Stage win and overall lead for Marianne Vos as the Friends Life Women's Tour hits Clacton-on-Sea

Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) took the third stage of the Friends Life Women’s Tour on Friday, and with it assumed the overall race lead with two days remaining.

Vos took the bunch sprint from stage one winner and early race leader Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), with Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) in third and Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) in fourth despite suffering a flat tyre.

Blustery winds played their part in the day’s proceedings as the peloton was split in two. Laura Trott (Wiggle-Honda) was was of those to find herself in the second group after being involved in a crash.

Throughout the stage there were numerous attacks, but most were kept on a tight leash by Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans team. German Trixi Worrack (Specialized-lululemon) seemed to play a part in most of the attempted breaks, and came away with the award for most aggressive rider.

A brisk tailwind helped Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-lululemon) launch a late solo attack in the final three kilometres, but was caught as the race passed the flamme rouge bringing the peloton together for a fast bunch sprint.

Vos now sits eight seconds ahead of Johansson overall, with overnight race leader Rossella Ratto (Estado de Mexico) in third at nine seconds. Armitstead is fourth at 18 seconds.

Sharon Laws (UnitedHealthcare) continued to gain Queen of the Mountains points to maintain her lead in that classification.

On Saturday, the riders tackle a 97.8km stage from Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City with the finale on Sunday from Harwich to Bury St Edmunds.

Results
Friends Life Women’s Tour 2014, stage three: Felixstowe to Clacton-on-Sea, 90.5km
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv in 2-11-05

2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda
4. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans
5. Elena Checchini (Ita) Estadio de Mexico-Faren
6. Leah Kirchmann (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefits
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands
8. Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain
9. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
10. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products all at st.

Overall classification after stage three
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv

2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS at 0-08
3. Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren at 0-09
4. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans at 0-18
5. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda at 0-24
6. Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealhcare at st
7. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 0-25
8. Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized-Lululemon at st
9. Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain at 0-28
10. Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands at st

Yodel Direct Sprints Competition
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv

Strava QoM Competition
1. Sharon Laws (GBr) UnitedHealthcare

Matrix Young Rider Competition
1. Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren

L&LR Best British Rider Competition
1. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans

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