Irish Champ Ben Healy Soars to Victory in Tour de Luxembourg’s Stage 3
Healy’s Solo Attack Seals the Deal
Irish Champion Ben Healy showcased an impressive performance in stage 3 of the Tour de Luxembourg, launching an 18km solo attack that led him to victory. Healy, who rides for EF Education EasyPost, managed to outpace Marc Hirschi from UAE Team Emirates and Dylan Teuns from Israel Premier Tech, who finished second and third respectively.
Healy’s decisive move came 33km from the finish line, where he joined and eventually dropped early breakaway member Bastien Tronchon from AG2R Citröen. Following this victory, Healy took the overall lead from Søren Kragh Andersen of Alpecin Deceuninck, boasting a 19-second advantage over Hirschi for the final two stages.
UAE Team Emirates Efforts Fall Short
The UAE Team Emirates controlled most of the day but could not catch up with Healy in time for either Brandon McNulty or Hirschi to clinch the win. Richard Carapaz from EF Education EasyPost played a tactical role in the peloton for Healy, effectively hindering any significant chase effort. The upcoming 23.9km time trial, starting and finishing in Pétange, is predicted to be crucial for the GC standings, with Healy and McNulty expected to excel.
Healy Confident in Retaining Lead
In the aftermath of his victory, Healy expressed confidence in his ability to maintain his lead, indicating his strength lies in long-distance riding. He also expressed faith in his time trial skills and in his team’s ability to protect the jersey if he manages to retain it in the next stage.
Road Accident Delays Start of Stage 3
The third stage of the race saw a delayed start due to a road accident among motorists that left some teams stuck in traffic. Once the race resumed, a five-rider breakaway was formed, featuring Bastien Tronchon of AG2R Citröen, Oliver Knight of Cofidis, Rémy Mertz of Bingoal WB, Gilles De Wilde of Flanders Baloise, and KOM classification leader Mats Wenzel of Leopard TOGT. Their lead reached a maximum of five minutes before EF Education EasyPost began to slowly chase them down.
Crucial Ascents and Finishes
The race’s final stages featured the Montée de Niklosbierg ascent and a finish at Vianden Castle. As the first ascent approached, the gap began to diminish. Tronchon proved the strongest in the break, pulling away with 33km remaining. Healy launched an attack from the peloton, joining Tronchon, and their lead stabilized around 25 seconds. Despite regaining their formation, UAE could not close the 50-second deficit to Healy. With Tronchon dropped, Healy went solo to secure his victory.
With Healy now in the lead, the upcoming time trial will be crucial in determining the final standings. Notably, Healy’s strength in long-distance riding and time trials, combined with his team’s commitment to protecting the jersey, make him a strong contender for maintaining his lead. The final result of the Tour de Luxembourg is keenly awaited by cycling enthusiasts worldwide.
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