The Dutch Marianne Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma) presents her candidacy for the title in the women’s Vuelta a España. Although her compatriots Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar Team) and Demi Vollering (SD Worx) started as favorites in the first edition of the Spanish round, for now, the jersey red is up to you. The 35-year-old cyclist took victory this Wednesday in the third stage (the longest of the race with 158 km) and consolidates her leadership obtained in the previous day. She did it by imposing herself on the sprint after a break in which all the favorites were.
The flat stage in Albacete, between the towns of Elche de la Sierra and La Roda, was marked by the wind, which made the race go at great speed, far exceeding the fastest scheduled time. On the open and exposed roads of La Mancha, the peloton neutralized initial breakaway attempts and remained compact for the first hour of the race.
At the entrance to an area with even stronger winds, the Movistar Team set an important pace and the peloton broke up. Marianne Vos stood firm and her team began to lead the way as she went through Albacete. They were followed by Van Vleuten, Vollering and the rest of the favourites, who would not give up until the end. In addition, some twenty kilometers exposed to crosswinds made the pursuit very difficult.
In the last 20 kilometres, after Marianne Vos gained six seconds by winning the sprint intermediate, the number of escaped cyclists was reduced to twenty. Among those who struggled not to lose head combo was Ane Santesteban, the Spanish from Team Jayco AlUla.
Already in the final sprint, Marianne Vos was the fastest and was crowned the stage winner. In second place came another Dutchwoman, Charlotte Kool (DSM), who this time could not defeat Vos as she did in her fight on the previous stage. In third place, American Chloe Dygert (Canyon/SRAM Racing) crossed the finish line.
Overall, Marianne Vos’ lead is still short. She leads Dygert by 13 seconds, with her partner Markus in third, 14 seconds away. Van Vleuten is 10th at 34 seconds; while Vollering is eleventh to 36. The best placed Spaniard is Margarita García Cañellas (Liv Racing Teqfind), in 23rd position and 1 minute and 4 seconds behind the lead.
The Dutch, triple world champion (2006, 2012 and 2013) and with close to 250 victories in all possible scenarios, is one of the great icons in the history of women’s cycling and continues to show that she does not give up without a thread wherever she runs . Her challenge is huge: she can keep up with her compatriots to continue wearing red until Sunday.
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