Lorena Wiebes takes SD Worx’s second stage win at Tour de France Femmes on stage 3

Dutch team continues to hold the yellow jersey with Lotte Kopecky

Lorena Wiebes wins stage 3 of Tour de France Femmes 2023
Lorena Wiebes wins stage 3 of Tour de France Femmes 2023
(Image credit: Tim de Waele / Getty)

It was the result many expected in the morning —a sprint win for Lorena Wiebes of SD Worx but it wasn't’ the way those same people would likely have predicted.

The European Champion did win in a bunch sprint while her rival Charlotte Kool (DSM-firmenich) got boxed in but the peloton came perilously close to losing it.

After a flurry of attacks in the early stage, Julie van de Velde (Fenix-Deceuninck) went away solo. The time trialist was kept on a short leash initially but then built a gap of two minutes.

But when the bunch, inside the final 30km, began to up the pace Van de Velde was equal to it and held them off until deep inside the final kilometer.

She was only caught with 400m to go as the sprint started to open up. Wiebes came off teammate and yellow jersey-wearer Lotte Kopecky’s wheel while Marianne Vos swooped to the other side of the road. From there it was a drag race to the line and Wiebes emerged victorious.

Van de Velde finished down in 36th place.

Asked if she was now the best sprinter in the World, stage winner Wiebes said: “I hope so but every race is a new race so you never know. Lotte did such a good job in the lead out I suffered in her wheel but she brought me to the front perfectly.”

Wiebes described the sprint: The break still wasn’t done with 1km to go, I took the final corner well and the whole time I stayed with Lotte. The plan was that she would go and deliver me well and that's exactly what she did. I think it was Marianne Vos that started the sprint and luckily I caught her.

She added that her team “always believed” they’d contest the win in the sprint but that it was ”not really up to” SD Worx to chase and that why they left most of the work to DSM-firmenich.

She added: “It’s a great start for the team with two wins and the yellow jersey.”

Tomorrow’s stage will be a tougher test with  five categorised climbs three of which are placed close to the finish.

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