Ricarda Bauernfeind takes bold solo victory on Tour de France Femmes stage five

Young German deliver Canyon-Sram their first victory in this race

Ricarda Bauernfeind wins stage 5 of the Tour de France Femmes 2023
Ricarda Bauernfeind wins stage 5 of the Tour de France Femmes 2023
(Image credit: Jeff Pachoud / Getty)

Canyon-SRAM rider Ricarda Bauernfeind went solo with just under 36km to go and never looked back to win today's Tour de France Femmes stage.

Bauernfeind attacked on the Côte de Laguépie with Brit Claire Steels (Israel-Premier Tech-Roland) but soon distanced the British rider and took off solo.

With co-operation in short supply in the reduced bunch behind she built a gap of 1-30 by 22km to go. Ace time trialist Marlen Reusser spent significant periods on the front of the bunch for her SD Worx team trying to create an opportunity for her team leader and yellow jersey holder Lotte Kopecky, but the gap remained stubborn and only reduced to 35 seconds.

Even a counter attack by Movistar sprinter Liane Lippert, marked by Reusser, in the closing kilometers didn’t eat more than 10 seconds into the gap. 

As Bauernfeind crossed the line in Albi she clapped her hand over her mouth in disbelief. 

The Tour stage win is easily the biggest of her career. A talented climber, she notched up third at the Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées last year and took the young rider jersey in the process. She has also held the U23 German road race and time trial titles.

She join’s yesterday’s stage winner Dutchwoman Yara Kastelijn (Fenix-Deceuninck) in claiming her first WorldTour win at this Tour. Kastelijn was also solo in her win into Rodez.

The German is also the race’s youngest winner at 23 years old.

Asked if she could believe she was a Tour stage winner Bauernfeind said: “No to be honest I can’t, it’s incredible.”

She went on to thank her team-mates. “We had to chase the first group because we missed it and my teammates did a great job then it was up to me to attack,” she said.

With Lippert's victory on stage two German riders have now won two stages of this year’s race. “It’s fantastic,” said Bauernfeind “I think it’s also for the team [which is German registered] we waited for the win [at the Tour] the whole year and now we’ve done it.”

The yellow jersey remained on the shoulders of Lotte Kopecky but her team-mate who hopes to be wearing it when the race ends, Demi Vollering, was given a 20 second time penalty for drafting behind a team-car following a puncture.

The big decider for the yellow jersey is expected to by this weekend with a stage going up the famous Tourmalet and individual time trial.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.