Vos beat Marta Bastianelli and Lotte Kopecky to claim her second win of the week as the hilly 129km stage from Saint-Die-des-Vosges came down to a sprint finish in Rosheim.
Vos fully expects to lose yellow in the two mountain stages to follow this weekend but extended her advantage in it to 30 seconds from Silvia Persico and Kasia Niewiadoma with bonuses applied.
The former world champion rode the wheels of Trek-Segafredo on the approach to the line, getting in on Elisa Balsamo’s lead-out train as she followed Ellen van Dijk and then Elisa Longo Borghini, with Balsamo having to settle for fourth.
Vos, the first rider able to celebrate a stage win in yellow, has finished in the top five of every stage so far. She was helped here by her Jumbo-Visma team-mate Anna Henderson getting into a 14-strong break, allowing the team an easier day defending the maillot jeune.
“It was quite a difficult race but we had a good position with Anna in the breakaway but it was a pretty strong chase,” Vos said. “The rest of the girls kept me in the front, kept me out of the wind and then in the final (part) they did the perfect job.
“I was in the wheels. When Elisa (Balsamo) went on the left I went on the right. I felt I had more speed but I couldn’t accelerate any more and I hoped it was enough.”
Vos also took a big step towards her goal of capturing the points leader’s green jersey in the race as her closest challenger Lorena Wiebes crashed on a descent late in the stage, unable to contest the sprint and riding home seven and a half minutes down with blood pouring from her elbow.
Vos now leads the classification by 76 points. Kopecky had been caught in the same incident but recovered to contest the sprint.
The race now heads into the Vosges mountains. Saturday’s stage from Selestat to Le Markstein Fellering includes three category one climbs, finishing just after the summit of the Grand Ballon.
The first winner of this race will be declared on the summit finish of La Super Planche des Belles Filles on Sunday.
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