Spanish climber Ane Santesteban has once again shown her continuously building form, by climbing to a strong fourth place on today’s summit finish stage at Cycliste Féminin de l’Ardeche. The strong performance on the tough 119.6km stage sees the 30-year-old climb the overall classification into second position.
Santesteban had teammate Lucy Kennedy by her side towards the final, on the penultimate climb, before Ruth Winder attacked away from the group and was able to hold off the chasers to take a solo victory.
Santesteban dug deep up the final first category ascent and was able to finish in fourth place, on the same time as race leader Leah Thomas who finished second place and third place Mavi Garcia.
The Team BikeExchange rider will start tomorrow’s fifth stage in second place overall just nine seconds down on Thomas and on the same time as Garcia, who currently sits in third place.
Ane Santesteban – 4th place
“The team was awesome again today. They keep me out of trouble and out of the wind all day and the last two climbs were hard. There were some moves from the main general classification riders, and we had to control them.
Today we actually had the plan to try to go for the stage win with Lucy Kennedy. The girls perfectly executed the plan, and she was able to get away. In the end, she missed some good legs but I’m sure she will find again her moment here and finish her career in the best way. This is the same place where everything started for her as a professional cyclist.
I am really motivated and feeling confidence for the next three stages. It’s so nice to see how strong we are as a team. That really helps me. Fourth place in the end today and now up to second place overall, so it is exciting.”
2021 Cycliste Féminin de l’Ardeche – Stage 4 results:
1. Ruth Winder 3:28:23
2. Leah Thomas +2:18
3. Mavi Garcia +2:18
4. Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange) +2:18
General Classification after stage 4:
1. Leah Thomas 13:44:39
2. Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange) +0:09
3. Mavi Garcia +0:09
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com