Van Vleuten remains second overall as a bunch sprint concludes Giro Rosa stage threeSun 2 Jul 2017
Stage three of the Giro Rosa concluded with a bunch sprint where ORICA-SCOTT finished safely in the bunch and yesterday’s stage winner Annemiek van Vleuten extending her lead in the Queen of the mountains classification.
The Dutch time trial champion finished on the same time as the peloton to also retain her second place overall after three stages.
Sport director Gene Bates was happy the team got through the day with no problems with their main focus being on the general classification.
“We wanted to have the easiest day possible today,” said Bates. “We knew the steep climb was going to be the hardest part. The girls were really good, we had van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt in the front when it split slightly over the top but then it all came back together for a sprint finish.”
“It was pretty dangerous with a lot of near misses in the final so we are just really happy to get through the day safely.
“We aren’t really focussing on the mountains classification but Annemiek picked up so more points today, so if she continues to lead that then that's great but our main focus remains on the overall.
“Tomorrow is likely to be another stressful day and one for the sprinters so we are just aiming to try and get through it as best we can ahead of the time trial on the fifth stage.”
How it happened:
Stage three provided the first opportunity for the sprinters with a short 100kilometres stage featuring one small but steep climb after 60kilometres.
Despite numerous attempts within the first hour of racing, no riders where given any freedom and the bunch remained all in tact.
The high speed of 42.7kilometres per hour made it hard for any riders to breakaway, with many rider trying and hovering 20 to 30seconds ahead but unable to sustain the distance.
Boels-Dolmans picked up the intermediate sprint points and led into the bottom of the Cà del Poggio, the short and steep climb. However, it was ORICA-SCOTT rider Van Vleuten who dominated over the top, taking maximum points in the Queen of the Mountains to extend her lead in the classification.
With the peloton all back together after the descent of the climb with 25kilometres to go, Elena Cecchini (Canyon-Sram) picked her moment to attack and quickly opened up a 25second advantage over the chasing peloton.
With most teams content with having a sprint finish, Cecchini was soon swallowed up and the scene was set for a bunch sprint.
Barnes took the victory in a close sprint with all ORICA-SCOTT riders finishing safely in the bunch.
Giro Rosa stage 3 result:
1. Hannah Barnes (Canyon-Sram) 2:27
2. Lotto Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) ST
3. Kirsten Wild (Cyclone Cycling) ST
24. Sarah Roy (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 3:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 5:54:21
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:18
3. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Wiggle-High5) +0:26
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com