Third stage of Emakumeen Bira: The sprint jersey is almost in the bag

On the third stage of the Basque World Tour-stage race a break away battled for the stage win, while the riders from VIRTU Cycling defended Katarzyna Pawlowskas lead in the sprint classification.

Because of that sports director Carmen Small was satisfied with the effort from the riders.

“It was a good day, and it was hard. We were going for the sprints in order to keep the jersey. Katarzyna got points in the first sprint while the breakaway took care of the second sprint. She now has a pretty big lead before the last stage tomorrow,” says Carmen Small who encouraged the riders to race for the best possible position on the stage even though a breakaway of ten riders was battling for the stage win.

“We missed the break, when 11 riders went early. And then the peloton stopped racing. But in the end I wanted the girls to race for 11th place, because that is still a good spot to get in a World Tour-race. And Mieke Kroger helped Katarzyna very well in the final, and Katarzyna came in 12th, that was super good,” says Small.

Read: Halfway into Emakumeen Bira: “The route profile does not show everything”

Team VIRTU Cycling’s Claudia Koster had to abandon the race due to stomach problems during the stage that was done in rainy conditions.

The last stage of Emakumeen Bira on tuesday will be hilly once again. And Small hopes that the sprint jersey will be defended once again.

“Tomorrow’s stage has a quite long and steep climb. It is going to be another rough day, but hopefully we can keep Katarzyna’s jersey,” says Small.