Aussie Brown takes lead in Women's Tour

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Australian Grace Brown has claimed her first Women's Tour stage victory and taken the overall lead in the British race with two days to go after a sprint finish in Welshpool.

Brown, of the FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope team, was part of a three-rider surge at the end of the 144.7km fourth stage from Wrexham on Thursday.

She held off the challenge of Italian Elisa Longo Borghini, who despite making a break for the line eventually finished third behind Poland's Kasia Niewiadoma.

The 29-year-old Camperdown rider now leads Niewiadoma by four seconds and Longo Borghini by six heading into Friday's queen stage in Carmarthenshire, which finishes with a tough climb to the top of Black Mountain, which has gradient of 21 per cent in places.

"I was pretty happy. I had planned before today that I wanted to be aggressive in the final," said Brown.

"It's cool when you play out your plan and it comes off. I guess there's a bit of relief because this is my first win for the year and I've been wanting it for a little while.

"You're more likely to stay away if you've got three riders clear. I thought I could beat those two in a sprint, so I was quite happy about it actually. It was nice to have them in the final.

"Obviously, I want to be up there on the final climb tomorrow. I think that's what it's going to come down to.

"I'm happy now that I've got a little bit of buffer and time, so if I finish with the top climbers I can hopefully retain the jersey."

Team DSM's Dutch rider Lorena Wiebes, the previous wearer of the yellow jersey and pre-race favourite, dropped back to eighth, 66 seconds behind the leader.

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