Chloe Hosking finally got the bunch sprint she has been waiting for at the Tour de L’Ardèche and finished in third place on stage 3, while Emma White retained her purple jersey as the leader of intermediate ‘rush’ sprints classification.
It was a complete team performance that delivered the day’s result, team director Joanne Kiesanowksi explained.
“Leading into the final we were in a great position because Leigh Ann Ganzar spent the whole stage in the breakaway. She put us in the armchair position of not having to work in the bunch. When the peloton caught her break move with 10km to go, we had Emma and Heidi [Franz] shepherding Chloe around the bunch.”
Ganzar being in the break continued the awesome team performance all week by mopping up more intermediate rush sprints to protect the lead of Emma White for another day. White was even able to add to her points tally before the break went up the road.
Trek-Segafredo and Canyon SRAM contributed to the late chase to ensure a field sprint – allowing Hosking to coast in the bunch behind.
“I was surfing wheels into the super technical final,” said Hosking. “It had a few corners with just a couple of hundred meters to go and I knew from reconning it that I needed to go into the penultimate corner in first position, but I just missed the jump of Cordon-Ragot. I went into that corner third and stayed third.”
While a podium is a great result, Hosking knows the team can climb a couple of steps higher.
“I was a bit disappointed not to finish off the girls’ really hard work today, but I’m feeling confident in the peloton, the team’s riding really well and we’ll be able to get on the top step soon, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing and ticking those boxes. After six months of riding solo, it feels great to be back with my elbows out in the peloton.”
Sara Poidevin stays ninth on GC after finishing just behind the main group.
Trek-Segafredo’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot won the stage with Barbara Guarischi of Movistar in second. It will be back to the mountains tomorrow, as the race heads for a summit finish on Mont-Lozère.
Stage 3 result
1 Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo)
2 Barbara Guarischi (Movistar Team)
3 Chloe Hosking (Rally Cycling)
General classification after stage 3
1 Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana) 6:56:38
2 Anna Kiesenhofer (Austria) +0:05
3 Lauren Stephens (Team Tibco – SVB) +0:42
9 Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling) +7:45
Rush classification after stage 3
1 Emma White (Rally Cycling) 14pts
2 Marie Le Net (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) 8pts
3 Leigh Ann Ganzar 8pts