Road World Cup 2009
WCN quicklink >> Round 6 - Montreal
La Fleche Wallone, Belgium, 98km
Johansson (Red Sun Cycling) maintained her grip on the World Cup series
lead with a calculated second place in the finale on the Mur in Huy. The
winner, Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) equalled history by taking her third
Fleche Wallone. She joined the elite club of those who have done so in
style, with a solo win after an attack on the fierce climb with 150 metres
to go. Vos’ performance is, in fact, historic in itself. She is the only
rider to have won three times in a row. The other riders to have won three
times were competitive in the race today, Nicole Cooke (Vision 1 Racing)
finished sixth and Fabiana Luperini (Selle Italia Ghezzo) finished
The race was
hard, with continual breakaway attempts. Four riders eventually managed to
create a gap when the bunch reached the climbs. Noemi Cantele (Bigla
Cycling Team), Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team Columbia Women), Trixi Worrack (Equipe
Nurnberger) and Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Vision 1 Racing) broke away
towards the climb of Cote de Haut Bois. Their move gained some time, but
was split up by the summit, which was at kilometre 44, around
half-distance of the 98 kilometre race. A counter-attack, containing
thirteen riders escaped, but were unable to gain any real advantage. By
the Cote de Thon (53 kilometres), they were back with the bunch.
significant move came before the Cote de Bohisseau. Luise Keller (Team
Columbia Women) and Claudia Hausler (Cervelo Test Team) broke away
together. They worked well and quickly built up a gap of twenty seconds.
Hausler was too strong, though on the Cote de Bohisseau and rode away on
her own. With 25 kilometres to go, she was looking strong and maintaining
a 40 seconds gap.
reacted on the straight, wide roads which lead back to Huy before the
penultimate climb. Equipe Nurnberger were instrumental in the chase and
Hausler was caught with around 15kilometres to go in the race. The major
contenders were left to fight it out towards the finish. With the
favourites all at the front of the bunch, there were no further escapes
allowed. The 2009 Fleche Wallone would come down to a fight of the
strongest on the Mur de Huy.
Hausler (Cervelo Test Team) made the first move on the Mur. She was marked
by Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) and Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling), with
Amber Neben (Equipe Nurnberger) and Noemi Cantele (Bigla
Cycling Team) also in contention. Hausler went first, attacking
early on the climb. She was strong, but not strong enough. Vos made her
move with 150 metres to go, overtook Hausler and crossed the line with a
safe, six second, advantage over Emma Johansson, who had marked her move,
but been unable to respond to it.
Johansson had done enough to keep the World Cup leader’s
jersey. She admitted that she had marked Vos, knowing that if Vos won, she
would have to gain a place on the podium to stay in the lead. “I
always try to race for the win, but a climb like this is totally one for
Marianne. I stayed with her as long as I could, I couldn’t do any more,
so I tried to keep the jersey.” explained an excited Johansson
before the podium presentation.
Vos was understated about her win. “The course suited
me”, she commented. “To win one time is great, to win
two times is even better, to win three times……it feels great. Its
great to win three times and be on the list with Luperini and Cooke,
they’ve won three times and now I’ve done the same.” Asked
which was the best win, she said “I don’t know, they’re all
tough. With that climb, they’re all hard. Last year, I had to sprint to
the finish and this year, the last hundred metres were not easy, but
Vos will not
be targeting the World Cup in 2009. Despite doing enough to keep herself
in contention for the overall World Cup victory. “It’s not
really a target but when you’re in the top of the ranking, I will try to
be up there, but I won’t be riding in Montreal, so that makes it
difficult at the end. I want to be in good shape for all of the World
Cups. We’ll see at the end of the season what happens.”
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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