ESSEX cycling fans enjoyed a thrilling third stage of the Women's Tour that saw double Olympic track champion Laura Trott crash and end up in hospital and the Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos sprint to victory.

The third stage started in Felixstowe before running along the north Essex coastline and finishing in Clacton with a fierce wind playing a big factor in the 80.5km stage.

Trott's team boss Rochelle Gilmore told BBC Sport: "It was a nasty crash. She was actually shaking, she looked a little bit pale and it was a bit scary.

"Laura rode to the finish with a group just behind the main peloton, but when she came in I have never seen anyone in so much pain.

"It's really hard to see the tears of pain after the stage and it's amazing that she wants to start on Saturday, even though she hasn't had chance to consider what condition she is in."

World and Olympic champion Marianne Vos won stage three to take the overall lead entering the final two days of racing.

The Dutch Rabobank rider triumphed ahead of stage one winner Emma Johansson (Orica-GreenEdge).

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) was fourth and sits fifth overall, 18 seconds behind Vos.

Vos took the race leader's yellow jersey from stage two winner Rossella Ratto, who moved to nine seconds behind in third, with Johannson eight seconds behind Vos.

The race finishes in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.