won stage 4 of the Simac Ladies Tour

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