The proverbial day of two halves, stage three at the Tour de France Femmes saw the peloton take on 133 kilometres from Reims to Épernay. The flatter, albeit still rolling, roads in the opening half of the day saw lots of attacks with Franziska Koch and Charlotte Kool particularly active for the team; either trying to make the moves or shutting down any dangerous attacks.
This pattern continued for a while before things eventually calmed down. However, some crosswind sections sparked the peloton back into life with the team and alert and aware for any danger, which ultimately didn’t come to fruition. Heading into the final steep classified climb, Lorena Wiebes and Pfeiffer Georgi positioned Liane Lippert and Juliette Labous towards the front through the twisting streets which saw some crashes in the bunch. Labous was held up somewhat but Georgi closed the gap just before the start of the climb.
Lippert and Labous pushed the power on the pedals, with Lippert riding excellently towards the front as they made their way up the 12 percent ramps. Towards the top the pace increased once more and Labous, after her earlier surge to come back, had to let go of the wheels and ride at her own tempo – crossing the top of the climb alongside two others just a handful of seconds behind. Out front Lippert crested in second place but disaster struck as she slid out around a corner after Vollering went down in front of her, and despite getting back on her bike okay, she wouldn’t return to the front group.
Labous did manage to get back alongside Vos and Uttrup Ludwig and despite some more attacks on the climb where the bonus sprint was, it came down to a group of ten fighting it out for the stage win. On the punchy uphill drag to the line Labous dug deep and pushed all the way to the finish, ending the day in a good ninth place – a result that sees her move up to eighth on GC for the team.