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Brown leads Tour heading into closing stage

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Brown leads Tour heading into final stage

Australia’s Grace Brown will go into closing stage of the Ladies’s Tour with the narrowest benefit after an in depth end on Black Mountain within the Welsh countryside.

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini gained Friday’s stage 5 in Carmarthenshire, holding off the problem of Brown, who retained her total lead after ending third behind fellow contender Kasia Niewiadoma.

The trio started the 106.6km stage, which began at Pembrey Nation Park, on the high of the overall classification and their podium end ensures the battle for Ladies’s Tour title will go all the way down to the wire on Saturday.

There may be nothing to separate Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) on the high of the leaderboard, whereas Poland’s Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) is simply two seconds behind.

The 29-year-old Camperdown rider grabbed the general lead along with her first Ladies’s Tour stage victory on Thursday.

Friday’s early stage chief, Joss Lowden, was caught by 11 chasers 43km in, with the peloton, led by the FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope workforce, simply over a minute behind.

The main group, which additionally included Shari Bossuyt, Christine Majerus, Krista Doebel-Hickok, Mikayla Harvey and Ellen van Dijk, had prolonged the hole to 1min 20sec with 50km to go.

However the peloton caught the breakaway group with 23km remaining heading to the foot of Black Mountain.

Van Dijk set the tempo up the lengthy climb to the summit to stretch out the peloton, with all of the contenders nonetheless within the group with three kilometres remaining.

Longo Borghini emerged strongest within the closing push for the end, with Brown and Niewiadoma shut behind.

Saturday’s closing 142.9km stage begins in Chipping Norton and finishes in Oxford metropolis centre.

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