Deignan joins a late escape in the final kilometers while Paternoster crashes and loses time.
The sprinters were not able to hold off the late attackers in a thorny Stage 3 in the Boels Ladies Tour when a late move that included Trek-Segafredo’s Lizzie Deignan escaped with 10 kilometers remaining and held off to contest the win.
Deignan, always a good bet in a sprint from a small breakaway, jumped first but Lisa Klein (Canyon-SRAM) and Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans) were able to come over her ahead of the line. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) crossed the line in fourth with the bunch arriving nine seconds later.
In the closing kilometers, I didn’t play poker as well as I should have, but I have not found myself sprinting for a win from a breakaway in quite some time! It didn’t feel like I was riding on instinct like I normally would – I kind of overthought things and then sometimes you make mistakes. Probably I led out the sprint a bit too soon and did a little bit too much work in the end, but I think we can be pretty happy with today’s result.
The unfortunate news for Trek-Segafredo was the crash of Letizia Paternoster with just over 50 kilometers to go right when the race was exploding. Paternoster was okay but had to wait for service, and on the small Dutch roads the team car was unable to get to her quickly. In the time she was back up and running, the race had split into several groups, and even with the help of teammates Trixi Worrack and Abi Van Twisk, it was impossible to return to the front.
While the Trek-Segafredo trio chased, Ellen van Dijk, Elisa Longo Borghini and Lizzie Deignan were in the select front group of 21 riders, containing most of the race favorites. When everything finally calmed, a small second group was able to close back to the leaders, but Paternoster was still far behind, her race over for the day. Trek-Segafredo left without their sprinter, went on the attack in the closing kilometers. When a strong group of four moved up the road with Deignan present, the scenario was looking better for the team.
“Unfortunately, we lost Letizia in a crash so that meant we had to play the breakaway move, and I ended up in a break, which was the best situation we could have,” continued Deignan. “The third place is probably the best we could have achieved from today, and it was a really strong team performance again. We are in a good position going into the final days.”
Klein moved into the overall race lead ahead of Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenberg) with Pieters climbing to third. Lizzie Deignan now sits in sixth at 17 seconds, while Paternoster, coming into the day in fourth, dropped out of the overall contention, now over nine minutes down.
With two more stages remaining, Trek-Segafredo will continue to hunt for a stage win, and with the top of the classification still close, the fight for the final podium is far from over.