Elvin in the break before D'hoore sprints to third on day three at Boels Ladies TourThu 30 Aug 2018
Two time Giro-Rosa stage winner Jolien D'hoore sprinted to third place today after a breakaway which included teammate Gracie Elvin was caught in the final kilometre of the third stage of the Boels Ladies Tour.
Mitchelton-SCOTT had all areas covered with race leader Annemiek van Vleuten protected well throughout the stage to finish safely and remain as the overall leader.
Elvin controls the move
No real breakaways established in the opening stages but with less than 60km remaining, a group of 13 riders were finally able to open up a lead over the peloton and quickly establish a gap of over one minute.
Elvin was represented in the move for Mitchelton-SCOTT but remained at the back of the group unwilling to contribute to the work load due to some threatening riders for the GC in the group.
With 30km to go, the leaders maintained the gap, so Mitchelton-SCOTT riders headed to the front of the bunch and worked to close the distance, not wanting to take any risks and continue to protect van Vleuten's lead.
Touch and go
In the final 10km it was touch and go whether the breakaway group would be reeled back in or not, with their advantage plummeting down to just 15seconds at one point, however, the group continued to work to try and keep their lead and eventually increased the gap out once again before they started attacking one another in the final few kilometres.
With one kilometre to go, the catch was made and a fierce sprint opened up which saw a crash in the final few hundred metres. D'hoore stayed out of trouble and powered into third place.
Mitchelton-SCOTT and van Vleuten remain as the race leaders heading into the final three stages.
"We needed to have at least one rider in the breakaway but there were also a few other girls who were dangerous for GC in the breakaway, so (Amanda) Spratt and Georgia (Williams) needed to work the whole day to chase them down. We got some help from Ale-Cipollini but the girls did great work.
"The main goal today was protecting the leader’s jersey, not the final sprint. I had to come from too far back and could never ‘relax’ before my actual sprint, I was in the wind, or I had to move up in the wind.
"From 500m to go I started to move up by myself but I was catching too much wind before the actual sprint. When I launched my sprint, I couldn’t bring out my max power. I did what I could by myself but it wasn’t enough."
Boels Ladies Tour stage 3 results:
1. Amalie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans) 2:58
2. Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) ST
3. Jolien D'hoore (Mitchelton-SCOTT) St
General classification after stage 3:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
2. Eugenia Bujak (BTC City) +0:29
3. Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) +0:30
Photos courtesy of Getty Images