Madrid Challenge: Tactical game of seconds expected to play out in finale

Madrid Challenge
Lisa Brennauer leads the overall classification into stage 3 (Image credit: Getty Images)

The stage 2 individual time trial set the scene for the final stage 3 of the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta. After a stage 1 that ended in an uphill sprint with small time gaps, the 9.3km test against the clock in Boadilla del Monte brought the time trial specialists to the fore, battling for seconds, and it is now a tight battle for the overall title.

The 2019 winner of the Madrid Challenge, Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT), won the ITT ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo). In the general classification, Brennauer, who placed third on stage 1 to score vital bonus seconds, now has a ten-second advantage on Longo Borghini, with Van Dijk a further three seconds back.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) is fourth at 17 seconds, followed by Team Sunweb’s Lorena Wiebes and Leah Kirchmann at 18 and 23 seconds, respectively. Van Vleuten’s teammate Sarah Roy is seventh overall at 27 seconds, Mieke Kröger (Hitec Products-Birk Sport) is three seconds further behind. Alice Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) in ninth place trails Brennauer by 33 seconds, tenth-placed Maaike Boogaard (Alé BTC Ljubljana) sits at 35 seconds.

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.