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Grace Brown (FDJ-SUEZ) has gained the ladies’s Santos Tour Down Below, taking the ochre jersey by scooping up victory within the ultimate stage. Brown did her finest to remain near Amanda Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) when the latter attacked on the steep Corkscrew climb, and though Spratt was 20 seconds forward on the QOM, Brown used the descent expertly to cut back her deficit.
“I needed to hold pushing on the descent, there was no freewheeling, that’s for positive. I really put an even bigger chainring on this morning understanding that this could be a state of affairs,” she mentioned of her chase.
Brown got here again to Spratt on the flamme rouge earlier than outsprinting her for the stage and GC victory in addition to the factors jersey and Ladies’s WorldTour leaders jersey. Spratt completed runner-up on the stage and within the GC and gained the mountain jersey, Georgia Williams (EF-TIBCO-SVB) gained the group dash for third place and likewise rounded out the general podium.
“I’m actually happy. The workforce did an superior job at this time, they led me out into the ultimate climb. I knew that Amanda was going to be actually good on the Corkscrew, however I simply stored her inside distance understanding that I might doubtlessly catch her again on the descent, and I used to be in a position to do it. Actually cool to take this victory after some superior work from my workforce,” Brown mentioned after her first ladies’s Tour Down Below victory.
In hindsight, selecting up 5 bonus seconds in intermediate sprints on phases 1 and a couple of made the distinction as Brown was positive of profitable total when she caught Spratt. Brown defined that she didn’t desire a repeat of the 2022 Ladies’s Tour: “Having been in an analogous state of affairs final yr the place I misplaced the GC by one second within the ultimate stage, I needed to be on the entrance foot this week,” she completed.
The way it unfolded
Stage 3 began within the outskirts of Adelaide earlier than heading east into the Adelaide Hills and ending in Campbelltown after 93.2 km, with the Corkscrew climb the principle issue of the day, cresting 7.5 km from the end line.
Gina Ricardo (Crew BridgeLane) and Georgia Danford (Crew Coop-Hitec Merchandise) fashioned the early breakaway, and Lucinda Stewart (ARA Skip Capital) bridged to the entrance duo after the primary intermediate dash to make it a break of three. Their benefit maxed out at 2:35 minutes with 26 km to go earlier than Trek-Segafredo and Jayco-AlUla, with the in a single day chief Alex Manly, took up the chase in earnest.
Danford misplaced contact on a small climb, then Stewart slipped on the gravel in a downhill flip and crashed, leaving Ricardo alone on the entrance. She soldiered on till she was caught with 15.5 km to go however gained the combativity award for her efforts.
Closing in on the Corkscrew Street, Trek-Segafredo elevated the tempo with Lauretta Hanson, and Brodie Chapman pushed laborious as soon as the race reached the climb to arrange Spratt’s assault. The 35-year-old climber attacked 1.5 km from the highest and shortly opened a niche on the remainder of the favourites, with solely Brown staying near her. On the ultimate a part of the climb, Spratt elevated her hole on Brown, who was 20 seconds behind on the high with the subsequent group an extra 15 seconds down.
Brown threw herself into the descent and step by step made up floor, lastly catching Spratt as they entered the ultimate kilometre. As a consequence of her six-second benefit forward of the stage, Brown was now sure of profitable the overall classification, however she went one higher and likewise outsprinted Spratt for the stage win. It was 13 seconds later when Williams led residence a gaggle of eight riders that included her teammate Krista Doebel-Hickok, profitable EF-TIBCO-SVB the workforce classification. Additionally a part of that group had been Henrietta Christie (Human Powered Well being) and Ella Wyllie (New Zealand) who fought for the U23 jersey; each completed the race in the identical time, however Christie edged out her compatriot primarily based on stage putting countback.
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