Wiebes sprints to women's Tour de France third stage win

cycling25 July 2023 17:00| © AFP
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Lorena Wiebes © Getty Images

Dutch rider Lorena Wiebes sprinted to victory in Tuesday's third stage of the women's Tour de France with Belgian teammate Lotte Kopecky holding onto the leader's yellow jersey.

SD Worx's Wiebes crossed the line in Dordogne ahead of compatriot Marianne Vos and Kopecky for her tenth win of the season.

Wiebes took advantage of the work of her teammates as the peloton caught Julie Van de Velde on the wire, after the Belgian broke clear with 58km to go before being reeled in 250 metres from the line.

The Flemish climber was the main protagonist of the stage. After her attack on the Cote des Andrieux, she widened the gap of two minutes 30 seconds 30km from Montignac.

A lead that forced the peloton to react in the final straight, at the initiative of the DSM team of Dutch sprinter Charlotte Kool and Frenchwoman Juliette Labous, a podium hopeful after her recent second place at the women's Giro d'Italia.

But Kool, finally seventh, could do nothing against the power of Wiebes, expertly led to 50 metres by Kopecky.

"I really was perfectly set up by Lotte: it's an honour to have the yellow jersey as a pilot fish (domestique)" said Wiebes.

After Kopecky's victory on Sunday in Clermont-Ferrand, this is a second success for SD Worx, whose team leader Demi Vollering shares the status of race favourite with compatriot and defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten.

The two women crossed the line at the same time within the peloton.

On Wednesday, the riders will tackle the longest stage this year over 177km between Cahors and Rodez which includes five climbs on the final 40km.