Lorena Wiebes sprints to stage 3 victory in crash-marred finale

Lorena Wiebes claimed a resounding victory in stage 3 of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas, sprinting ahead in Melgar de Fernamental. She finished more than two bike lengths clear of Clara Copponi and Maike van der Duin.

The 123.8-kilometre stage from Roa de Duero to Melgar de Fernamental, mostly flat with a few short hills, seemed designed for the sprinters. The day saw a five-rider breakaway that included Simone Boilard, Neve Bradbury, Eva van Agt, Sara Martín, and Antri Christoforou. They managed to gain a maximum gap of just over two minutes before the peloton reeled them in within the final 3km.

Despite efforts from UAE Team ADQ to exploit crosswinds 13km from the finish, the breakaway’s advantage dwindled, especially after Marlen Reusser made a significant move to close the gap. As the sprint trains began to form, disaster struck with 1.9km to go when a touch of wheels caused a massive crash. Over 20 riders hit the tarmac, including Évita Muzic and Shirin van Anrooij.

Eugenia Bujak leads the bunch
(Photo credit: Sprint Cycling)

Undeterred, the sprinters surged forward. Femke Gerritse provided the lead-out for Wiebes, who launched her sprint at the 200-metre mark. Maike van der Duin tried to stay on Wiebes’ wheel but was overtaken by Clara Copponi just before the finish line. Wiebes celebrated by mimicking firing an arrow from an imaginary bow.

Reflecting on her victory, Wiebes said, “It was a chaotic finish with the crash, but my team positioned me perfectly. I’m really happy to get the win today.” Demi Vollering, who worked to keep a high pace before the final sprint, continues to lead the overall classification heading into the final stage.

Marlen Reusser
(Photo credit: Getty)

The race saw fierce competition from the outset, with SD Worx-Protime controlling the peloton effectively. The initial attacks by Boilard and Bradbury set the stage, but it was the collective effort of the breakaway that kept things interesting. Their escape was ultimately thwarted, setting up the dramatic sprint finale that played out in favour of Wiebes and her team.

2024 Vuelta a Burgos Feminas Stage 3 result

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Main photo credit: Cor Vos