After being one of the main aggressors in the later half of the cold and rainy stage, Niewiadoma was caught by the remnants of the peloton as the riders came into the foot of the final climb, but attacked clear again in the final kilometre to take the win.
“Once I saw all the stage details I knew this one was for me," said Niewiadoma. "I really like this kind of climb – short, punchy; hills where I can really make an advantage over the others. I knew I needed to be there and have a great position at the bottom of the climb and then see what happens.
“I felt like a piece of crap, I felt so bad because of the rain and cold. But once you attack you go into this weird suffering mode, you forget about everything and you just want to get to the line first.
“Once I crossed the finish line, I thought about this morning’s conversation with my boyfriend [EF Education First rider Taylor Phinney] because he woke up and told me I was going to win today. He doesn’t say that often. I thought: ‘OK, he believes in me.”
It was the first time the tour had a hilltop finish and it didn’t disappoint. A three-rider breakaway including Australian Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) gathered an advantage close to ten minutes before the peloton started to work together to reel them in. As the race approached the final circuits, Roy remained off the front.
Niewiadoma attacked through the first passage of the finish line causing havoc and taking Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) and Lippert with her. The trio bridged to Roy and then went clear on their own before being caught by a concerted chase from the peloton near the foot of the final climb.
On the final 1km climb to the finish the Polish star attacked again and went clear to take victory.
“Kasia proved once again that she’s one for spectacular victories," said Ronny Lauke, Team Manager of CANYON//SRAM Racing. "Her win today was outstanding.”
“The team rode extremely well. Although we didn’t have a jersey to defend they were committed to lower the time gap because they all believed that Kasia can achieve something today. For Kasia to attack on the circuit, be in the breakaway, then get caught, and then to attack on the finish climb again to win, it was spectacular.”
Liane Lippert (SUN) finished second and now takes over the leader’s jersey, meaning that the general classification has changed four times in four stages. Niewiadoma, with the same time as Lippert, sits second on the general classification with two stages remaining.