There’s no sugar coating it, stage 3 was quite a mess. Wiggle High5 have posted a video of their riders getting a bollocking from their DS, a scene which must have been repeated in several team hotels this evening. The high winds broke up the peloton soon after the start, and several riders missed the first group led by Kirsten Wild. Ellen Van Dijk, Christine Majerus, Romy Kasper (all Boels Dolman), Trixi Worrack, Lisa Brennauer, Tiffany Cromwell (all Canyon SRAM), Gracie Elvin (Orica AIS), Jeanne Korevaar, Anouska Koster (both RaboLiv), Shelley Olds (Cylance) and others stayed with Wild. Why so many contenders decided to work together is a puzzle, as they diluted their chances far too much. It was not as if there were only a few, this was a large group. A second group formed with race leader Katrin Garfoot, which decided to try and chase the first group by themselves, rather than rejoin the peloton and save their energy to catch up at the end. The leading group lost some members towards the end (noticeably Brennauer) but managed to keep away until the finish. Van Dijk took the opportunity to attack and win by a considerable margin through her expertise, taking full advantage of being helped along the race by her rivals! Wild was second and Hanson third. Worrack is now leading the GC after her fifth place today. You can see a short video of the race finish here, and the results here.
Tomorrow is the last stage, and Worrack is the favourite to win. She along with Garfoot, Kasper, Van Dijk, Elvin, Pieters and Cromwell have just 1 minute between them, and the whole of the top 20 within just 3 minutes so there is still room for a lot of change in the current standings. Stage 4 is just 73km, even shorter than stage 1, and starts at an earlier time of 8am UK time, 9am CET and 11am local time. It is being shown on beIN Sport 7. If I had to place a bet I would go for Pieters and Garfoot, but Van Dijk or Worrack will probably take it. Ale Cipollini will probably try and make it into the top 10 with either Marta Tagliaferro or Marta Bastianelli.