Marianne Vos wins stage three of Giro Rosa as Annemiek Van Vleuten extends overall lead
Marianne Vos took a brilliant win on stage three of the Giro Rosa as Annemiek van Vleuten extended her lead in the general classification.
Italian Elisa Longo Borghini made a move 100 metres from the line but was reeled in by Vos and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, before the three-time Giro winner secured the victory with an impressive final sprint.
Van Vleuten finished 22 seconds behind her compatriot Vos but managed to extend her lead overall by crossing the line four seconds ahead of GC rival Anna van der Breggen.
Vos’ win was her 26th stage victory in the Giro Rosa as she continues to dominate some of the sport’s hardest races.
Meanwhile, although Van Vleuten could not replicate her stage win on Saturday, she insisted she was pleased with her performance on the climb to Assasi.
Speaking after the stage, she said: "When I saw this finish, I knew it was one for Marianne Vos.
"For me, it was about not losing time. I was a little bit out of position [at the start of the climb], so I had to close some gaps, but I was not here for the win.
"I had a good day on the bike with my team, always in control. It was hot, but the heat is good for me. Everything that makes a race hard is good, no problem, just drink more."
Stage four on Monday will see another sharp ascent to the finish before the riders settle in for two days which would appear more suited to the sprinters.
Van Vleuten is bidding to become the first rider in more than 20 years to win the Giro Rosa three years in a row, with the last rider to do so being Italian Fabiana Luperini in 1997.