The Women's Tour
Stage 3: Felixstowe - Clacton - Stage Details

Following the most aggressive day of racing yet at the Friends Life Women’s Tour, ORICA-AIS’ Emma Johansson sprinted to second in Clacton-on-Sea. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv) took out the third stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd to move into the race lead by virtue of bonus seconds earned on the finish line and both intermediate sprints. Johansson earned bonus seconds as well, enough to see her leapfrog up to second overall, 8” behind the new race leader.

The third stage of racing has been earmarked as the most likely day of the British tour to sort out the overall contenders. The excitement in the air was palpable as teams prepared for the stage start in the seaside town of Felixstowe. Whilst the day was overcast as campers and caravans filled the team parking area, the sun had shown itself by the time the stage began. 

Forced to be conservative during the first two opening stages, the Australian outfit was excited to animate the action on stage three. Given the directive to race more aggressively, the riders were more than happy to oblige.

The high speed in the peloton from kilometre zero put several riders in difficulty from the outset. The race caravan dodged those that had fallen behind en route to the first intermediate sprint where Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) banked three bonus seconds ahead of Vos and Johansson, who took two bonus seconds and one bonus second respectively. The real aggression began just before kilometre 40 past the two Strava QOM points that came in quick succession.

A reduced but compact bunch reached the second intermediate sprint. The bonus seconds once again incentivized the overall contenders into action. This time Vos edged out Armitstead to the three seconds. Johansson was third across the sprint line for the final second on offer. In their acceleration to the line, the trio had created a bit of distance between themselves and the peloton. Johansson decided to take advantage of the opportunity on offer.

The attacks continued all the way to the finish with Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-lululemon) getting in the final dig three kilometres from the finish. Rabobank assumed responsibility of chasing down Cromwell, bringing her back inside the final kilometre.

“I was sitting just behind Emma at that point. I pulled her as hard as I could into the last corner to lead her out, and only Vos could come around her before the line. Although we would have obviously preferred to have beaten Vos in the sprint, we’re happy to get Emma slipped in there for second.” - Gracie Elvin

“For us, today was a successful day. The breaks didn’t get up the road but that was a function of the conditions that we found. The wind simply wasn’t as decisive as we had expected. We were aggressive, and we set up a lot of moves that put other teams on the defensive. I think there was only one sector of less than five kilometres where we had to chase.” - Sport Director Martin Barras



Place Rider/Team Time
1 Marianne Vos (Ned) - Rabo Liv women cycling team 2:11:05
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) - ORICA-AIS ST
3 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) - Wiggle Honda ST
4 Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) - Boels Dolmans cycling team ST
5 Elena Cecchini (Ita) - Estado de Mexico Faren ST
6 Leah Kirchmann (Can) - Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies ST
7 Amy Pieters (Ned) - Netherlands ST
8 Lucy Garner (GBr) - Great Britain ST
9 Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) - Boels Dolmans cycling team ST
10 Chloe Hosking (Aus) - Hitec products ST
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) - ORICA-AIS ST
16 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) - ORICA-AIS ST
18 Gracie Elvin (Aus) - ORICA-AIS ST
42 Shara Gillow (Aus) - ORICA-AIS ST
46 Valentina Scandolara (Ita) - ORICA-AIS ST
70 Annette Edmondson (Aus) - ORICA-AIS 0:12:03