With only 2 points between them, Day 3 was shaping up to be a titanic struggle between Dronova and Winther Olsen. Who would end up victorious?
Don’t forget, you can watch the video below to catch up on all the race footage!
Perhaps struggling to get to grips with life in the virtual world, Tereza Medved’ová found herself eliminated first from the race. Next to be eliminated was the green jersey of Abbie Dentus. It was an all-British affair as Jenny Holl and Dentus rode neck-and-neck down the home straight. Holl, showing her experience in the virtual world knew just when to push to get her avatar safely over the line.
Unable to pull off the same trick as the previous elimination lap, Holl was next to exit the race. The Scot looked in prime position to make the top three, but a huge effort from youngster Zoe Backstedt saw the Welsh rider sneak in front to remain in the race.
Backstedt, buoyed by her earlier effort, broke early to try and surprise her rivals. However, both Dronova and Winther Olsen responded quickly, sweeping past Backstedt to end the Welsh rider’s stint in the race.
As the final lap sounded, Dronova stalked the black jersey of Winther Olsen. The Dane attacked with 175m to go creating a small gap to the Russian behind her. However, as had been consistent with her performances in this round, Dronova exploded out of the seat to power past Winther Olsen with only metres left.
Despite her loss, Winther Olsen remained only four points behind Dronova with one race left. ‘I’m staying optimistic! I know that small mistakes can make a big change, so I just need to keep on going. I’ve been second in all of the races. I need to step up the game and try and get that win!’
A race that can simply be put down to a masterclass in virtual racing. Taking five of the six sprints in the Points Race, Tamara Dronova showed unbelievable consistency and endurance throughout. The Dane finished runner up to the Russian in the first three sprints, allowing Dronova to create a ten-point lead by the halfway point. However, to add salt to the wound, Winther Olsen also suffered a mechanical at a crucial point in the race denying her the opportunity to take points in the fourth sprint.
As the battle for first was starting to fade, there was plenty of action further down the table. Both Jenny Holl and Tereza Medved’ová lost laps prior to the penultimate sprint putting them in fifth and sixth place respectively. However, Abbie Dentus having been promoted to fourth due to Holl’s lost lap, crucially was lapped herself in the final lap of the race. Holl regained fourth place and agonisingly for Dentus, relegated to fifth.
Never one to give up, Amalie Winther Olsen fought hard, taking the final double points on offer in front of Dronova to take her total to 62 points. However, Dronova took the overall victory accumulating 75 points over the weekend.
Zoe Backstedt, finishing third overall talked to Rebecca at the end. ‘This round has probably been one of the harder rounds for me. All of the girls are super strong. It makes for such good racing.’
‘It’s my fourth time racing. Some of the riders are the same as the last couple ones I’ve done. I’ve learnt how they ride and how they ride on a virtual platform. It’s different from racing in real life, sometimes you have to sprint later or sometimes earlier or at a higher cadence which gets you going a bit quicker.’
Reflecting on her win, Tamara said: ‘in reality, my feelings are split. I understand that Amalie had a technical problem which did not allow us to have a fair competition.’ On virtual racing, the Russian commented, ‘the only difference is that the virtual races are safer, especially in the current situation. But from a technical and power aspect there are not many differences. The stronger rider still wins.’
At the end of three incredibly hard days of racing, here is your final GC!