Ella Wylie seals hat-trick for Liv AlUla Jayco in Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Women

Ella Wylie led Liv AlUla Jayco to a dominant performance in the third stage of the Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Women, securing a hat-trick of victories for the team. Wylie crossed the finish line in Vélez-Málaga ahead of teammates Silke Smulders and Mavi García, showcasing the Australian squad’s strength.

The stage began on the beach of Torre del Mar, winding through the mountains of the Axarquía region. The peloton faced two significant climbs, with Liv AlUla Jayco controlling the race from the outset. The early kilometres saw attempts at breakaways, but these were quickly neutralised.

As the riders ascended the first climb, Alto Mirador de la Axarquía, the Italian rider Cristina Tonetti took the lead, securing the mountain classification jersey. Prisca Savi and Krista Doebel-Hickok followed, but it was the Liv AlUla Jayco trio who began to assert their dominance.

The team’s strategy, devised the night before, was executed flawlessly. García, Smulders, and the youngest team member, Wylie, broke away from the pack. Despite García suffering a mechanical issue during the ascent of Alto del Zurrón, the trio worked seamlessly together, taking turns to maintain their lead.

In the streets of Vélez-Málaga, Wylie, the national champion of New Zealand, emerged victorious. Her teammates crossed the line holding hands, celebrating their comprehensive performance. The chasing group finished more than two and a half minutes later.

With this stage victory, Mavi García retains the overall lead, 21 seconds ahead of Smulders and 3:24 ahead of Wylie. The closest non-Liv rider, Mie Bjorndal Ottestad, trails by 7:24, with Spain’s Mireia Benito 8:30 behind.

Reflecting on their success, Wylie commented, “The girls were on fire today. It takes a team. We might have crossed the finish line first, second and third, but there are five of us here, and everyone is just fully committed to the team and plan. I think it shows really great signs for the future, and we’ll just build off this race. We still have one final day tomorrow, but it feels good to be leading the overall classification, and hopefully, we can wrap it up tomorrow. It’s been an amazing few days.”

The final stage from Alhaurín de la Torre to Pizarra covers 100.2 kilometres. Given Liv AlUla Jayco’s current form, their control over the race seems unassailable. However, the hilly terrain might still offer some surprises.

2024 Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Del Sol Women Stage 3 result

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