The 3rd stage of 2023 Tour de Suisse Women saw plenty of attacks and a gutting finish for Urska Zigart whose solo move was caught in the final 75 metres of the race. It was the sprinters who caught her, with Gasparrini the fastest, coming past Sierra in the final few metres to the line.
Raced over 120.8km from St Gallen to Ebnat-Kappel, an early group got away but was caught with no issue. The constant uphill riding took their toll on the peloton though, with the bunch steadily losing riders. After a spell of attacks, catches and counter-attacks Urska Zigart of Jayco-AlUla was able to make it clear. The gap fluctuated up and down but approaching the final kilometres, the gap was holding and it was clear that the finish was going to be close.
With a finish line that had a long sight, Zigart came into the shot but the bunch behind were also there and closing fast. For Zigart, it was the chance for a maiden Women’s WorldTour victory but the wait continues. Instead, Eleonora Gasparrini was the rider to get off the mark. Her only other pro victory was at the 2022 MerXem Classic but the Italian has been a threat all season, including at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana where she finished 5th in all of the stages.
Gasparrini beat Cuban Arlenia Sierra to the line, with Liv Racing Xstra’s Tereza Neumanova finishing a great 3rd place as well. The GC was unaffected, with yesterday’s winner Marlen Reusser still in the lead of the GC.
“I still can’t believe it, it’s beautiful and I’m very happy. It’s my first WorldTour win of my career and it’s a special day that I won’t forget. Last year I won, but it was a photo-finish victory and I couldn’t even celebrate. Today, however, I took it with all my strength and was able to raise my arms to the sky. Then it’s a WorldTour race, a whole other level.
There were two QoMs. On the first one, I felt super good and didn’t struggle. Then in the following descent, there were eight of us left in front, Olivia was with me too and I said to myself that maybe today was the right day. I guess I was good at saving energy and didn’t waste anything more than necessary. I knew that the other climb wasn’t difficult and so I tackled it calmly, climbing at my own pace.
My teammates did a great job and I have to thank them all. From the beginning, there have been various attempts to extend and we have always checked. Then in the final, we collaborated well with other teams to go and close the breakaway and I’m also happy that Olivia managed to enter the top 10 of the General Classification”.Eleonora Gasparrini
2023 Tour de Suisse Stage 3 result
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