The tension was palpable on stage 3 of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas after back-to-back wins for
Lorena Wiebes SD Worx put the Dutch team in a familiar position of supremacy. That said, stage 1-winner Lorena Wiebes had something to prove on day three after a controversial relegation robbed her of victory 24 hours earlier – the win handed to teammate Demi Vollering – and prove it she did on the uphill sprint in Aranda de Duero.
“The team worked really hard for it today. I was in the wheel of Demi in the last kilometre and I had the feeling ‘the breakaway is going to get it’. But then in the final straight, I saw them slowing down a bit and Demi went full gas,” Wiebes said post-stage.
“We worked really hard for this all winter, and for me after yesterday it was extra motivation to win this one.”
It wasn’t nearly as simple as the results make it look, though. With most of the peloton feeling the pressure on the penultimate day of racing, and only a summit finish to wrap things up on Sunday, it was nervous from the start. No moves were able to make any ground until the last 30km of the 113km stage when a seven-rider move broke free.
A brief lull in the main bunch allowed the attack to stretch their advantage to over a minute and, with no one yet willing to take responsibility of the chase, it looked ever more likely that the break would steal the stage. But then SD Worx moved to the front.
The combined strength of the whole SD Worx team, notable hefty pulls coming from Blanka Vas and Marlen Reusser – along with sturdy efforts from Jayco AlUla and AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step – brought their sprinter closer to contention on the run-in, but the attackers still had more than ten seconds under the flamme rouge. And it was an uphill sprint that awaited them…
The last kilometre was high speed delivered in slow motion, especially for the ever-so-close breakaway, but then Wiebes appeared seemingly out of nowhere and obliterated the sprints of all who followed. She had Elisa Balsamo sitting on her wheel, but the Trek-Segafredo rider was stuck in the race leader’s wake as Wiebes surged to victory number two.
The powerhouse sprinter now leads the Vuelta a Burgos by 14 seconds over second-place Chloe Dygert (Canyon-SRAM) who is tied with Wiebes’s teammate Demi Vollering. With one stage to go and a finishing climb up the hors-category Lagunas de Neila, it will be all in for Vollering on Sunday as SD Worx aims for a clean sweep of stage wins and the overall title.
“I go all in for Demi,” Wiebes said of Sunday’s stage 4, after celebrating her second (official) win of the race. “It’s time to do some work for the team.”