Tour de France Femmes stage 3 report: The break denied again, barely

A late chase by SD Worx closes a big gap in the last five km for the catch at the line.

Lorena Wiebes used a perfect leadout from yellow jersey Lotte Kopecky to take her first stage of the 2023 Tour de France Femmes. Photo © Rafa Gomez/Cor Vos

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 25.07.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) won a furious bunch sprint to take stage 3 of the Tour de France Femmes over Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma). The pack caught the day’s long solo breakaway, by Fenix-Deceuninck’s Julie Van de Velde, just 100 meters from the line. Yellow jersey Lotte Kopecky led out Wiebes and keeps firm control of the race lead.



Brief analysis

Even with four riders on the front, DSM-Firmenich wasn’t able to bring back breakaway Julie Van de Velde without help. Photo © Rafa Gomez/Cor Vos

Stage 4 preview

This 177.1 km stage takes the peloton from Cahors to Rodez, near the Massif Centrale, in what is not only the longest day of racing on the 2023 Tour de France Femmes, but the longest for the women’s peloton this year. It’s a stage of two halves: the first largely flat and the second decidedly lumpy, with several significant climbs late. First, the Category 3 Côte des Colombies will soften the legs with 6.6km of climbing at 4.2% average, followed by the Category 2 Côte de Moyrazes (4.7km at 5.1%), with the summit just 15 km from the finish. Last but not least, the Category 3 Côte de Lavernhe makes up in steepness (7.1%) what it lacks in length (2.3km). It comes less than 10 km from the line. A late breakaway is certainly a possibility, but it’s also potentially a GC day, especially if a rider like Annemiek van Vleuten wants to assert her trademark aggressiveness.

Julie Van de Velde dug deep but was denied stage glory by a mere 100 meters. Photo © Rafa Gomez/Cor Vos

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