Marianne Vos outsprinted her rivals to win stage three of the Friends Life Women's Tour.

The finish came down to a bunch sprint in which Vos took the spoils ahead of stage one winner Emma Johansson and Giorgia Bronzini.

The win means Vos is now first in the overall standings, eight seconds ahead of Johansson.

Many backed the World Champion to win the Tour and with only two more stages to go she has put herself in the perfect position to do just that.

The wind played a huge factor in the race as many riders were attempting to breakaway from the peloton in order to gain an advantage on the riders caught up in the wind.

The Netherlands cyclist admitted it was a fun stage but it was very tough, comparing it to cycling in Holland.

According to Cycling Weekly Vos said: “The last 400m were just a normal bunch sprint, “said Vos. “But the rest of the stage was really tough; to stay in front, it was a battle for position.

“Because of the wind it was difficult, but it was fun. It was really hard, which meant the best riders were up front and trying to get in breakaways.”

“It’s [teamwork] 90% of the work. Of course, you have to be there yourself, but you can’t control the bunch, you can’t control every attack.

“In the end it was clear that it was hard to stay away. The team tried to be in every breakaway, but also to control the race. I said I felt good, so if it was going to end in a bunch sprint, that would be my role.”

“It felt Dutch out there today – but we don’t have that many hedges to take away the wind!

“The wind felt Dutch, the winding roads felt Dutch, but I’m going to take some hedges back home to train somewhere more easily.”

Vos still thinks the race is not over and with multiple time bonuses up for grabs during the last two stages anything could happen.

The World Champion said: “It’s not a lot if you think about there being three, two and one seconds available twice a stage [at the intermediate sprints] and then 10 seconds on finish line. It’s open.

“[We'll approach it] like the last two stages: we’ll be at the front, and we’ll try to never miss any dangerous breakaways and control the race.

“But with the winds, and probably the rain tomorrow, I expect a hard race again. The other teams will try to get me out of yellow. It’s going to be tough.”

Lizzie Armitstead finished in fourth place with fellow Brit Lucy Garner crossing the line in eighth.

Laura Trott finished 12 minutes behind Vos after being injured in a crash during the first few kilometres. After being taken to hospital with a suspected concussion and elbow injuries it is said she will start stage four tomorrow.

Stage three result: Felixstowe to Clacton-on-Sea, 90.5km

1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv, 2:11:05
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS, same time
3 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda, st
4 Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans, st
5 Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren Kuota, st
6 Leah Kirchman (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, st
7 Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands, st
8 Lucy Garner (GB) Giant-Shimano, st
9 Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans, st
10 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products, st

General classification:

1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv, 7:41:14
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS, +8secs
3 Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren Kuota, +9
4 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana BePink, + 14
5 Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans, +18
6 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda, +24
7 Hannah Barnes (GB) UnitedHealthcare, same time
8 Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans, +25
9 Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized-lululemon, st
10 Lucy Garner (GB) Giant-Shimano, +28

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

Most Combatative Rider Award

1. Trixi Worrack

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