Italian beaten by Cordon Ragot (TFS), comes close to win for Blues after González's 3rd place on Thursday. Patiño climbs up to 5th overall.
The Movistar Team continues to knock on the door of success at the Tour de l’Ardèche (UCI WE 2.1), which offered on Saturday its first real chance to the sprinters on stage three around Avignon (113km). Barbara Guarischi came just half a bike short to opening her 2020 account as she finished 3nd behind local hero Audrey Cordon Ragot (TFS), repeating her second spot from last February’s Vuelta CV Féminas, her maiden race in Blue colours.
As the four-woman early breakaway was caught near the finish, Guarischi -well supported all day by Oyarbide, Teruel and González (14th)- stayed with the strongest at the Villeneuve KOM near the end, together with Paula Patiño, and launched himself down towards the finish into a selection of 12 riders contesting the sprinters. Able to outsprint the likes of Hosking (RLY), Alice Barnes or Cromwell (CSR), the Lombardy native went again on the verge of a success she already deserves, after great teamwork at previous races this year.
Patiño, who finished 9th, now sits in fifth place overall heading into Sunday’s stage four, the big mountain-top finish of the French event over the slopes of the Mont Lozère (Cat-1).
Cover picture (c): Velofocus