In the third stage from Reims to Epernay, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio took the lead on the Côte de Mutigny, forming an elite group with Demi Vollering, Annemiek Van Vleuten, Elisa Longo Borghini, Mavi Garcia, Kasia Niewiadoma, Liane Lippert and Silvia Persico.
Demi Vollering then wanted to set the pace in the descent, but she crashed from the lead in a bend. At the front the cooperation was not optimal and Demi Vollering pursued the leading group and together with Marianne Vos and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig she made the connection. On the all-decisive final climb Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio sprinted to third place, after Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marianne Vos.
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was satisfied with her third place. “I felt really strong. We took the initiative today, as we had planned. Too bad Demi Vollering went down in that corner, because we were in the best situation. Then I held back and waited until Demi could rejoin. Then it became a tactical game. Kasia Niewiadoma attacked early and I reacted immediately, after which I had to sit down. I tried, but unfortunately I came just short of the win. Still, I take a lot of confidence from this. The feeling was good today, so that gives confidence for what is to come.”
Demi Vollering got off with a fright. “The road was like an ice rink because of the loose gravel. I thought I had steered into the corner well and that my speed was just right, but I slipped. I then put a lot of energy into the pursuit, which I lacked to really sprint for the win. Maybe there was more in it otherwise. I hope there will be some good days for us.