Marianne Vos secures victory nr 252 in stage 3 at La Vuelta Femenina

Written by: Niels Goudriaan
Posted 4 weeks ago

Marianne Vos of Visma | Lease a bike outsprints everyone and wins the third stage of La Vuelta Femenina by in the Spanish town of Teruel. The former World Champion had time to sit up straight and raise her arms ahead of Charlotte Kool of Team DSM Firmenich PostNl and Olivia Baril of Team Movistar, who complete todays podium. SD Worx Protime’s Blanka Kata Vas remains leader in the general classifications.

The riders started in Lucena, just north of Valencia for a challenging 130.2-kilometer route from to Teruel. This stage featured a deceptive profile, lacking steep climbs but loaded with a total elevation gain of 2,185 meters, promising a true test of endurance and strategy.

The day began under the backdrop of Lucena’s picturesque landscape, known for its lush, natural mountainous terrain at the foothills of the Penyagolosa massif. As the riders rolled out, the early kilometers were marked by a series of technical descents and wet roads, immediately causing splits in the peloton.

Spanish rider Mireia Benito of AG Insurance-Soudal made a bold move early on, breaking away solo and building a significant gap over the peloton. Her solo ride, spanning nearly 120 kilometers, was a remarkable display of resilience, although she was eventually reeled in with just 7.5 kilometers to go.

Multiple riders knew this was the break of the day and tried to attack the pleoton to bridge towards Benito. Mischa Bredewold (SD Worx-Protime), Brodie Chapman (Lidl-Trek), Eva van Agt (Visma | Lease a Bike), Amber Kraak (FDJ-SUEZ), Yara Kastelijn (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Thalita de Jong (Lotto-dstny Ladies) had a good opportunity to bridge towards the sole leader but didn’t work well together. Not even 5 kilometers later they were reeled back in by the peloton. No other rider attacked to bridge towards Benito again.

The only categorized climb of the day, the Alto Fuenta de Rubielos didn’t show the fireworks as expected on forehand. Although Benito took full QOM points, when the peloton arrived at the summit almost 5 minutes later led by Karlijn Swinkels of UAE Team ADQ who had her mind set on the polkadot jersey today, the peloton kept calm and followed the Dutch rider.

Was there nothing happening on the climb? Yes, the high speed and narrow winding roads made sure that the peloton split in ton different groups again. Towards the intermediate sprint the peloton grew to almost full strength again.

The intermediate sprint points at Mora de Rubielos were again for Benito, who took full points and second, and riders who wanted to be on the podium had to fight for the other points for the points classification and bonus seconds affecting the overall standings. Grace Brown had her mind set on these points ad attacked the bunch 3 kilomters before the intermediate sprint taking second place.

The finale of the stage was not without its share of drama. A significant crash within the final 3 kilometers fell luckily for the GC riders within the safety zone, ensuring no time penalties for those affected. However, the crash did cause disruption halfway the peloton causing the peloton to split into different groups again. Now a reduced peloton of about 30 riders stormed towards the finish line.

As the race entered Teruel, the stage was set for a bunch sprint finish. The peloton, led by teams like Visma | Lease a Bike and Movistar, worked to position their sprinters. In the final kilometer Visma | Lease a Bike, led by Eva van Agt, set a high pace at the front of the peloton, other sprinters struggled to keep up.

In the final 500 meters, Visma | Lease a Bike still controlled the reduced peloton. Then FDJ Suez launched an attack, prompting Charlotte Kool to move forward, though the high speeds made it difficult for her to advance to the front. On the outside, Lianne Lippert initiated her sprint with 300m to go with Marianne Vos closely trailing her. Olivia Baril also appeared strong in the middle and Carlotte Kool managed to pass the German rider and sprinted full force down the center.

However, it was Dutch rider Marianne Vos who, with perfect timing and full throttle, wins her 252nd victory on a roadbike and secures the third stage, finishing a bike length ahead of Charlotte Kool and Olivia Baril who finished respectively 2nd and third.

Blanka Vas of SD Worx-Protime successfully defended her Red jersey, strategically gaining bonus seconds to maintain her lead in the general classification. Meanwhile, Alison Jackson, adorned in the green jersey, remained a formidable presence, securing crucial points to stay competitive.

Tomorrow is the fourth stage in La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour with 142,3km from Molina de Aregón to Zaragoza.

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