Winder on track for worlds with Ardèche stage win

Ruth Winder wins stage 3 from the breakaway and takes overall lead, showing strong form ahead of world road championships.

Team USA might not pin all of its hopes on Ruth Winder at UCI World Road Championships in Innsbruck, but she looks like a good card to play, judging by her stage win at Tour de l’Ardèche Friday in France.

Riding for the U.S. national team, Winder won stage 3 ahead of Poland’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM). Spain’s Margarita Garcia (Movistar) was third ahead of another American, Tayler Wiles.

The 25-year-old won from a small breakaway at the end of a 129.5km stage with a significant categorized climb in the first half. She also took the overall lead from Arlenis Sierra (Astana) with four stages remaining in the race.

Stages 4 and 5 each have significant summit finishes, on Mont Serein and Mont Lozère, respectively.

Winder and Wiles are two of seven American riders selected for the elite women’s world road race championship, September 29.

The U.S. team will likely rally its forces to support former Giro Rosa winner Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans), who will retire at the end of the season. Ace climber Katie Hall (UnitedHeathcare) should also be protected.

Hall finished fifth on stage 3 in France, eight seconds behind Wiles. Alexis Ryan, also on the U.S. worlds team, won stage 1 at Tour de l’Ardèche in a sprint finish.