German Clara Koppenburg wins in Xorret de Catí and takes the leadership
It was marked in red by teams and runners as the decisive stage of the race. And did not disappoint. The Alicante week of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana responded to the expectations generated and provided a beautiful spectacle that had its peak in the hard ramps of Xorret de Catí, one of the mythical ports of the province with ramps of up to 22% difference in altitude. its 4 kilometers of ascent.
The third stage started from the Ciudad Deportiva Camilo Cano in La Nucia. A total of 158 cyclists left at one o'clock in the afternoon, parallel to the sea, in the direction of Benidorm, La Vila Joiosa and El Campello. In the first hour of the race, 38.6 kilometers were covered.
After passing Mutxamel and Sant Vicent del Raspeig, the road began to get steep. In Agost the special sprint of the day was played, where the Frenchwoman Lucie Lahaye (Charente Maritime) passed in first position. Before it had proved without luck the Portuguese champion Daniela Reis (Doltcini) and the Italian Dalia Muccioli (Valcar Cylance).
After passing through Agost, the cyclists faced the first mountain difficulty of the day, the mountain top of Maigmó, second category, a climb of just over 7 kilometers with an average slope of 3'8%.
The Italian Soraya Paladín (Ale - Cipollini) reinforced her leadership of the mountain after passing in first position for the top, followed by the Dutch champion Chantal Blaak (Boels - Dolmans).
On the descent of the Maigmó, in the direction of Castalla, a group of 13 cyclists was formed by Cechinni (Canyon - Sram), Harvey, Banks and Chabbey (Bigla), Paladin (Ale - Cipollini), Koster (WNT - Rotor), Canuel and Blaak (Boels - Dolmans), Ensing (Sunweb), Demey (CCC - Liv), Van Dijk (Trek - Segafredo) and Christian (Drops).
This numerous group arrived at the foot of Xorret de Catí with an advantage of around 30 "over the pursuit squad in which was the leader of the race, Ruth Winder (Trek - Segafredo). The pace imposed by the best climber of the break, Soraya Paladín, ended up dividing the group.
On the ramps of 22% Paladin tensed the race and went forward. Only Janneke Ensing could stand her. Despite the efforts of both were reached by two cyclists who came from the peloton, the South African Ashleigh Moolman Passio (CCC Liv) and the German Clara Koppenburg (WNT - Rotor). 2 kilometers away from Xorret de Catí, Koppenburg went forward and none of them could follow the wheel, appearing alone at the finish line with 49 "over Moolman Passio and 51" over Soraya Paladín. The Spanish champion Eider Merino (Movistar) was fourth.
The until then leader, Ruth Winder, lost 2'18 "in goal. In the absence of the last stage of this Sunday between València and Sagunt, Clara Koppenburg wears the leader's jersey and must defend a 43 "income on Soraya Paladin, leader of the mountain, and 48" on Ashleigh Moolman Passio.
Susanne Andersen will wear the special sprint jersey, Barbara Malcotti the best sub23 and Cristina Martinez the first runner of the Valencian Community.
Vicent Marzà, Minister of Education, Research, Culture and Sport, and Juan José Castelló, Deputy of Sports of the Diputación de Alicante, were present at the award ceremony. In the ribbon cutting also accompanied Castelló sports councilor of the City of La Nucía, Sergio Villalba.
Last chance in Sagunt
The fourth and final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana - Volta Comunitat Valenciana Fèmines will return this Sunday to the province of Valencia. The cyclists must complete a distance of 104 kilometers. They will depart, at 11 in the morning, from the Paseo de la Alameda de Vaència towards Montcada. They will leave the region of l'Horta to enter the Camp de Túria by Nàquera, where the last special sprint will be located. The race will continue through Serra towards the Puerto del Oronet, second category. On the descent, the race will go to the Camp de Morvedre district by Quartell and direction to Sagunt. After taking another tour of Quartell, the cyclists will arrive again in Sagunt, where the name of the final winner of the III Valencian Cycling Tournament will be known.