Chloe Hosking from Ale Cipollini has won the third stage of the Santos Women’s Tour, with ORICA-Scott’s Amanda Spratt retaining the Santos Leader’s Jersey heading into the final day.
Hosking edged out stage two winner Kirsten Wild of Cylance in a gripping final sprint down the main street of Lyndoch, completing the stage in 2.21 hours.
“To beat Wild in what was a flat-out drag race is not easy, so to cut around her quite convincingly gives me a lot of confidence going forward,” Hosking said.
The Australian hasn’t made a mistake in her sprints thus far in the Santos Women’s Tour, and stage three was no different.
She took the 67-kilometer intermediate sprint before winning the one that mattered most to claim Ale Cippolini’s first stage victory of 2017.
Stage three was a 92.4-kilometer road race which travelled through Tanunda twice and included two laps of the Lyndoch to Williamstown circuit.
The riders left the 33-degree heat of Tanunda at 11am, passing vineyards, wineries and trademark Seppeltsfield palm trees as they made their way through Barossa towns to Lyndoch.
An early breakaway from Holden Cycling’s Erin Kinnealy created a 22-second buffer at the 12-kilometer mark.
Kennealy’s lead stretched to 1.35 minutes at the 35-kilometer mark, which came during the second pass through Tanunda. She took the points in the day’s first intermediate sprint.
The peloton slowly made inroads on Kinnealy’s lead before eventually catching her just before the Subaru Queen of the Mountain ascent up Whispering Wall at Williamstown.
The first QOM honours went to Ale Cipollini’s Janneke Ensing, but the climb wasn’t without drama as a multi-bike crash split the peloton.
The last 50 kilometers was an arm wrestle. ORICA-Scott controlled the peloton, chasing any breakaways that formed in a team tactic seen since the 2017 Santos Women’s Tour began.
In the closing 10 kilometers of the race a breakaway group of about 30 riders picked up the intensity, with ORICA-Scott and Ale Cipollini among the leaders.
As the leading group approached the final sprint down Lyndoch’s main street Wild was no match for Hosking’s sensational sprinting form. Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM) and Peta Mullens (Hagens Berman Supermint) rounded out the top four.
Race leader Amanda Spratt finished in the peloton and holds a 19-second lead heading into the final stage.
“I’m not celebrating yet – there is still another day – but this was the big one to get through so we are happy to keep the (Santos Leader’s) Jersey and very hopeful to keep it tomorrow,” the Australian said.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini 2:21:56
2 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling
3 Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon SRAM Racing
4 Peta Mullens (Aus) Hagens Berman / Supermint
5 Rebecca Wiasak (Aus) High5 Dream Team
6 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon SRAM Racing
7 Chloe Dygert (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20
8 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Drops Cycling
9 Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling
10 Julie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5
General classification after stage 3
1 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-Scott 5:56:54
2 Janneke Ensing (Ned) Ale Cipollini 0:00:19
3 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling 0:00:50
4 Lauren Kitchen (Aus) NSWIS Sydney Uni 0:00:55
5 Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:00:57
6 Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:59
7 Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
8 Peta Mullens (Aus) Hagens Berman / Supermint 0:01:00
9 Danielle King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling
10 Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling 0:01:01
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