Clara Koppenburg brought the fight to the WorldTour riders in the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas as she infiltrated the breakaway to finish fifth atop the fearsome Lagunas de Neila climb.
“I am super chuffed because I really gave everything,” Koppenburg said. “I completely emptied myself and the last two kilometers were the longest in my life, it was so hard.”
At 42km to go, a massive group of thirty riders attacked with Koppenburg following the move.
“The key moment was definitely when the 30 rider group went and it was a perfect move to be in. I could try to just hang in there and take a lift. When we entered the long climb there were fewer and fewer people and Amanda Spratt kept attacking. I just tried to follow.”
Koppenburg gave her all atop the summit finish and displayed a brilliant return to form after her recent knee injury, managing to finish fifth on the day and just outside the podium for the overall classification. Additionally, her ride was also enough to win the most aggressive on the day.
“I’m super happy to have this result after having not a great start to the season with some injuries. I’m also really happy to give something back to my teammates because they worked really hard over the last few days.”
After infiltrating the day’s break, she fought super hard to be the last of the escapees caught and secured fourth overall in the process. 🧡👑#BurgosFem | #GetReadyForTomorrow pic.twitter.com/0VyVH8TvQE
— Rally Cycling (@Rally_Cycling) May 23, 2021
Koppenberg’s success rounds out a strong week for the Rally Cycling women after Heidi Franz held onto the mountains classification jersey for three stages. The Vuelta a Burgos Feminas marks the end of a European racing block for the women as most head back to the US for Nationals from June 17-20.
Vuelta a Burgos Final General Classification
1 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna SD Worx 11:23:55
2 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek Movistar Team 0:03
3 VOLLERING Demi SD Worx 0:23
4 KOPPENBURG Clara Rally Cycling Women 0:59
16 DOEBEL-HICKOK Kristabel Rally Cycling 1:54
Stage 4 results
1 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna SD Worx 3:24:15
2 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek Movistar Team ”
3 VOLLERING Demi SD Worx 0:20
4 ROOIJAKKERS Pauliena Liv Racing 0:35
5 KOPPENBURG Clara Rally Cycling Women 0:37
6 AALERUD Katrine Movistar Team 0:51
7 LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope 1:04
8 MOOLMAN Ashleigh SD Worx 1:06
9 BROWN Grace Team BikeExchange 1:09
10 SPRATT Amanda Team BikeExchange 1:17
— Rebecca Bland to rallycycling.com