Australia’s Grace Brown claimed her first Women’s Tour stage victory and the overall lead with two days to go after a sprint finish in Welshpool.
Brown, riding for FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, was part of a three-rider surge at the end of the 144.8km fourth stage from Wrexham. She held off the challenge of Elisa Longo Borghini, who, despite making a break for the line, finished third behind Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma.
The 29-year-old leads Niewiadoma by four seconds and Longo Borghini by six heading into Friday’s 106.4km queen stage in Carmarthenshire. The stage finishes with a 7.2km climb to the top of Black Mountain, which has a gradient of 21% in places, in the Brecon Beacons.
Team DSM’s Lorena Wiebes, the previous wearer of the yellow jersey and pre-race favourite, dropped back to eighth, 66sec behind the leader.
Elizabeth Holden, for Le Col Wahoo, is the leading British rider in 21st place, a further 22sec adrift.