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Lauren Stephens Secures Stage 3 Victory in Tour de Normandie

American cyclist Lauren Stephens showcased her power in the challenging terrain of the Tour de Normandie, clinching victory on a soaking-wet third stage of the prestigious race. Riding for Cynisca Cycling, Stephens demonstrated her strength by leading a breakaway which proved decisive in the outcome of the stage. She won today in a similar style to the break she launched to win Clasica de Almeria recently.

The third stage was open to all scenarios, and Stephens seized the opportunity to script her own success story at Martinvast. Initiating a breakaway alongside Alessia Vigilia from FDJ-SUEZ, Stephens showed her tactical acumen by making the decisive move 39 kilometres from the finish line. Despite facing relentless rain and gruelling climbs on the local lap, Stephens maintained her composure and powered ahead, leaving the rest of the peloton trailing in her wake.

Stephens managed to distance herself from the peloton, showing off her endurance on the challenging terrain once she chose to leave Vigilia behind on the local lap climb. Even as the rain poured down and the climbs seemed endless, Stephens remained focused on her goal, determined to secure the victory.

Only ever holding onto a gap of around 30 seconds when solo, it was still enough to hold off a peloton that splintered on the final ascent. Victoire Berteau chose that moment to break clear and attempted to bridge to Stephens. She never closed the gap but the French national champion was able to put in time against her GC rivals.

Victoire Berteau
(Photo credit: Mathilde l’Azou)

Despite her valiant effort, French cyclist Victoire Berteau of Cofidis narrowly missed out on the top spot, finishing just seconds behind Stephens. However, Berteau’s strong performance propelled her to second place overall in the general classification, reaffirming her status as a formidable contender in the race. She will start the final stage tomorrow just 1 second behind the GC leader Ellen van Dijk. Riejanne Markus isn’t too far back in 3rd place with a gap of 13 seconds. Lauren Stephens has risen up the standings to 4th.

Reflecting on her impressive performance, Stephens likened her victory to that of Tadej Pogacar, drawing inspiration from the renowned cyclist’s achievements. Local rider Gladys Verhulst-Wild, representing FDJ-Suez, rounded off the podium with a commendable third-place finish, marking a satisfying conclusion to a challenging day of racing.

2024 Tour de Normandie Feminin Stage 3 result

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