Linda Villumsen in strong solo breakaway on stage 3 – Kasia Pawlowska finished 13th
Team VIRTU Cycling made an early move in stage 3 of Santos Women’s Tour Down Under when Linda Villumsen made a big solo attack, but eventually Kasia Pawlowska finished as best Team VIRTU Cycling- rider on the stage.
The riders were heading for Santos Women’s Tour Down’s longest stage Saturday. 122.4 very hilly kilometers where the end again was a steep but short climb. Team VIRTU Cycling made their mark early on at the stage when Linda Villumsen set off in a hard attack after just 40 kilometers.
The New Zealand rider got a gap from the peloton and the former world champion in time trial used it to roll out a lead of over five minutes. But the peloton started picking up the pace and the next attacks came.
“We had to be aggressive from start because we didn’t want to wait for the last climb. We want to win the race and not settle in and go for a top result, so we risked a little bit today. I think I was a bit too early, but you cannot control everything,” sports director at Team VIRTU Cycling, Carmen Small, says.
“It was good to have her in front, the peloton kept splitting, and she would be in front if it split again, but unfortunately I didn’t and two girls joined her and ended up being 1 and 2. She rode well, all the girls did again,” says Carmen Small.
It was Amanda Spratt and Lauren Stephens who had got away, and the Australian took both the victory and the overall lead. Team VIRTU Cycling’s Kasia Pawlowska gave it a good shot in the final and she finished as the team’s best rider in a 13th place.
“Kasia gave it a go at the final climb. She needs to keep working on that part of her because she never really had the opportunity to win, she has almost always been the worker. She needs to change her mindset, it’s a bit of a challenge, but I’m happy with what she has done so far,” Carmen Small says, and she is excited about the performance of her riders.
“The results are not quite there yet, but they ride like a team and make the right decisions,” she says.
On Sunday, the final stage of Santos Women’s Tour Down Under is awaiting, where the riders are heading for only 46 kilometers at Wakefield Road, where they ride a loop of 2.3 kilometers.