Sacramento – Coming off two challenging stages to kickoff the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race, a depleted field of 83 racers would take the start in Elk Grove for a relatively flat 118 kilometer Stage 3 to Sacramento. After a neutral start, the women were anxious to test their legs in the hopes of getting into a breakaway. Mandy Heintz and her Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling teammates were animated early before a breakaway of three, including Ingrid Drexel (Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank), Erica Allar (Rally Cycling), and Scotti Lechuga (Hagens Berman|Supermint) built up a small gap over the peloton.
With so much on the line in the final two stages of the race, UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling and Boels-Dolmans Cycling quickly pulled back any early attempts to get off the front and kept the group together. In the run into Sacramento, crosswinds reeked havoc on the field as echelons formed and several riders fell off the pace. Canyon/SRAM and Team Sunweb took their turns up front in the hopes of lining up their sprinters for a win.
With 25km to go, Katie Hall’s overall lead would come under some pressure as Anna van der Breggen took second in the immediate sprint in Clarksburg to close the gap between the to two to just one second. Undeterred by her previous failed attempts to get off the front, Mandy Heintz would give it one more try just a few kilometers outside of Clarksburg. She would build a small lead over the peloton, but with the sprinters’ teams champing at the bit on this fast and flat finish in front of Sacramento’s Capitol building, Heintz’s efforts were shut down with just five kilometers to go in the stage. Her aggressiveness would earn her the Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey.
In the end, Team Sunweb’s leadout train proved too daunting as they deposited Coryn Rivera to the line in fine fashion. Cuba’s National Champion, Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team) and former World Champion, Giorgi Bronzini (Wiggle High5) rounded out the podium places, respectively.
Results – Stage 3, Elk Grove to Sacramento (118 km, 73.3 miles)
1. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb)
2. Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team)
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5)
Jersey Winners – Stage 3
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Mandy Heintz (USA), Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling
Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Arlenis Sierra (CUB), Astana Women’s Team
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Arlenis Sierra (CUB), Astana Women’s Team
Next: Stage 4 – Sacramento Circuit Race (73.1 km)
A fast and flat circuit race around California’s State Capitol building will decide the overall and the various jersey classifications.
Photos: Leonard Basobas/LB Photos