Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta: Grace Brown wins stage 3 from late move

Australian beats Elise Chabbey in two-up sprint in Aguilar de Campoo.

Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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Grace Brown (FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope) sprinted to victory on stage 3 of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, beating Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) to the line after attacking in the final 10km.

World champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) took third from the reduced group that finished eight seconds behind the winner.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) remains in the red jersey after finishing in the second group.

After repeated attempts to get away, Brown and Chabbey finally got a gap in the last 8km of the stage, and held off the slightly disorganized chase group to contest the finish.

The long, steady climb in the middle of the 96km stage saw the peloton whittled down significantly, but the gradients proved too low for the climbers to dominate the day with the race decided on the flat.

“I thought maybe this was a stage that could suit me, and it was aggressive all day which is the type of racing that I really enjoy,” Brown said at the finish. “I followed Elise Chabbey in the last 10km and we worked together really well and I was able to outsprint her in the final, so I’m happy.”

“I had the plan that I would look for opportunities to attack and make a breakaway. I was up the road a few times actually today, but it was the final one that worked. On this sort of course, it’s hard to know when ‘the’ moment is, you have to feel the race.”

“I think it’s a good stage tomorrow as well, it’s up and down all day, it’s long, it’ll be hard. It could be a breakaway day, or I think there’s also some riders in the peloton that will like the finish, so it depends if teams want to keep it together for that.”

How it happened

After the back-to-back climbs of stage 2, stage 3 of the Ceratizit Challenge was a different type of hilly day, featuring one small climb at the start before a long, gradual rise to Hoces de Bárcena. The official categorized climb came in at 16km long, but the road gradually rose for some 30km before the top, and the riders had another 30km of plateau after the peak to get to the finish line. The stage finished in Aguilar de Campoo, a finish town already seen in the Women’s WorldTour this year on stage 2 of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas, but where that stage started in the hills and took a gently undulating route to the finish, Friday saw the peloton start at sea-level and climb up to the 903m altitude finish.

With the stage possibly suiting a breakaway, and being only 96km long, it was an aggressive start to the day with several riders and teams trying hard to get away. Continental teams Bizkaia Durango and Laboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi were particularly active, keen to show themselves in one of the biggest races on the Spanish calendar. On the first climb of the day, the 3.8km Alto de Hijas, the WorldTour teams took control of the peloton, and the pace set saw a handful of riders already struggling at the back after only 20km completed.

At the top of the climb, polka dot jersey Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) attacked unchallenged to take maximum points and add to her tally. On the flat, a three-rider breakaway briefly got away — Caroline Andersson (Coop-Hitec Products), Sandra Alonso (Ceratizit-WNT) and Aude Biannic (Movistar) — but with the long climb looming, they were caught after just 5km in the lead.

Hitting the lower slopes of the climb, the race began to split, but nothing decisive stuck at first. Movistar were again pulling in the peloton, as they had on the climbs on stage 2. Brand attacked again around a third of the way up the climb, but was brought back as the relatively low gradient of 3.2% proved difficult to really get away on. Despite no one getting a solid gap in the first half of the climb, the efforts saw the peloton dramatically whittled down, with only around 25 riders left in the front group with 40km to go.

With 4km left of the climb, Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ) put in a big attack from the back of the group to pull out a small but hard to close gap of 15 seconds. FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope tried to bring the Spanish rider back, but towards the top of the climb it was Demi Vollering (SD Worx) and red jersey Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) who were leading the way, and they overtook García 500m from the top. Heading into the flatter final 30km, the group was all together again, with the likes of Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) and world champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) posing a threat should the race stay together to the line.

At the 27km-to-go mark, Grace Brown (FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope) attacked on the flat to get away from the leaders, using her time trial ability to build a gap of 30 seconds. Amber Kraak (Jumbo-Visma) bridged to the Australian, joining her in the last 22km, while SD Worx assembled their four riders on the front of the main group to try to chase the pair down. Kraak and Brown looked to be racing well, but the aggressive day took its toll and the Vollering-led group brought them back with 19km to go. Vollering’s efforts dropped teammate Kopecky and Balsamo, and shrank the lead group to less than 15 riders.

With the race strung out, Van Vleuten took the opportunity to hit the front and attempt to keep the pace high and keep the dropped sprinters at a distance. On one of the final steep sections of road, 12km from the finish, another attack from García disrupted the organization of the lead group and riders took a moment to look at each other and soon the attacks began. Going into the last 8km, it was Grace Brown who again launched off the front, this time taking Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) with her. Behind, the group slowed down significantly, allowing the second group to rejoin them, putting Kopecky and Balsamo back in convention, though they were now 30 seconds down on the break.

Rather than a concerted chase, the second group were attacking each other going into the last 5km, which played into the leaders’ advantage. Going into the last two kilometers, the peloton were making up time on Brown and Chabbey, but it proved too late and the pair sprinted it out between them for the win. The two were closely matched, but Brown just got ahead of Chabbey to take victory. Balsamo outsprinted the chasers to round out the podium. The winners finished eight seconds ahead of the red jersey, but made no dent in Van Vleuten’s advantage, who continues to lead the race by a minute and 55 seconds over Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo).

Tomorrow’s stage from Palencia to Segovia is a flatter day, though there are several short but steep ramps throughout the stage before a punchy finish. As the final stage before the circuits in Madrid, it will be a day for riders to try and take opportunities to make the race aggressive, and red jersey Van Vleuten will have to stay alert to any dangerous moves.

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 3 Results

1BROWN GraceFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope2:28:37
2CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing0:00
3BALSAMO ElisaTrek - Segafredo0:08
4KOPECKY LotteTeam SD Worx0:08
5SIERRA ArlenisMovistar Team0:08
6MANLY AlexandraTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:08
7PERSICO SilviaValcar - Travel & Service0:08
8NIEWIADOMA KatarzynaCanyon//SRAM Racing0:08
9LONGO BORGHINI ElisaTrek - Segafredo0:08
10VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekMovistar Team0:08
11LIPPERT LianeTeam DSM0:08
12KRAAK AmberTeam Jumbo-Visma0:08
13SANTESTEBAN AneTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:08
14LUDWIG Cecilie UttrupFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope0:08
15EWERS VeronicaEF Education-TIBCO-SVB0:08
16GARCÍA MaviUAE Team ADQ0:08
17VOLLERING DemiTeam SD Worx0:08
18CHAPMAN BrodieFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope0:08
19YONAMINE EriHuman Powered Health0:08
20KIESENHOFER AnnaSoltec Team0:08
21SHACKLEY AnnaTeam SD Worx0:08
22MUZIC ÉvitaFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope0:08
23LABOUS JulietteTeam DSM0:08
24FISHER-BLACK NiamhTeam SD Worx0:08
25NEUMANOVA TerezaLiv Racing Xstra5:02
26NELSON JosieTeam Coop - Hitec Products5:02
27YSLAND Anne DortheUno-X Pro Cycling Team5:02
28RAAIJMAKERS MaritHuman Powered Health5:02
29TON QuintyLiv Racing Xstra5:02
30ACHTEREEKTE CarlijnTeam Jumbo-Visma5:02
32CONFALONIERI Maria GiuliaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:02
33GÅSKJENN IngvildTeam Coop - Hitec Products5:02
34BERG EDSETH MarteUno-X Pro Cycling Team5:02
35LUDWIG HannahUno-X Pro Cycling Team5:02
36PIERGIOVANNI Federica DamianaValcar - Travel & Service5:02
37DEMEY ValerieLiv Racing Xstra5:02
38BUIJSMAN NinaHuman Powered Health5:02
39WRIGHT SophieUAE Team ADQ5:02
40LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:02
41BORGHESI LetiziaEF Education-TIBCO-SVB5:02
42REUSSER MarlenTeam SD Worx5:02
43VAS BlankaTeam SD Worx5:02
44SHAPIRA OmerEF Education-TIBCO-SVB5:02
45ROSEMAN-GANNON RubyTeam BikeExchange - Jayco5:02
46LOWDEN JoscelinUno-X Pro Cycling Team5:02
47BRAND LucindaTrek - Segafredo5:02
48MACKAIJ FloortjeTeam DSM5:02
49CURINIER LéaTeam DSM5:02
50LE NET MarieFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope5:02
51ROOIJAKKERS PaulienaCanyon//SRAM Racing5:02
52STANNARD ElizabethValcar - Travel & Service5:02
53BARALE FrancescaTeam DSM5:02
54KOSTER AnouskaTeam Jumbo-Visma5:02
55ROY SarahCanyon//SRAM Racing5:02
56CANTERA InesRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad5:02
57STEPHENS LaurenEF Education-TIBCO-SVB5:02
58NUÑEZ Miryam MaritzaMassi - Tactic Women Team5:02
59TOMASI LauraUAE Team ADQ5:02
60GUAZZINI VittoriaFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope5:02
61VAN ANROOIJ ShirinTrek - Segafredo5:02
63MARTÍN SaraMovistar Team5:02
64WILLIAMS GeorgiaTeam BikeExchange - Jayco5:02
65MALCOTTI BarbaraHuman Powered Health5:02
66HARVEY MikaylaCanyon//SRAM Racing5:02
67ALONSO SandraCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:02
68ASENCIO LauraCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:02
69BIANNIC AudeMovistar Team5:02
70AALERUD KatrineMovistar Team5:02
71DIDERIKSEN AmalieTrek - Segafredo11:53
72NORMAN LETH JulieUno-X Pro Cycling Team11:53
73ANDERSSON CarolineTeam Coop - Hitec Products11:53
74MENDEZ IreneBizkaia Durango11:53
75SOTO Catalina AnaisBizkaia Durango11:53
76KUMIEGA KarolinaValcar - Travel & Service11:53
77GONZÁLEZ LucíaBizkaia Durango11:53
78CAMPBELL TenielTeam BikeExchange - Jayco11:53
79BARIL OliviaValcar - Travel & Service11:53
80JASKULSKA MartaLiv Racing Xstra11:53
81NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team11:53
82SCHWEIKART AileenBizkaia Durango11:53
83NILSSON HannaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling11:53
84RIEDMANN LindaTeam Jumbo-Visma11:53
85STULTIENS SabrinaLiv Racing Xstra11:53
86GUTIERREZ SandraLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi11:53
87JASTRAB MeganTeam DSM11:53
88TEUTENBERG Lea LinCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling11:53
89CONSONNI ChiaraValcar - Travel & Service11:53
90BOOGAARD MaaikeUAE Team ADQ11:53
91STEIGENGA NicoleTeam Coop - Hitec Products11:53
92MUREȘAN ManuelaSoltec Team14:58
93MAGALHÃES Ana VitóriaSoltec Team14:58
94PEREZ SusanaRio Miera - Cantabria Deporte14:58
95ALZATE AndreaSoltec Team14:58
96COLJÉ MaaikeMassi - Tactic Women Team14:58
97EKLUND NathalieMassi - Tactic Women Team14:58
98NERLO AurelaMassi - Tactic Women Team14:58
99BUCH HannahRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad14:58
100DE JONG ThalitaLiv Racing Xstra14:58
101RAMIREZ AndreaMassi - Tactic Women Team14:58
102CAMPOS DanielaBizkaia Durango14:58
103ROBERTS JessicaTeam Coop - Hitec Products14:58
104FAULKNER KristenTeam BikeExchange - Jayco14:58
105ESTEBAN CarolinaRio Miera - Cantabria Deporte14:58
106ANGUELA EvaRio Miera - Cantabria Deporte14:58
107POIDEVIN SaraEF Education-TIBCO-SVB14:58
108IVERSEN AneTeam Coop - Hitec Products14:58
109OSTOLAZA UsoaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi14:58
110KUIJPERS EvyHuman Powered Health14:58
111TRAXLER Anna GabrielleRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad15:02
112BLANCO IuraniLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi15:02
113ERASO IdoiaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi15:02
114LARRARTE EukeneBizkaia Durango15:02
115GILABERT ArianaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi15:02
116CALVO TaniaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi15:02
117STIASNY PetraRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad15:02
118LUTRO AmalieUno-X Pro Cycling Team15:02
1VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekMovistar Team5:49:01
2LONGO BORGHINI ElisaTrek - Segafredo1:55
3VOLLERING DemiTeam SD Worx2:24
4SANTESTEBAN AneTeam BikeExchange - Jayco2:41
5LIPPERT LianeTeam DSM2:41
6LUDWIG Cecilie UttrupFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope2:46
7SHACKLEY AnnaTeam SD Worx2:58
8LABOUS JulietteTeam DSM3:19
9CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing3:20
10CHAPMAN BrodieFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope3:32
11NIEWIADOMA KatarzynaCanyon//SRAM Racing3:34
12GARCÍA MaviUAE Team ADQ4:03
13PERSICO SilviaValcar - Travel & Service4:07
14EWERS VeronicaEF Education-TIBCO-SVB4:32
15MANLY AlexandraTeam BikeExchange - Jayco4:42
16SIERRA ArlenisMovistar Team5:01
17KRAAK AmberTeam Jumbo-Visma5:37
18FISHER-BLACK NiamhTeam SD Worx6:26
19YONAMINE EriHuman Powered Health6:54
20KIESENHOFER AnnaSoltec Team7:14
21BROWN GraceFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope8:21
22KOPECKY LotteTeam SD Worx8:54
23ROOIJAKKERS PaulienaCanyon//SRAM Racing9:14
24VAN ANROOIJ ShirinTrek - Segafredo9:30
25REUSSER MarlenTeam SD Worx9:53
26VAS BlankaTeam SD Worx9:53
27MACKAIJ FloortjeTeam DSM10:14
28KOSTER AnouskaTeam Jumbo-Visma10:31
30LOWDEN JoscelinUno-X Pro Cycling Team11:13
31AALERUD KatrineMovistar Team13:45
32WILLIAMS GeorgiaTeam BikeExchange - Jayco14:24
33MARTÍN SaraMovistar Team14:43
34STANNARD ElizabethValcar - Travel & Service14:54
35BARALE FrancescaTeam DSM15:02
36ASENCIO LauraCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling15:41
37WRIGHT SophieUAE Team ADQ15:46
38BALSAMO ElisaTrek - Segafredo15:49
39MALCOTTI BarbaraHuman Powered Health16:36
40GUAZZINI VittoriaFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope16:52
41NELSON JosieTeam Coop - Hitec Products17:07
42GÅSKJENN IngvildTeam Coop - Hitec Products17:07
43CONFALONIERI Maria GiuliaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling18:02
44FAULKNER KristenTeam BikeExchange - Jayco19:32
45MUZIC ÉvitaFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope20:22
46ROSEMAN-GANNON RubyTeam BikeExchange - Jayco20:53
47LE NET MarieFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope21:01
48CURINIER LéaTeam DSM21:31
49ROY SarahCanyon//SRAM Racing21:46
50LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling22:08
51ALONSO SandraCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling22:08
53TOMASI LauraUAE Team ADQ22:15
54PIERGIOVANNI Federica DamianaValcar - Travel & Service22:19
55LUDWIG HannahUno-X Pro Cycling Team22:30
56BORGHESI LetiziaEF Education-TIBCO-SVB22:44
57SHAPIRA OmerEF Education-TIBCO-SVB22:44
58STEPHENS LaurenEF Education-TIBCO-SVB22:46
59TON QuintyLiv Racing Xstra22:49
60RAAIJMAKERS MaritHuman Powered Health23:05
61BUIJSMAN NinaHuman Powered Health23:05
62NEUMANOVA TerezaLiv Racing Xstra23:38
63BRAND LucindaTrek - Segafredo23:50
64ACHTEREEKTE CarlijnTeam Jumbo-Visma24:06
65NUÑEZ Miryam MaritzaMassi - Tactic Women Team24:20
66CANTERA InesRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad24:57
67HARVEY MikaylaCanyon//SRAM Racing25:54
68YSLAND Anne DortheUno-X Pro Cycling Team26:38
69DEMEY ValerieLiv Racing Xstra26:57
70BOOGAARD MaaikeUAE Team ADQ29:06
71BARIL OliviaValcar - Travel & Service29:10
72JASKULSKA MartaLiv Racing Xstra29:40
73STULTIENS SabrinaLiv Racing Xstra29:40
74KUMIEGA KarolinaValcar - Travel & Service29:43
75STEIGENGA NicoleTeam Coop - Hitec Products30:27
76SCHWEIKART AileenBizkaia Durango30:51
77MENDEZ IreneBizkaia Durango30:51
78ANDERSSON CarolineTeam Coop - Hitec Products31:31
79BIANNIC AudeMovistar Team32:02
80BERG EDSETH MarteUno-X Pro Cycling Team32:40
81DE JONG ThalitaLiv Racing Xstra32:45
82TEUTENBERG Lea LinCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling33:07
83RAMIREZ AndreaMassi - Tactic Women Team33:10
84COLJÉ MaaikeMassi - Tactic Women Team33:12
85NILSSON HannaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling33:14
86NORMAN LETH JulieUno-X Pro Cycling Team33:29
87OSTOLAZA UsoaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi34:04
88ERASO IdoiaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi34:08
89DIDERIKSEN AmalieTrek - Segafredo34:32
90RIEDMANN LindaTeam Jumbo-Visma34:36
91STIASNY PetraRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad34:57
92EKLUND NathalieMassi - Tactic Women Team35:28
93CAMPBELL TenielTeam BikeExchange - Jayco36:01
94JASTRAB MeganTeam DSM36:41
95CONSONNI ChiaraValcar - Travel & Service37:00
96GONZÁLEZ LucíaBizkaia Durango37:05
97NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team38:13
98NERLO AurelaMassi - Tactic Women Team39:06
99POIDEVIN SaraEF Education-TIBCO-SVB39:57
100GILABERT ArianaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi40:04
101SOTO Catalina AnaisBizkaia Durango41:01
102GUTIERREZ SandraLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi41:09
103ROBERTS JessicaTeam Coop - Hitec Products43:42
104IVERSEN AneTeam Coop - Hitec Products43:42
105LARRARTE EukeneBizkaia Durango44:10
106BLANCO IuraniLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi44:18
107MAGALHÃES Ana VitóriaSoltec Team44:46
108MUREȘAN ManuelaSoltec Team44:46
109ALZATE AndreaSoltec Team44:46
110BUCH HannahRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad45:03
111TRAXLER Anna GabrielleRoland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad45:07
112PEREZ SusanaRio Miera - Cantabria Deporte45:46
113ESTEBAN CarolinaRio Miera - Cantabria Deporte45:46
114LUTRO AmalieUno-X Pro Cycling Team52:46
115CALVO TaniaLaboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi53:33
116CAMPOS DanielaBizkaia Durango53:34
117KUIJPERS EvyHuman Powered Health53:39
118ANGUELA EvaRio Miera - Cantabria Deporte53:44
1BRAND LucindaTrek - Segafredo42
2VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekMovistar Team32
3ROY SarahCanyon//SRAM Racing22
4LIPPERT LianeTeam DSM20
5NIEWIADOMA KatarzynaCanyon//SRAM Racing16
6LONGO BORGHINI ElisaTrek - Segafredo16
7VOLLERING DemiTeam SD Worx15
8SIERRA ArlenisMovistar Team9
9CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing7
10NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team6
11KOSTER AnouskaTeam Jumbo-Visma4
13CHAPMAN BrodieFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope2
14PERSICO SilviaValcar - Travel & Service2
15CAMPBELL TenielTeam BikeExchange - Jayco2
1Team SD Worx 16:49:36
2Canyon//SRAM Racing4:41
3FDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope4:52
4Team DSM5:15
5Team BikeExchange - Jayco7:12
6Movistar Team8:31
7Trek - Segafredo16:43
8UAE Team ADQ18:16
9Team Jumbo-Visma28:37
10Valcar - Travel & Service28:41
11Human Powered Health32:24
12EF Education-TIBCO-SVB36:31
13Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling43:32
14Uno-X Pro Cycling Team47:20
15Team Coop - Hitec Products49:28
16Liv Racing Xstra54:48
17Massi - Tactic Women Team1:15:05
18Soltec Team1:19:25
19Bizkaia Durango1:22:28
20Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad1:27:02
21Laboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi1:28:50
22Rio Miera - Cantabria Deporte2:04:37
1VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekMovistar Team31
2CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing28
3LONGO BORGHINI ElisaTrek - Segafredo27
4BROWN GraceFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope25
5LIPPERT LianeTeam DSM21
6NIEWIADOMA KatarzynaCanyon//SRAM Racing18
7PERSICO SilviaValcar - Travel & Service18
8BALSAMO ElisaTrek - Segafredo16
9VOLLERING DemiTeam SD Worx14
10LUDWIG Cecilie UttrupFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope14
11KOPECKY LotteTeam SD Worx14
12SIERRA ArlenisMovistar Team12
13MANLY AlexandraTeam BikeExchange - Jayco10
14LABOUS JulietteTeam DSM7
15SANTESTEBAN AneTeam BikeExchange - Jayco6
16SHACKLEY AnnaTeam SD Worx6
18EWERS VeronicaEF Education-TIBCO-SVB5
19KRAAK AmberTeam Jumbo-Visma4
20CHAPMAN BrodieFDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope2
21KIESENHOFER AnnaSoltec Team1

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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