Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche: Stage 3

11 Sep

Statistics

Distance: 96km

Time: 2hours 40minutes

Speed: 35kph

After a relaxing afternoon, we headed back to the start for another bike race.  The race was pretty interesting at the beginning.  Lots of ups and downs, lefts and rights.  At 17km into the race, there was a climb.  This wasn’t the make or break point of the race though.  At 27km into the race, there was a short, but steep climb (resembling a Belgian style climb).  Just before it was a fast downhill.  Emma Pooley attacked the climb and split the group.  I was quite a ways back, so had to chase onto the group.  The break consisted of 2 Garmin riders (Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armistead), 2 riders from the Russian National team, 2 riders from the French National team (Christel Ferrier-Bruneau), 1 rider from Colavita, 1 rider from the Belgium National team, 1 rider from the Norwegian National team, Ashleigh Moolman, and myself.  The break worked well together.  I was told to sit on, as Emilia was in the leader’s jersey and we didn’t want the break to gain time on her.  The first climb was hard, but we had a tailwind and it was manageable.  It also helped that there weren’t any attacks and the group was committed to putting time into the peloton.  On the second climb, which was 8km, Emma Pooley attacked at about 4km from the top.  I tried to bridge to her, but wasn’t able to make it.  From there, we all continued to roll the break to keep Emma from gaining too much time.  Once we got closer to the finish, attacks started happening and people stopped working.  Yes, it was frustrating, but that’s part of the game.  At the end of the day, Emma Pooley won the stage with 2minutes 25seconds on our group.  The finish was a bit sketchy and there was a crash.  I managed to stay ahead of it and finished safely in 8th place with the rest of the group.  The peloton was over 5 minutes behind our chase group, and 7minutes 33seconds behind the stage winner.  It was a hard day on the bike.  The finish moved me up into 5th place overall (2minutes 22seconds off 1st, 11seconds off 2nd, 2seconds off 3rd, and 1second off 4th).  It also moved me up into 2nd place in the young rider competition.  Unfortunately, Amber had a mechanical before the “Belgian climb.”  Evie went back to help her catch back on.   The move of the day happened before they made contact.  Tomorrow is another day, and we are here to win some bike races!!  More to come.

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