Eurigio Ladies Tour
Aachen (Germany) 115.7km
Three countries in one stage for Stage 3 today. The implication for the riders? Racing as normal... For the organisers, a logistical headache. Preceding the race and each of the bunches were police officers from three countries; Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The lead changed at the front of their 'bunch' as frequently as for the competitors.
The day was grim, first rain, then mist, then more rain.
The American team were obvious at the front of the bunch in the early part of the stage. Once the bunch had split into two groups, leader, Armstrong and team-mates were safely in the front bunch. Buitenpoort-Flexpoint were active throughout the stage, Suzanne van Veen led the race through the first mountains sprint point, whilst Sandra Rombouts tried an attack on the road to Roetgen.
At the end of the day, it was Sandra Missbach who managed to get away and stay away, to win by 27 seconds. She had a larger gap, but was chased down by the bunch and also took time to celebrate down the long finishing straight.
A crash in the final kilometre did not affect race leader, Kristin Armstrong (USA), who finished seventh, but An van Rie (Lotto Belisol), the mountains leader, Sofie Goor (Vlaanderen), Natalie Bates (AA Drink), Tanja Slater (FBUK) were all awarded the same time as the bunch.
115km @ 36.643km/h
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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