Tour de Normandie stage 3: Cédrine Kerbaol hangs on for GC victory, Shari Bossuyt wins final sprint

Kerbaol claims home win with one-second victory in inaugural edition of three-day race.

Photo: Canyon-SRAM

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Cédrine Kerbaol (Ceratizit-WNT) hung tight for GC victory in the inaugural Tour de Normandie.

Kerbaol beat back an all-attacking ride by Gladys Verhulst and her FDJ-Suez team Sunday as they worked to hoover bonus seconds in the sprinter-friendly final stage into Caen.

Home racer Kerbaol leaves Normandie with her first one-day and first GC win to mark a flying start to her debut season with Ceratizit-WNT. She won the overall by just one second after her compatriot Verhulst clawed her way back from a four-second overnight deficit.

Martina Alzini (Cofidis) rounded out the GC podium.

Shari Bossuyt (Canyon-SRAM) won her first race in 18 months Sunday with her kick out of the big bunch.

Bossuyt’s stage 3 victory sees her Canyon-SRAM team off the mark after a frustrating start to the 2023 season.

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Stage 2: Cédrine Kerbaol fends off bunch in solo attack

Cedrine Kerbaol claims stage 2 with late move. (Photo: Ceratizit-WNT)

Cédrine Kerbaol (Ceratizit-WNT) fended off the hard-charging peloton to win stage 2 at the Tour de Normandie Féminin.

Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Zaaf Cycling) kicked to second in her best result so far in 2023 to lead home the bunch at eight seconds back. Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) crossed the line third.

Kerbaol jumped with about 4.5km to go and rode solo all the way to the line
in the 103km second stage from La Haye to Flamanville.

The result rocketed her into the overall lead, now four seconds ahead of overnight leader Gladys Verhulst (FDJ-Suez).

The race concludes Sunday with the 114km stage from Saint-Pierre-en-Auge to Caen.

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Stage 1: Gladys Verhulst gets FDJ-Suez back into winning ways

Gladys Verhulst sprinted to victory in Bagnoles-de-l’orne on what was an extra-aggressive opening stage of the inaugural Tour de Normandie.

After a lean period for FDJ-Suez, following a standout start to the season, Verhulst puts the French squad on the top step of the podium for the first time since January.

The 26-year-old launched her sprint early and already had a clear gap on her rivals with 100 meters to go. She held on to take a clear win, her first in FDJ-Suez colors, beating Martina Alzini (Cofids) and Christine Majerus (SD Worx).

With rolling terrain and 140km of racing, Friday’s first day of racing was the queen stage of the inaugural Tour de Normandie. Five WorldTour teams signed up for the race, as well as some of the top Continental squads, ensuring a competitive field.

The finale was littered with attacks as multiple riders tried to break clear with an attack. Parkhotel Valkenberg’s Quinty Schoens launched what looked to be a dangerous move but she was caught by the peloton after suffering a mechanical problem.

Attacks continued to come throughout the final kilometers, including one from FDJ-Suez and Canyon-SRAM, but the bunch was together as it rounded the final major bend.

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