The third day of racing at the Tour de Suisse Women saw the bunch head for the climbs and 124 kilometres from Vaduz to Chur; with a punchy hilltop finish awaiting them. It was a steady start to the day with a two rider breakaway establishing itself fairly easily with all four Team DSM riders in the bunch, conserving energy for what was to come.
On the ascent to Gais the three minute advantage for the breakaway tumbled and over the top and down the descent it was all together with a group of around 50 riders forming a reducing peloton, with all four Team DSM riders present. The attacks started flying with Léa Curinier riding well to make the new break of five. The group worked well together and increased their lead to one minute and 30 seconds with 40 kilometres remaining but the peloton eventually got organised and began the chase.
Hitting the climb of St Luzisteig the gap had fallen and as a result a volley of attacks saw the breakaway split, with a trio forming out front and Curinier returning to the bunch. Curinier and Francesca Barale soon took to the front, as the team fully committed to the chase in an attempt to catch the break and set up Liane Lippert for the finale. After some superb work by Curinier and Barale, Floortje Mackaij came to the front and put the power down, reeling back in those who were ahead and shutting down the final ten seconds.
However, disaster struck the team as after a touch of wheels at around three kilometres to go Lippert hit the deck. Okay and quickly back up on her bike, Curinier assisted in the chase and Lippert returned to the back of the peloton just as they hit the bottom of the final climb with the flamme rouge in sight after Mackaij had helped to stall the pace.
Giving everything and fighting all the way to the line, Lippert sprinted to a strong and well-earned third place atop the hill – but a result that leaves a “what if?” feeling, while after her work Mackaij held on for tenth making it a double top ten on the stage for the team.