All images: ©Velofocus
Lisa Brennauer took victory today on the third stage of the Healthy Ageing Tour in Stadskanaal, Netherlands. After a third place to Brennauer in the individual time trial stage 1a and a second place to Barbara Guarischi in stage 1b, the team celebrated today's win. Brennauer won ahead of Lisa Klein (CBT) and tour leader Ellen van Dijk (SUN).
A long 154km stage saw plenty of attacks as riders tried to take advantage of the changing winds. At the end a group of 10 riders formed, although without any CANYON//SRAM Racing riders, and at one point had a lead of almost five minutes with 60km left to race. The breakaway was caught in the final 5 kilometres and Brennauer seized the opportunity to go with a late attack of Anna van der Breggen (DLT) with 2km to go. Brennauer took second wheel into the finish straight and opened up her sprint 200m to go to take the stage win.
Brennauer said "It wasn't our responsibility to chase the 10-rider breakaway, although I would have liked to see one of my teammates in that move to go for their own chance at a stage win. Boels and Sunweb were the main chasers. In the final there were a lot of attacks and we had riders present in all of them. I went with van der Breggen's move and am happy that I could sprint for the win."
"Actually I didn't believe that we would ever see the front group back. Thanks to my teammates for keeping me calm and making me still believe that there was a chance to turn things around and create possibilities for us to go for the victory," said Brennauer.
Brennauer's teammate, German road champion Mieke Kröger played a large role in the chase. "The group went quite early and it wasn't a good situation for us to not have anyone there. It was a mistake of mine. When the chase was on, it was hard! Fortunately Sunweb were also not in the break and we could build on their efforts. When the gap came down to 1:15 minutes for the final 12km lap then I knew the race wasn't over yet. We are really happy with the win!"
Brennauer sits third on the general classification with two stages remaining. Tomorrow' stage 4 is a 126km stage in Finsterwolde starting at 13:00 (CEST), and can be live streamed: www.podium.tv/nl/live