Elvin ignites the breakaway action on stage three of the Women’s TourFri 9 Jun 2017
ORICA-SCOTT worked hard on the third stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour today making numerous attempts to form the breakaway before Gracie Elvin launched a key move over the sharp English climbs.
The longest stage of the tour at 153kilometres the parcours included more than punchy climb and plenty of rolling roads that looked to be ideal for opportunists, however the attentive peloton were alive to the intent and closely marked every early move.
WM3 in particular were reluctant to let anything go as they looked to protect the race lead of Kasia Niewiadoma and in the end it was Elvin who split the front of the race apart, eventually forming a five-rider move that stayed away until five kilometres to go.
In the end the peloton got organised and brought the move back for the sprint finish with Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) getting the stage win and Sarah Roy placing 12th in the top twenty in a scrappy, crash disrupted finale.
“We all did a good job today,” said Elvin. “Everyone was trying to start moves and following and when we managed to get clear at around 80kilometres the group worked well together, but we couldn’t hold off the peloton as we got closer and closer to the finish.”
Today’s stage was full of positive signs from the team and sport director Martin Barras was pleased with the team’s efforts.
“The improvements we made as a team today are very pleasing,” said Baras. “Obviously it is always better to get the win, but you don’t get near that opportunity unless you give it a try and we certainly did that today.
“In yesterdays debrief we discussed moving into ‘Total Racing’ and involving each member of the team in working towards a solution for gaining a result and everybody took that on board and pitched in today, creating a good chance for us to try and get a result.
“Tomorrow’s fourth stage is going to be very difficult and similar to the penultimate day of Grand Tour, it is the last day for the opportunist and the chances will come early on in the stage. The general classification battle will be one race and the race for the stage will be another and we need to race as we did today, with hunger and togetherness.”
How it happened:
Finally sunshine broke through the clouds at the start of stage three in Atherstone in Warwickshire as the peloton headed out onto more narrow rolling roads around the middle English countryside.
Attractive Tudor buildings provided the scenery with more crowds lining the streets as attack after attack tried to go clear at the front of the peloton.
ORICA-SCOTT was active in their attempts to instigate a move but after 60kilometres of racing the field was still together.
The Australian outfit persevered and Elvin was off the front with 55kilometres remaining, part of a two-rider move with Cecille Ludwig (Cervelo-Bigla) and a developing lead of one-minute 30seconds.
Elvin and Ludwig continued to work well together over the fast roads and into the final 40kilometres their group had grown to five riders trying to push the gap beyond two minutes over the final climbs.
It wasn’t to be and the peloton split in a fast pursuit of the five leaders, with 15kilometres to go the advantage was only 30seconds and they were eventually caught inside the final five kilometres.
A messy finale unfolded with crashes affecting the sprint and Hosking running out the eventual winner and Roy the best finisher for ORICA-SCOTT.
OVO Energy Women’s Tour stage three results:
1. Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) 03:57:10
2. Alice Barnes (Drops-Cycling) ST
3. Ellen Van Dijk (Team-Sunweb) ST
12. Sarah Roy (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General Classification after stage three:
1. Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3) 11:38:21
2. Ellen Van Dijk (Team-Sunweb) +01:43
3. Alice Barnes (Drops-Cycling) +01:46
33. Gracie Elvin (ORICA-SCOTT) +03:35
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com