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Women's Tour of California 2016: Stage 3


Welcome to our continued live coverage of the Women's Tour of California. We're back for stage 3 from Santa Rosa, out to the coast, and back in to Santa Rosa.

Start list  |  Stage details

76km remaining from 111km

76km remaining from 111km

The women's stage is not nearly as climbing intensive as the men's - but Coleman Grade is a steep one and will give the GC contenders a chance to shake things up. BUT, it's a massive 52km time trial to the finish line from the climb. Who's up for it?

Mari Holden, the former world champion time trialist, knows how difficult an effort like that would be. She's the directeur of the Twenty16 team, who won the TTT yesterday, and spoke to Ted Burns this morning about the team's strategy:

70km remaining from 111km

Of course, it's world class cycling here, too. They'll get to Highway 1 in a few kilometers - it's a little ascent from the river, then it traverses a lovely ridge with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

Tayler Wiles is a local, and racing with the US National Team here. She spoke to Cyclingnews at the start about the Coleman Grade climb:

66km remaining from 111km

The predicted rain has not come - there are clouds hovering over the ocean, but they're high enough that the view is fine.

The USA rider has been caught, but a Colavita rider counters.

Our guess is that's Katie Donovan. She's the team's best climber and an aggressive racer.

We'll have a sprint coming up at km. 55 before they head up Coleman Grade. It's a nasty little double.

61km remaining from 111km

It was Donovan who attacked, she's joined by Eri Yonamine - a stand-out climber who can also time trial well - and Shara Gillow (Rabo-Liv) - also a good climber who can TT. It's a solid move!

But Boels Dolmans is way too strong. Chantal Blaak sped across and put an anchor on that move. All together heading into the sprint.

The peloton is through the sprint now - Coleman Valley Road is just up the road a piece. The climb starts just after the turn.

Megan Guarnier puts her stamp of authority on the race, and takes out the sprint and bonus seconds to bring her lead to 15" over Armstrong. Jasmin Glaesser (Rally Cycling) and Dani King (Wiggle-High5) round out the top three.

We expect to see some attacks from the climbers - Guarnier leads the QOM classification as well as points and overall. Sara Poidevin was in second in that competition but was time cut from the TTT after the team had a bad crash on course.

The attacks are starting up - five riders are getting an advantage. We would guess it's Mara Abbott stretching her legs - she took the first QOM today.

They're past the worst of the climb, but like Wiles said, it keeps undulating up and over lumps on the ridge top. Roads are never simple along the California coast.

Coryn Rivera (UHC) continues to demonstrate that she's no longer a criterium specialist. She's off the front with Ms. Wiles.

Rivera was our pick to win today - she's not only been climbing well, she's very quick in the bunch sprints.

Back at the base of Coleman, Mara Abbott led the peloton, pulling away Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM), Katie Hall (UHC), Emma Johansson (Wiggle) and marked by Boels' Evie Stevens and race leader Megan Guarnier.

It's difficult to get the race situation pinned down because of the many hills and reception issues...

That was incorrect information about Rivera and Wiles -

QOM 2:

Abbott was 1:22 down on Guarnier at the start, so there's no need to panic yet. She has a 30 second lead over six chasers: Stevens, Guarnier, Katie Hall, Armstrong, Johansson and one other.

We think it's Amialiusik in that chase with the yellow jersey.

It's a very narrow road, and looks more like the Giro d'Italia or Amstel Gold than the typical 'Merican racing. The chase will not be able to see Abbott because it twists and turns.

Eri Yonamine made the split now - the young Japanese rider is an amazing story. She only started riding bikes five years ago - she doesn't have an athletic background, only some tennis for fun.

Coryn Rivera (UHC) made it across to the chase group, so that's eight chasing, closing down Abbott's gap to 15 seconds.

The chasing group has Abbott in their sights as they approach the quaint town of Occidental.

Abbott takes the quick succession of turns in Occidental - the first chase is hot on her heels, then there's another chase at 30 seconds. Further back, the peloton is holding at 1:20.

Rivera is actually our chase 2, but the first chase is losing ground on a very stubborn Mara Abbott.

Abbott opened up her gap on a false flat/climb - but there's a long descent ahead for the chase to use.

33km remaining from 111km

For those wanting to follow the men's race, we will pick them up at the first sprint after the women finish.

So all along, that was never Rivera chasing. There was a miscommunication with the numbers, that was 136 - Yonamine, not Rivera, 36.

27km remaining from 111km

I know of one team who could make that happen, and they have missed this move: Rabo-Liv. If they want to get a win, they're going to need to haul it on the long, flat road to Santa Rosa.

31km remaining from 111km

Actually, scratch that. Good information is hard to come by in the women's race. But it looks like the peloton is two minutes behind now, while Abbott is steadily going backwards to join them.

Here was your GC at the start:

24km remaining from 111km

Whowhee- the gap is really coming down now. Just 28 seconds. Looks like a bunch sprint today.

20km remaining from 111km

The gap is back on it's downward spiral, only 15 seconds as they head down the flat, urban residential roads heading into Santa Rosa.

It looks like it'll be a criterium finish for the women - they'll have 3 to go when they see the finish line, each lap is only 4k long.

16km remaining from 111km

We've got a few strong sprinters in the peloton, including Marianne Vos. Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) is quite quick. Of course Coryn Rivera is a favourite. Kirsten Wild (Hitec) is a proven winner, and Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco).

There are only a couple dozen women in this front group, so it's a matter of who is the fastest sprinter left.

11km remaining from 111km

Guarnier is hanging out in the back, confident it's going to be a bunch sprint. However, there was that one year that Levi Leipheimer got caught up in a crash on the circuits, outside 3k to go... but thanks to his status in the town the officials bent the rules and let him keep yellow, depriving Ben Jacques Maynes of taking it.

We have an attack!

It's a Hagens-Berman Supermint rider who's attacked.

Ticker is saying it's Yonamine again - this rider just never says no!

USA National team shuts down that move. All together (at least that reduced peloton)

Ruth Winder (USA) attacks with two laps to go.

Winder was part of the world championship winning team pursuit squad, so she has the power to go on a breakaway.

If you missed it, USA Cycling has partnered with Felt and a bunch of other companies to make a special team pursuit bike just for the women's squad. It's got the drive on the left side - kind of whacky but they say it's faster.

Now Winder's pursuit teammate Chloe Dygert has a go.

Dygert countered as Winder was caught. They'll get the bell this time through the line.

4km remaining from 111km

Unfortunately the cameras at the finish line are only showing the finishing straighaway. Not to be too harsh in criticism, but there are criteriums in this country that can manage to show the entire lap. This is a WorldTour event - but we have to wait until tonight to see what happened.

UnitedHealthcare has control of the front for Rivera. Can she show her mettle against the worldTour peloton?

Now Twenty16 takes control - the sprint is coming on fast!

Twenty 16 goes, but it's Rabo-Liv that gets the front.

It's none other than Marianne Vos! She gets the win from Rivera!

That was a close one - Vos is showing she's regaining her previous form - and her unstoppable desire to win. Rivera put up a good fight but just didn't have that magic pedal stroke.

Guarnier was right up in the mix, so will keep the yellow jersey. Johansson looked like she was third.

Stage results:

And since Leah Thomas wasn't in the mix, Vos also jumps over her and into fourth overall.

General classification after stage 3
1 Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans
2 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Twenty16 Ridebiker 0:00:12
3 Evelyn Stevens (USA) Boels Dolmans 0:00:22
4 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv 0:00:44
5 Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare 0:00:47

We will pick up the men's race in five minutes! Thanks for reading. And remember, if you want to see more women's coverage, be sure to email and let us know!

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