How the Race Finished
Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ) won the third stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas. She attacked inside the final fifteen kilometres, accompanied by Evita Muzic, but then dropped Muzic on the final climb, gritting her teeth and holding off the peloton behind. Muzic took second, and Liane Lippert (Team DSM) won the sprint for third from the main group. As well as taking the stage, Garcia now also leads the general classification.
The Main Action
There were a few notable absences before the race started, with Pauliena Rooijakkers and Alena Amialiusik not starting for Canyon//SRAM. Rooijakkers had seemed to be struggling in the previous two stages, yo-yoing off the back of the main group.
After an aggressive start, a break went with only 55km remaining, composed of Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health), Marta Jaskulska (Liv Racing Xstra), Lucinda Brand (Trek – Segafredo), Sandra Alonso (Ceratizit – WNT) and Eleonora Gasparrini (Valcar – Travel & Service). However, with 30km to go, and approaching the Alto Retuerta climb, the peloton was all back together.
Attacks went as the climb started, but nothing stuck; instead, it was a consistently high pace, with Canyon//SRAM and BikeExchange particularly aggressive on the front, that shattered the peloton. By the top of the climb, there was an elite group of only ten riders remaining: Chabbey, Niewiadoma, Lippert, Labous, Fisher-Black, Vollering, Garcia, Uttrup Ludwig & Ewers.
For a while, they held onto their advantage, but the cooperation quickly broke down, they spread across the road, looking at each other, and there was an influx of riders joining who’d been chasing. Ducuara, the first Colombian to wear the leader’s jersey in a WWT stage race, was in the third group behind, and made a valiant attempt at defending, but couldn’t quite hold on. She would eventually finish 35 seconds down.
Attacks continued to go from the enlarged leading group, but it was an attack from the French champion Evita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine), followed by the Spanish champion Mavi Garcia, which stuck. SD Worx chased briefly, but gave up; Muzic and Garcia rapidly had a sizeable gap, 30 seconds with 8 kilometres to go. BikeExchange chased, but the two leaders still had more than twenty seconds as they hit the short, sharp climb that led up to the finish.
Canyon//SRAM lead out the peloton, and the gap of the two leaders started to evaporate on the steep final kilometre. At this point, Garcia gritted her teeth, and left Muzic behind. With visible, painful effort, she held off the peloton, taking the victory and the leader’s jersey. Behind her, Muzic held on for second.
Liane Lippert (Team DSM) won the sprint for third place from the main group, edging out Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx), who has so far dominated the sprinting, winning the stage on the first day, and the sprint from the peloton on the second day. Kopecky continues to have a significant lead in the points competition.
Mavi Garcia now leads the general classification, twelve seconds ahead of Evita Muzic, and fifteen seconds ahead of Lotte Kopecky. Lara Viceli continues to lead the mountains competition, but, with thirty mountains points available on the final climb tomorrow, the jersey will end up in the hands of whoever wins the stage. The general classification will also be decided on the steep climbs of tomorrow’s stage.