Another podium for Garfoot on stage 3 of Euskal Emakumeen Bira

Sat 13 Jun 2015

Oceania time trial champion Katrin Garfoot has claimed her third podium of the Euskal Emakumeen Bira, finishing third from a breakaway on stage three today.

Garfoot escaped in a group of five riders within the final 25km of the stage. Two were dropped on the final climb that peaked with seven kilometres to go, to leave three to contest the finale. Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) won the stage.

After a second place in the opening prologue and third on yesterday’s stage two, today’s ride gives Garfoot three out of a possible four podium opportunities and moves the 33-year-old into fifth overall, just eight seconds off the pace.

ORICA-AIS teammate Emma Johansson still sits third overall, two seconds off Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabobank-Liv Woman’s Cycling Team) who retained her lead.

“It really was a perfect stage for us,” sport director Gene Bates said. “The only way it possibly could have been better is if we got a handful more seconds and Kat got the leader’s jersey.”

“When the break went up the road, that was a great scenario for us and they started to really struggle behind. We told Katrin to put everything into it because she could have taken the jersey. It was close but it sets us up in a really good position for tomorrow.

“The other good thing was that Amanda Spratt and Emma has relatively easy rides to the finish, where as the other teams really had to work hard to get on terms with us again.”

Two riders got out to an early six minutes advantage, but with a major climb mid-stage, they never posed a threat and were reeled back in with reasonable ease.

“We weren’t too sure what to expect out of today,” Bates explained. “The main climb was half way through the stage and we knew it would bust apart on that climb but we weren’t sure if it would come back together or not.”

“We wanted to remain pretty relaxed early in the race and see how it unfolded after that. In the end, we ended up being quite aggressive after that. We got the girls into some really great situations that forced Rabobank to do a lot of work to bring it all back together.”