• Chloe Hosking bolts to the stage victory. (Getty)Source: Getty
Alé Cipollini's Australian Chloe Hosking sprinted to victory at the end of the third stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour, as WM3’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma retained her hold on the race lead.
By
Cycling Central

10 Jun 2017 - 9:18 AM  UPDATED 10 Jun 2017 - 4:44 PM

Hosking came off Giorgia Bronzini's (Wiggle High5) wheel with around 100-metres to go with only Alice Barnes (Drops) providing a challenge on the long drag to the finish line.

"It feels really great” Hosking said. "This is a highlight race for most riders on the calendar so I feel really privileged to come away with my first win and first podium here.

"It seemed like a number of the teams wanted the finish to be from the group. There was a group of five that got away and for me that was a bit worrying.

“There were girls like Shara Gillow (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Gracie Elvin (Orica-Scott), both Australians, both really, really strong, and the course wasn't dead flat. It took a bit of effort to drag them in.

“Once we caught them everybody switched their mindset to a bunch sprint. It was a bit chaotic, which is strange because it was probably the least technical finish we have all week. But it was nice that the sprinters got a chance.”

With the benefit of time bonuses, Ellen Van Dijk (Sunweb), third on the stage, moves up to second overall, 1min 43sec behind Niewiadoma with two stages remaining.

"It was another hard stage, but not as hard as yesterday,” Niewiadoma said. "All teams were expecting a bunch sprint and they wanted to take their chance. At one point a breakaway of five riders was clear but I was pretty calm as I knew that they were not competitors for me on GC.

“My team controlled the whole race. After the two climbs other teams were eager to help at the front to chase them down and take a big bunch to the finish line.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla), the leading young rider in the UCI Women's World Tour briefly threatened Niewiadoma's leading as the best placed of five riders who hit the front and built an almost two-minute lead, but were finally reigned back in at five kilometres to go, setting up the sprint finish.

Niewiadoma also leads the points classification while Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Wiggle High5) does the same in the mountains competition.

Stage 4 of the OVO Energy Women's Tour is a 123km route which starts and finishes in the centre of Chesterfield.

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