Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig received stage three of the Tour de France Femmes, from Reims to Epernay, after out-sprinting general race chief Marianne Vos on the ultimate steep ramp to the end, overlooking the champagne vineyards of the Marne.
The Dane, in tears of despair after crashing and dropping time on stage two, was in tears once more, however this time of joy after her explosive acceleration took her clear of Vos within the final 100m. It is difficult to think about a extra exuberant winner within the lengthy historical past of the Tour de France.
“It feels like a such a good comeback after what, I have to say, was a fucking shit day yesterday,” the 26-year-old FDJ Suez rider stated, emphatically. “I simply love how the group saved the preventing spirit and we knew that right this moment was a super-good day [for us].
“If I had the legs, I might attempt to go for the win, however to truly do it and be a Tour de France stage winner, on this Danish nationwide champion’s jersey – hh my God, it simply doesn’t get higher.”
The succession of quick, sharp climbs via the hills overlooking Epernay whittled down the lead group on the method to the sharpest of all, the Côte de Mutigny, 15kms from the end and famously the platform for Julian Alaphilippe’s spectacular stage win in Epernay, within the 2019 males’s Tour.
But Giro Donne winner and pre-race favorite, Annemiek Van Vleuten, once more had a fatiguing day, having misplaced 50 seconds to Vos on stage two after which pressured to chase again to the peloton following a rest room break with 30kms to race. Worse got here on the ultimate climb, Mont Bernon, with pitches as steep as 14%, when she misplaced contact with the entrance group of favourites and was pressured to pursue alone.
Although the Dutch rider chased again to the rear of the choose entrance group, she once more misplaced floor within the dash, ceding an extra 18 seconds to Vos. The 35-year-old Jumbo-Visma chief retained the general lead from Silvia Persico (Vulcar Travel and Service) and Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM) by 16 seconds.