Race Report: Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women Stage 3

Written by: Neil Cormier
Posted 4 days ago

Lorena Wiebes sprinted to victory in Warrington on stage 3 of Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women to make it three wins in a row – a hat-trick – for her SD Worx-Protime team. Charlotte Kool (dsm-Firmenich PostNL) attempted to challenge Wiebes in the sprint, but in the end had to be settle for second place, while Georgia Baker (Liv-Alula-Jayco) took third.

In the overall GC standings, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) still holds the leader’s jersey, 17 seconds ahead of Anna Henderson (GB Cycling Team), and 32 seconds ahead of Letizia Paternoster (Liv-Alula-Jayco).

In the post-race interview, Wiebes gave much credit to her team for the win. “The team did a really good job today. Elena [Cecchini] and Chantal [van den Broek-Blaak] were chasing all day so from the team car, the pressure was on. We were a bit in the middle and you all really have to fight for your position near the end. Christine [Majerus] took the last corner first and then quickly after Barb [Guarischi] had to go for Lotte and then I saw only 200 metres to go, so I also start my sprint.”

When she asked about how she likes racing in Great Britain, Wiebes had only good things to say. “It’s nice racing here. The roads are a bit different, I don’t know why, but it feels different here. A lot of bumps in the road. I like it here, and it goes good.”

Runner-up Charlotte Kool hoped for better, but the crash of a teammate and a small mistake she made in the sprint limited the team’s chances for a win. “Today was an easy day, and nothing special happened until Daniek had a really nasty crash. We all saw it happen, so we were all a bit in shock afterward. We refocused for the final and gave it our all for today’s sprint. The team did amazing; I just made a small mistake. In the end, I came in second again, but I can feel that a win is coming soon.”

Georgia Baker was happy with 3rd place, explaining that it was the team’s goal to get on the podium today. “The final was like we expected, it was crazy, but everyone just fought so, so hard and it all came together at the end and the girls did a great lead out for me and I could finish third. Our goal was a podium finish and I’m really happy with that.”

The combativity prize went to the 37-year-old Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis-200 °Coffee-Hargreaves), who was out front with Maddie Leech (Lifeplus Wahoo), and then on her own, for almost 90km.

Tindley explained her decision to go so early in the stage. “We found out this might have been our last opportunity to try to get up the road. I wasn’t expecting it to be so early, but I saw an opportunity and just went, and luckily, Maddie (Leech) came with me. And then you just commit and see what happens. Unfortunately, Maddie had a mechanical, I was absolutely gutted because you rely on that rest (break) as she came through.”

How the race unfolded

The 106.8km sprinter’s stage was contested on a gentle rolling circuit that started and finished in Warrington, with two category 3 climbs of around 2.6% coming after 40km, and an intermediate bonus sprint at 83.5 km.

The race started with a fast tailwind and the attacks began early, but the peloton was not about to let just anyone get in a breakaway. So when Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis-200 °Coffee-Hargreaves) and Maddie Leech (Lifeplus Wahoo) – 11:53” and 21:55” on the GC – decided to attack, the peloton was more than willing to let them go.

In the fast tailwind, the duo quickly gained time on the peloton, with their gap growing in no time to 1 minute. Behind, the peloton was content to pedal along at a mid-tempo and allow the two leaders to increase their lead.

With 95km remaining, Lucy Lee ( DAS-Hutchinson-Brother) attacked and got clear of the peloton and came within 30 seconds of the leaders, but was never able to get any closer, and she continued on her own for several kilometers, caught in no man’s land between the leaders and the peloton.

At 87km to go, Tindley and Leech increased their gap to two minutes on the peloton, with Lee dropping back to 1 minute. Over the next 12km, the two leaders increased their gap again, to 4 minutes, as they began the approach to the first categorized climb of the day, Pex Hill (2km/2.7%).

At the top of the Pex Hill climb, QoM points were easily taken by Leech, followed by Tindley in second place. Further behind was Lee, who took third spot, followed by Lizzie Deignan (GB Cycling team) who took the remaining points for the peloton.

With around 60km to go, Caitlin Dimbleby (Alba Development Road Team) attacked and broke free from the peloton and began to bridge up to Lee, who was still riding on her own between the leaders and the peloton.

At around 56km a front derailleur mechanical struck Maddie Leech and team service vehicles were unable to get through to her. She continued on with her breakaway companion, Tindley, and managed to crest the second QoM, Shrigley Road (2.9km/2.6%), in first place with Tindley following in second. Lee, still more than a minute behind, followed again in third place, while Dimbleby, who was still trying to catch her, took fourth place points.

Leech finally received a new bike from the team car with about 50km to go, but by that time it was too late, and Tindley continued on her own. Behind, Dimbleby finally caught Lee with about 48km remaining and a gap of  40” on the peloton. They soon caught up with Leech and became a trio chasing the lone Tindley, who was now more than a minute ahead of them.

At around 32km, SD Worx-Protime moved to the front of the peloton and increased the pace, setting a steady tempo into the headwind, and began to reduce the two minute gap to Tindley. Soon after, Leech, Dimbleby, and Lee were absorbed by peloton and with 25km to go Tindley’s lead was reduced to 48 seconds.

At the intermediate bonus sprint at 83.5km, Tindley was still far enough ahead to take the points, but the peloton was quickly closing in behind. In the peloton, the remaining intermediate bonus points were taken by Letizia Paternoster (Liv Alula Jayco), in second, and Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Liv Alula Jayco) in third.

With 20km to go, SD Worx-Protime was on the front and the gap to Tindley was only 30 seconds, eight kilometers later, the peloton caught Tindley.

Immediately after Tindley was caught, Valerie Demey (VolkerWessels) attacked and quickly gained 10 seconds, but the peloton was not about to let her go and within a couple kilometers she was swept up and caught.

As the kilometers wound down, teams jockeyed for position on the wide roads leading to the finish, with DSM-Firmenich PostNL and SD Worx-Protime both working hard to stay at the front.

In the final kilometer, SD Worx-Protime went to the front with their sprint train with rivals Paternoster and Kool tucked in behind them. In the final 300 meters, Kopecky led it out and at 200 meters Wiebes launched her sprint and powered to the line to win by a couple bike lengths over Charlotte Kool and Georgia Baker.

RESULTS

Stage 3: Warrington > Warrington (106.8km)

1.Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) 2:44:42
2. Charlotte Kool (dsm-firmenich PostNL)
3. Georgia Baker (Liv AlUla Jayco)
4. Rachele Barbieri (dsm-firmenich PostNL)
5. Flora Perkins (GB Cycling)
6. Marjolein van ‘t Geloof (Hess)
7. Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime)
8. Letizia Paternoster (Liv ALUla Jayco)
9. Roxane Fournier (St Michel-Mavic-Auber93)
10. Alicia González (Lifeplus Wahoo) m.t.

General Classification

1.Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) 10:25:49
2. Anna Henderson (GB Cycling team) +17
3. Letizia Paternoster (Liv ALUla Jayco) +32
4. Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm-firmenich PostNL) +38
5. Eline Jansen (Volker Wessels) +43
6. Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain Cycling team) +43
7. Christine Majerus (SD Worx-Protime) m.t.
8. Victorie Guilman (St Michel-Mavic-Auber 93) m.t.
9. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Liv ALUla Jayco) +3:00
10. Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) +4:19

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