Marianne Vos gets off mark in Vuelta Femenina 2024 with Stage 3 win

In an eventful day of racing at La Vuelta Femenina 2024, Stage 3 concluded with a spectacular victory for Marianne Vos, marking the 252nd elite win of her illustrious career. The stage, which spanned from Lucena del Cid to Teruel, was a challenging ride with a significant amount of climbing, despite featuring only one categorised climb.

Early Breakaway and Solo Effort

The action began early in the stage when Mireia Benito of the AG Insurance-Soudal Team launched a daring solo attack. Benito quickly established a lead, which at its peak, was nearly five minutes over the peloton. This bold move set the tone for the day, as the peloton navigated the rolling hills and the singular climb of Alto Fuento de Rubielos. Despite several attempts by other riders to bridge the gap or form breakaways, none were successful, leaving Benito to press ahead alone.

Peloton Dynamics and Challenges

As the race progressed, the peloton saw its share of drama, the challenging terrain and aggressive racing caused several riders, to struggle and lose contact at various points. However, the majority were able to rejoin on the descent or shortly after the categorised climb of the day.

The middle sections of the race were relatively quiet as teams prepared for a potential sprint finish, regrouping and repositioning their sprinters. The tranquillity was briefly interrupted by Liege Bastogne Liege Femmes winner Grace Brown, who attempted to shake up the race with an attack after the day’s major climb but was quickly reeled in. That move went saw the Aussie take 2nd behind Benito at the intermediate sprint with Vas crossing that line 3rd, the Hungarian earning 2 bonus seconds that would prove vital later on.

Climactic Finish

The climax of the stage was set with 35 kilometres remaining; the peloton intensified their efforts, significantly cutting into Benito’s lead. As the finish line drew closer, the sprinters’ teams, including Visma | Lease a Bike, began setting up their trains to deliver their sprinters to the fore.

The finale was marred by crashes once again. One involving Natalie Grinczer among others, was particularly serious and saw the Brit have to leave the race. Similar to yesterday, there was a crash just inside the 3km barrier with 2.7km to go. It disrupted the peloton but did not impact the leading riders. Those riders who went down or were held up were given the same time as the leaders today.

(Photo Credit: Getty)

In the sprint that ensued, Marianne Vos demonstrated her power, taking a decisive victory over Charlotte Kool and Olivia Baril, who finished second and third respectively. Vos finished a few bike lengths ahead of her rivals, comfortably taking her first win of this year’s race.

2024 Vuelta Femenina Stage 3 result

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Main photo credit: Marianne Vos