Echelons cause hectic day in La Vuelta Femenina

The third stage in La Vuelta Femenina was almost completely flat and it had a bunch sprint written all over it. That scenario changed at 100 kilometres from the finish when the bunch split into echelons.

With 157,8 kilometres the stage from Elche de la Sierra to La Roda was the longest one of this La Vuelta Femenina. The first 60 kilometres the peloton took it easy, but then echelons created chaos. A group of 50 riders formed the first echelon, with all Liv Racing TeqFind riders present. A second group tried to get back, but that was without success.

In the front the tempo was kept really high, which caused another split in the first group. Silke Smulders made the cut into the first group. Mavi Garcia was in the second group, but with help of Quinty Ton she managed to get back into the first group. Eventually a group of 30 riders battled for the stage win, which went to Marianne Vos. Garcia and Smulders finished in the first group and made a big jump in the general classification.

“After 60 kilometres it was full gas to the finish line. It was a really hard stage with the crosswinds. Everybody had to dig deep and leave it all on the road. I was in the right group every time, which of course feels really good and gives a boost to my confidence. Fortunately Mavi was also in the first echelon after great work of Quinty. After that I could help Mavi in the first group. Some riders for the general classification missed the first group, so Mavi made a nice jump in the GC”, Smulders told after the race.