Despite the undulating terrain today, Lorena Wiebes was still able to come through and take the win again. The weather packed its own surprise too. After a day of mostly sunshine, a huge rain shower drenched the riders in the last 15km.
Rijenna Markus (Team Jumbo – Visma) was the first to attack and her solo break lasted for 50+ kilometres, before being reeled by Christine Majerus (Team SDWorx) and Gladys Verhulst (Le Col – Wahoo) in their battle for the Queen of the Mountains jersey. Other small groups tried to bridge across but weren’t successful.
The hills caused splits in the peloton and when the front of the race attacked, Wiebes was dropped by the peloton thanks to the pressure of Kasia Niewiadoma’s Canyon//SRAM Racing team on an uncategorised climb near Littledean. No DSM riders were at the front of the race as they pushed hard to close the gaps. They were aided by the front group, which struggled to work together, as Wiebes still have enough to power through and accelerate to the finish line. Today’s lead-out rider was Pfeiffer Georgi who delivered Wiebes to the perfect spot. Alex Manly continued her superb form by finishing 2nd with Coryn Labecki finishing 3rd for Jumbo Visma.
With the bonus seconds, Lorena Wiebes took the race lead. Stage 1 & 2 leader Clara Copponi finished over 3 minutes behind and is out of GC contention going forward.
“Today was a hard stage, with attacks from the beginning of the race, the girls did a great job reacting to them all. On the first climbs we were in good position and Leah [Kirchmann] and Franzi [Koch] kept the pace up because of the breakaway. On the second last climb I was with Charlotte [Kool] and Pfeiffer [Georgi] in the second group but when we started the last climb they brought it back to the first group. The peloton then split again and Megan [Jastrab] and I ended up in the group of chasers. Megan did a really strong effort to bring me back to the lead group and things then slowed. In the last five kilometres Pfeiffer and Megan came back to the front and did a great lead out in finale and I’m really happy to finish it off for them. I’m really proud of the girls again and all the work they did today. We will go all-in tomorrow to try and make it three.”Lorena Wiebes
Top Brit on stage three was Lizzie Holden (Le Col – Wahoo) in 16th, who also sits 22nd overall at 20 seconds in arrears, while her team-mate Maike van der Duin still holds the Pillar Sprints jersey.
Majerus continues to hold the ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains jersey but is now equal on points with last year’s winner Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM Racing) as the race heads to Wales, with two days of tougher climbs ahead.
For full results and standings, powered by Brother UK, please click here.