Luxembourg national champion Christine Majerus sprinted to victory in Kettering, England on Friday to take the lead of the Aviva Women’s Tour heading into the weekend’s final two stages.
The Boels Dolmans rider rounded the final corner atop a stiff drag up to the finish line at the head of the peloton to win ahead of Barbara Guarischi (Velocio-SRAM). Young British rider Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur) finished third.
“It was a good day, exactly as we planned it, and it’s always nice when that happens,” said Majerus after the 139.2km day, the race’s longest stage. “I was so well protected by my teammates that I couldn’t not win. We had a close look at the finish in advance, and that last chicane suited me because I am pretty good at cornering. When I got through the corner and saw the gap I realized this might be my day so I just went for it.
Majerus’ two-second advantage on the Northamptonshire finish line moved her into the yellow jersey, three seconds ahead of Wiggle-Honda’s Jolien D’hoore, and four seconds ahead of third place, Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM), who had held the GC lead after yesterday’s stage 2.
“The yellow jersey was a nice bonus,” Majerus continued. “I definitely wanted to try and win the stage, but it was only when I was sitting at the podium waiting for the presentation that I got told I was the yellow jersey as well.”
Garner’s strong ride also saw her head up the best young riders competition and take the jersey for the top-placed British rider thanks to her sixth-place overall. Lisa Brennauer keeps the points classification jersey, having finished in the top six on every stage so far, while Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) keeps the lead, by four points over Velocio-SRAM’s Elise Delzenne, in the queen of the mountains classification.
On Saturday, the stage 4 will run from Waltham Cross to Stevenage over 103.8km.