What could be more fun than having a race a day? Why having two races in a day! Last night the girls raced the 56km Stage 3 from Orval to St Amand, had a short break and then backed up on the 74km Stage 4 from Sancoins to Orval. Ever felt like you were going in circles?
The information I have for these stages is again patchy. Peta’s blackberry is apparently having issues so I only have a few text messages and some cryptic comments on the unofficial blog to go on. (The blog probably makes more sense in the original French!)
The Stage 3 results were much the same as Stages 1 & 2: Bronzini won with Rochelle Gilmore, the Australian National Team sprinter, coming second. Bet she’s getting a bit frustrated!! Once again Vicki was on lead out duties… with all this practice she is going to end up being the lead out queen!
Vicki was able to do some work for herself during the stage and has moved back up to second in the mountains classification. She reports that she is some way behind the leader but will still try to contest for the jersey. Vicki also put in a solid attack with 12km to go but there were too many teams wanting it to come down to a sprint and she was chased down.
The general classification after Stage 3 sees Bronzini extend her lead over Rochelle.
And the winner for Stage 4 was… go on, guess. If you said Bronzini you would be right! That woman is on fire!! There was one change: Rochelle didn’t finish second as she found two hillier stages in one day had taken it out of her legs.
Vicki again played the domestique, smashing herself chasing down lots of attacks by the Bigla team to ensure the stage finished with a bunch kick. Bronzini must be really happy with her.
I’m doing some serious extrapolation from the blog here but it seems the the QOM leader, Ludivine Henrion, managed to get into a break and claim some serious points in Stage 4. It’s not mathematically impossible for Vicki to still win (seems there are 6 categorised climbs tomorrow??) but given the work Vicki has been putting in for the team…
Tomorrow’s Stage 5 is not one for the sprinters and should end Bronzini’s run of stage victories. It starts in Cosne-sur-Loire, covers 92km over some difficult terrain and then finishes back where it started. That circle thing again. Vicki is likely to be given some freedom to try her luck in a break. Hopefully she will have something left after all the hard work she has been doing…