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Vos digs deep to keep yellow at Tour de France Femmes

Marianne Vos spent after stage 3 of Tour de France Femmes
Marianne Vos was spent after stage 3 of Tour de France Femmes (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) won a hard-fought battle to keep the yellow jersey for another day after finishing second to Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-SUEZ Futuroscope) on the steep final climb into Épernay on stage 3.

The overall race leader says she 'gave it her all' and plans to keep the overall race lead for as long as possible.

"I fought for it. I'm happy to keep yellow but Cecilie was strongest on the final climb. It wasn't close, there was quite a big gap. I gave it my all, but in the end, I didn't have the legs to accelerate. After such a hard race, I'm happy to stay another day in yellow," Vos said.

In another remarkable performance, Vos stuck with the best climbers in the race over the short, steep ascents before reaching Épernay. As the race hit the final climb, Vos reacted to Kasia Niewiadoma's acceleration inside the final 300 metres.

Vos passed Niewiadoma but was then caught and passed by a stronger Uttrup Ludwig, who came from further back to take the win.

"I tried to stay up front, stay with the leaders to try to go for another stage victory. I had to give it my all over the other climbs, and this was all we could do," Vos said.

Vos took the yellow jersey after winning stage 2 into Provins and after stage 3 she leads the classification by 16 seconds ahead of Silvia Persico (Valcar) and Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).

She said the feeling of racing in the peloton while wearing the yellow jersey gave her goosebumps.

"There were moments that I rode around with goosebumps and other moments where I was suffering just trying to stay on a wheel, and in contention," Vos said. "That's the beauty of the sport. It was a beautiful thing to wear the jersey, from inside the peloton all the race and spectators cheering for the maillot jaune is something special."

Jumbo-Visma teammate Anna Henderson said she is all-in to support Vos journey in yellow and that watching her win stage 2 and take the overall race lead was memorable. She also said the team is still focused on stage wins.

"We were here to win stages and yellow is a big bonus, and we will do more work to support Marianne," Henderson said.

Vos said the team will give it their best every day as the race continues into stage 4 from Troyes to Bar-Sur-Aube on Wednesday. "It was a big fight and we are ready to fight tomorrow again," Vos said.

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