Vuelta a Burgos Féminas stage 3: Mavi García solos to victory in Ojo Guareña

Vuelta a Burgos Féminas stage 3: Mavi García solos to victory in Ojo Guareña

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Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ) won stage 3 of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas in Ojo Guareña after dropping late breakaway companion Evita Muzic (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope) on the final climb.

After attacking in the final 15km of the stage, García and Muzic held onto their advantage all the way into Ojo Guareña as the efforts of SD Worx, BikeExchange-Jayco and Canyon-SRAM failed to bring back the duo. García distanced Muzic in the final 800m of the stage to take the win solo.

García now leads the overall classification, taking over the jersey from Jennifer Ducuara (Colombia Atletas de Tierra).

Also read: Vuelta a Burgos Féminas: Matilde Vitillo wins stage 2 in photo finish

This is García’s 10th career victory but only her first at WorldTour level, and an 11th victory in 2022 for her UAE Team ADQ squad.

“I tried something different today, because we’re here with a small team,” García said at the finish. “There were a lot of other girls from other teams but I was by myself [in the lead group] so I had to follow a lot of attacks. And so I tried something different to go by myself and [Muzic] came with me.

“I wasn’t thinking about winning, just about taking time, but in the end I could go for victory finally. I’ve been fighting for a long time for a victory like this.”

How it happened

After two flat finishes on stages 1 and 2, stage 3 of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas ushered in the first hilltop finish of the race in the form of a 1km climb to the line in Ojo Guareña after a climb-heavy run-in. Though the real big mountains are saved for stage 4, Saturday’s stage was expected to be the first test for the climbers and general classification riders of the peloton.

Canyon-SRAM suffered a blow to their ambitions on Saturday morning, with both Pauliena Rooijakkers and Alena Amialiusik dropping out of the race before stage 3. After a strong Itzulia and a win at Durango Durango Emakumeen Saria on Tuesday, Rooijakkers struggled slightly on stages 1 and 2. Maaike Coljé (Massi Tactic), who was in yesterday’s winning breakaway, also did not start.

It was a very fast start to the day, with the pace well ahead of the fastest schedule and the highest pace in the first two hours of racing – making it nearly impossible for a group to get away. Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) and Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo) briefly found themselves off the front after 30km, but their lead was never more than four or five seconds.

Though the officially categorised climbs were packed into the tail end of the stage, the combination of rolling terrain and exposed road made for hard racing. On several occasions the peloton split and regrouped, with a group of 22 trying to forge ahead at one point, but their advantage did not last long and the race was still all together after 50km.

Eventually, after almost 60km of racing completed, a handful of riders managed to get away: Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo), Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health), Eleonora Gasparrini (Valcar-Travel & Service), Marta Jaskulska (Liv Racing Extra) and Sandra Alonson (Ceratizit-WNT) had an advantage of 20 seconds as the race passed through Medina de Pomar for the second time. With Buijsman within touching distance of the mountains jersey lead, there was motivation in this group, but with the pace in the bunch not letting up at all their escape didn’t last long, and they were caught within 10km.

As the road began to rise to the peak of the category 3 Alto Retuerta, the general classification teams really began to up the pace and reduce the bunch down to less than 50 riders. FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope was the most aggressive team on the climb with both Marie Le Net and Stine Borgli both attempting to get away, albeit without success.

Into the last 500m of the climb, efforts from Kristen Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) completely split apart the leading group, with a group of nine emerging over the top. Niewiadoma took maximum points in the mountains classification, and was followed onto the descent by Faulkner, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope), Demi Vollering, Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx), Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM), Liane Lippert, Juliette Labous (Team DSM) and Garcíá (UAE Team ADQ). Behind, race leader Jennifer Ducuara (Colombia Atletas de Tierra) was distanced, some 50 seconds behind the lead.

A crash in the feed zone took Faulkner out of the lead group and into a chasing group 20 seconds behind, but with the support of teammate Ane Santesteban she were able to catch up to the lead. The unification of the two groups made it 15 riders up front, with Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), Paula Patiño (Movistar), Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo), Muzic (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope) and Anna Shackley (SD Worx) joining the leaders.

Going into the final 15km the attacks started in this group, instigated by Chabbey and Lippert, but it was a well-timed move from García and Muzic that managed to stretch out a small advantage. Behind, a hesitation in the group saw them caught by the chasing group which crucially included stage 1 winner Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx). In the now 30-strong main group, SD Worx took up the chase with Vollering putting in a big effort in support of her team. Despite the efforts of SD Worx, Muzic and García’s advantage grew to half a minute going into the final 10km.

With five riders in the chasing bunch, BikeExchange-Jayco offered some help to SD Worx, but the bulk of the chase was left to Fisher-Black, Shackley and Vollering, who struggled to make a dent in the leading duo’s advantage on their own. García and Muzic held on to a 30 second lead going into the last 3km of the stage but it was touch-and-go with a kilometre of climbing up to the line.

On the final climb, García distanced Muzic in the final 800m and despite the peloton coming up fast behind, the Spaniard held onto her advantage to solo to her first win of the season. Muzic held on for second place, 12 seconds behind García, and Lippert won the sprint for third as the peloton finished 15 seconds down on the winner.

García’s 15 second winning margin means she now leads the race overall, with Muzic in 2nd and Kopecky in 3rd ahead of a tough final stage tomorrow. Muzic’s ride also earned her the title of best young rider, and she will choose between her French national champions jersey and the white jersey for stage 4. There was no change in the points or mountains classifications, with Kopecky and Vieceli (Ceratizit-WNT) still leading each respectively.

With the 11km climb to Lagunas de Neila still to come on stage 4, all is still to be decided at the Vuelta a Burgos as tomorrow’s stage is likely to throw up big changes and big time gaps.

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas Stage 3 Results

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