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Vuelta a Burgos Feminas: Garcia wins stage 3

Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ) has won stage 3 of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas. With 14 kilometres to go, the Spanish champion attacked from a front group that had formed after the Alto Retuerta and was joined by French champion Évita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope).

On the finishing climb to Ojo Guareña, García left Muzic behind and won the stage 15 seconds ahead of Liane Lippert (Team DSM) who won the uphill sprint for third place as Muzic had crossed the line a few seconds earlier.

García is also the new overall leader, going into the final stage 4 with the Lagunas de Neila mountaintop finish in the purple jersey.

“I had to race on instinct today because I didn’t have any teammates left at the front. I was alone and had to cover so many attacks. I went on instinct and Évita came with me. I wasn’t thinking about winning the stage, only about gaining some time for the GC. But eventually I got the stage win, finally! I had been fighting for something like this for a long time,” said García.

Going into the final stage, she leads the GC by 12 seconds to Muzic and 15 seconds to the following riders, but García was noncommittal about her chances of overall victory.

“We’ll see about tomorrow. For now, I want to enjoy today’s win. I didn’t want to let this opportunity go,” she finished.

How it unfolded

Stage 3 began in Medina to Pomar and included a large loop around the starting town before heading to Ojo Guareña, finishing atop a 1.6-kilometre finishing climb after 113.4km.

There was no breakaway for a long time. Only 55km from the finish did five riders get away. But Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health), Marta Jaskulska (Liv Racing Xstra), Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo), Sandra Alonso (Ceratizit-WNT), and Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Valcar-Travel & Service) never held a large advantage and were reeled in again with 33km to go, just before the start of the third-category Alto Retuerta.

There were several attacks on the 6.9-kilometre climb, with Marie Le Net (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) being especially active, but the peloton only split just before the top. A group of seven riders including Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), Kristen Faulkner (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), Niamh Fisher-Black (Team SD Worx), García, and the Team DSM duo of Juliette Labous and Liane Lippert got a gap on the descent. Overnight GC leader Tatiana Ducuara (Colombia Tierra de Atletas) was in the third group on the road, up to a minute behind.

Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) and Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) bridged to the front group after the descent. As the group of the GC leader grew in size and started chasing, a group of six that included Muzic also came back to the front where there were almost-continuous attacks.

Just as Ducuara’s group of about 20 riders made it back with 14km to go, García made her move, with Muzic quickly jumping after her. The two united forces and opened a gap of up to 36 seconds in the final where pre-race favourite Vollering was often seen yo-yoing off the back of the chasing group.

Starting the climb to Ojo Guareña with a 25-second advantage, García left Muzic behind on the final kilometre and won the stage solo, only a week after a Covid-19 infection had kept her out of the Itzulia Women.

Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) finished fourth on the stage and defended her green points jersey, Muzic is the new leader of the U23 classification and will wear the white jersey on stage 4. Lara Vieceli (Ceratizit-WNT) keeps the red mountain jersey.

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