Denmark's Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope claimed a third stage victory on the Tour de France Femmes ©Getty Images

Danish rider Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig triumphed on the third stage of the Tour de France Femmes, with second-placed Marianne Vos extending her lead in the general classification.

Ludwig of FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope pulled clear on the final climb of the 133.6 kilometres ride from from Reims to Épernay, crossing the finish line in 3 hours 22min 54min.

London 2012 women's road race Olympic gold medallist Vos, competing for Jumbo-Visma, was two further seconds behind, earning a six-second time bonus.

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of South Africa and SD Worx came through in third place also at two seconds behind Ludwig.

Vos' lead at the top of the general classification now stands at 16 seconds over Italy's Silvia Persico, who rides for Valcar-Travel & Service.

Persico came through in fourth place today, clocking the same time as Vos but missing out on a time bonus.

Poland's Katarzyna Niewiadoma of Canyon-SRAM was also in the cluster of cyclists who finished two seconds adrift, placing sixth on the third stage.

She is third overall, also trailing Vos by 16 seconds.

There are now only six riders within one minute of Vos in the race for the yellow jersey.

Back-to-back Olympic road race bronze medallist Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy and Trek-Segafredo is 21 seconds off the pace, followed by Moolman Pasio at 51 seconds adrift.

Spain's Margarita Garcia Cañellas of UAE Team ADQ is sixth and 55 seconds behind Vos, with The Netherlands' Demi Vollering of SD Worx in seventh 57 seconds off the pace.

The fourth of the Tour de France Femmes' eight stages is due to be held tomorrow, a 126.8km hilly ride from Troyes to Bar-sur-Aube.