Team Sunweb’s Lucinda Brand takes over the lead in the points classification after stage 3 of the Boels Ladies Tour today, after adding to her tally throughout the stage.
It was an active day at the front of the peloton, with various groups enjoying brief stints at the head of affairs throughout the stage. In the final 60 kilometres a group of 13 riders went clear, with Lucinda Brand up the road for Team Sunweb. The group opened up a 50 second advantage over the main field, with the peloton only catching them in the final few kilometres. As things came back together for a bunch sprint Team Sunweb’s Floortje Mackaij went for a result. An unfortunate crash in the final 100 metres saw her taken out of contention, however she was able to cross the finish line with no serious injuries.
Lucinda said: “A group went clear earlier on in the stage but we weren’t in it so we kept attacking and luckily it came back. From then it was slow until we entered the second lap. After the intermediate sprint there were lots of attacks, I managed to take 2 seconds there which was good. Later on a larger group went and I made it to the front. There was good cooperation in the group and straight away we got 45 seconds, but going into the last lap some sprinters started thinking about the finish and saving their legs. I tried to motivate everyone and kept going myself and the gap went back out, with 10 kilometres to go it was exciting and looked like we could still make it. In the final two kilometres everything came together and I helped Floortje in the sprint to bring her into a good position for the last 750 metres. She had some bad luck in the real sprint crashing in the 750 metres. Luckily we have no real damage from that and hopefully in the upcoming days we can continue to race aggressively.”
Team Sunweb coach Hendrik Werner said: “During the stage a group of 10 riders with Lucinda who is 4th on GC went clear. We had to play it smart since on a flat day it’s always in the bunches best interest to bring a group back. In the end it came back together close to the finish and we decided to go for a sprint with Floortje. She was in a great position for the sprint but unfortunately crashed with 70 metres to go. At the moment she looks to be ok which is good news for us and the rest of the team are ok – which is all that matters.”