Nettie Edmondson Sprints Onto the Lotto Belisol Tour Stage Three PodiumSun 25 Aug 2013
Nettie Edmondson sprinted onto the podium in Nijlen on Sunday. The young Australian finished third to Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano), who snagged her second consecutive stage victory, and Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon), who moved into the race lead over her teammate Ellen van Dijk by virtue of bonus seconds. It is the fifth road podium of the season for Edmondson who splits her time between the road and the track.
“Nettie did a great job to finish third in what the girls reported as a very chaotic sprint,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “I’m happy to see her get results throughout the season. She’s only in her first year as a professional on the road. She’s had so much success on the track, and I know the transition to the road isn’t always easy. Today’s results should be good for her morale.”
The peloton enjoyed a calm and quiet start to stage three. Halfway into the eight lap circuit race, a two rider move slipped away.
“The 14.5km circuit was pretty much pan flat,” noted Sport Director Dave McPartland. “The race started out relatively easy. It was almost boring at the beginning. Nothing really happened during the first two laps. The moves finally started on lap three with the main going on lap four.”
Marijn de Vries (Lotto Belisol Ladies) and Vera Koedooder (Sengers Ladies) slipped away from the peloton toward the end of the fourth lap. They gained a maximum advantage of 1’20 before Argos-Shimano and Specialized-lululemon began to chase in earnest.
“We were quiet,” said McPartland. “Originally, we had discussed racing aggressively in the second half of the stage, but we realised that the course didn’t lend itself to the type of moves we wanted to make. Instead of wasting our energy, we decided to save everything for tomorrow.”
“In the end, we put ourselves into a good position,” McPartland continued. “We made the other teams ride today while we could sit back. Argos and Specialized both had to ride on the front to bring back Marijn and Vera. The break was strong, and they took a lot of time to bring the leaders back.”
Five kilometres from the finish, Koedooder attacked de Vries. Left behind, de Vries rejoined the peloton. Koedooder nearly held of her chasers, resisting the catch until just before the line.
“Our first priority with the finish was to keep Nettie out of trouble and in good position,” explained McPartland. “We did that, but we couldn’t find each other as it got closer to the finish. The pace was full on 15km out, and it never let up from that point. Nettie didn’t do her own sprint, but she also didn’t have her own train to use. Her teammates put her in a good position on Wild’s wheel, and she had to do her own sprint from there.”
Thanks to bonus seconds for the top three on the stage, Brennauer assumed the race lead from van Dijk. Specialized-lululemon continues to occupy the top three spots on the overall classification with Brennauer 6” ahead of van Dijk and 26” ahead of Carmen Small. Emma Johansson retains her hold on fourth place at 35” ahead of Loes Gunnewijk in fifth place and Gracie Elvin in sixth.
While the sprinters dominated the first two road stages, tomorrow’s hilly course should prove far more decisive for the overall contenders.
“The last stage should be interesting,” said McPartland. “We still have good numbers. We plan to be on the front foot tomorrow in Geraardsbergen.”