Tamara Dronova narrowly missed achieving a hat-trick in the Ruta del Sol. The Israel Premier Tech Roland cyclist had to settle for second place behind only Marta Romeu in the third stage to Alora. After a long neutralisation of 22km, that progressed safely unlike yesterday’s start, the third stage of the Ruta del Sol also featured a series of challenging climbs.
Within the span of 132 kilometres, the riders confronted the Alto de Colmenar, Alto de Joya, and the Alto de los Nogales. The last 2.4 kilometres of the stage had an average gradient of 5.4 per cent. Jessina Meneses kept up her assault on the QoM jersey, which she wore today only on loan from Tamara Dronova, by taking nearly maximum points on this stage. The Colombian will now wear the jersey outright on tomorrow’s fourth stage.
It was on the Alto de los Nogales that Romeu decided to go solo. The 31-year-old Spanish cyclist had just under a minute lead over a small peloton after the summit but knew she still had a significant 30 kilometres left to endure. The odds were firmly against the lone rider but the thinned-out peloton wasn’t able to make the catch. Romeu managed to sustain her lead. Dronova, on the final climb, came perilously close but was unable to snatch the stage victory from Romeu.
There was only 1 second between Romeu and Dronova at the finish line and the Russian was left wondering what might have been. The uphill drag opened up more time gaps however with only 13 riders finishing within 1 minute of the stage winner. Tamara Dronova is now 37″ ahead of Katrine Aalerud with her fellow Norwegian Mie Mie Bjørndal now in 3rd at 46″. THe hero of the day, Marta Romeu, is now up to 4th on GC at 52″.
2023 Vuelta a Andalucia Stage 3 result
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