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Tour de Berne 2009

Round 5 - Armstrong beats Vos on the line

Tour de Berne, Switzerland, 100km

Race Writeup

Cervelo Test Team finally delivered in Switzerland what they have been threatening all season; a World Cup win. To sweeten the victory, the win was a “home” victory; as close to their base (near Zurich ) as they could be in a World Cup race. In a determined performance, the whole team was instrumental in putting winner, Kristin Armstrong on the podium. She was quick to acknowledge this fact and pointed to teamwork as the key to her win.

The weather was kind to the peloton, despite threatening rain clouds hanging around for the latter part of the race, there was only a brief shower for the riders to contend with. On the winding, narrow descents, anything more might have been difficult to deal with safely. The race covered four laps of a circuit which was 33.95km in length. It is a tough course, with the climb dominating most of a five kilometre length from the outskirts of Lyss, through Seedorf and upwards.

Right from the gun, Cervelo Test Team increased the pace and set a characteristic for the day – attack after attack from the women in the distinctive black and white jerseys. Emma Pooley was the first of the team to stretch the legs of the others. The Briton, who is well known for her climbing ability, was first up the climb, with a stretched out bunch giving evidence to the pace she was setting. The bunch regrouped on the second part of the circuit and raced back in to Lyss together. The pace provided a short respite before the next ascension of the climb, which no doubt came too soon for many.

Claudia Hausler (Cervelo Test Team) took over where Pooley had left off and set a pace which was too much for everyone to follow. She blasted away from the few who held on to her wheel for a little longer than the rest and then spent the best part of a lap out on her own. The group which formed to chase her consisted of an elite cross-section of the peloton. Among those were: Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling), Nicole Cooke (Vision 1 Racing), Marianne Vos (DSB Bank), Tina Liebig (DSB Bank), Kim Anderson (Team Columbia Women), Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team), Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint) Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nurnberger), Eva Lutz (Equipe Nurnberger), Fabiana Luperini (Selle Italia Ghezzo), Modesta Vzesniauskate (Bigla Cycling Team), Noemi Cantele (Bigla Cycling Team), Nicole Brandli (Bigla Cycling Team).

The chasers finally caught Hausler just before the end of the second lap. But any lull in the action was shortlived. Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team) was back in action again, taking on her competitors as the road went upwards once more. She made the pace up the climb once more, but was not able to escape on her own.

 In fact, despite attack and counterattack, the front group stayed together until the final lap. They built up an advantage of over 40 seconds on the main bunch and held that steady throughout the third lap. As the bunch ventured out of Seedorf on the climb for the final time, the pivotal race move was made. The contenders were all there; Vos, Armstrong, Luperini, Johansson, Pooley, all were riding hard. Kristin Armstrong attacked and was followed by Vos. Pooley did not need to follow and Johansson seemed unable to jump. By the summit, the pair were 12 seconds ahead, They worked together and increased their lead steadily through to the finish line.

Armstrong had recognised the usually superior sprint of Vos. She knew that if they stayed away, Vos would regain the World Cup leader’s jersey and so stopped cooperating in the closing kilometres; the pair had worked well together, they now had a comfortable lead. Armstrong conserved some energy for the finale. With 300 metres to go, Vos kicked and started the charge. Armstrong went with her and sat in the Dutchwoman’s slipstream. With 50 metres to go, the American made her move; she came out into the wind and gave her best. Vos was tiring from her long effort at the front. She made a desperate lunge for the line, throwing her bike forward, maybe too early, but it was in vain. Armstrong was still accelerating and managed to take the race win on the line.

Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nurnberger) led the bunch around the final corner and into the finishing straight. She led all the way to the line, easily taking third place. Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling) finished in the bunch (fifth), but it was not enough to keep the series lead. Now five points ahead, Marianne Vos leads the World Cup at the half way stage, but she does not plan to ride the next round, which is Coupe de Monde de Montreal (31st May) in Canada.

 

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Post Race Comments

Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team) was pleased to have finally taken a World Cup win. She noted that she would now “scratch it off my list”, which details her aspirations in cycle racing and includes winning World and Olympic honours. “It’s my first World Cup win, so I’m very happy," she misled. “It’s also very important for Cervelo Test Team. We’re from Switzerland , so to win “our” World Cup is important – for our sponsors and our team. The team has been working hard together all year, we’ve had many wins, but we haven’t had a World Cup win, so it’s a very big day for us.”

Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) was pleased to have the World Cup leader’s jersey back. “Of course I’m happy with the jersey, even though I didn’t win today”, she said. “At the start of the season, it was my target and Emma Johansson took it off me, now I have it back again, but I’m not going to the next one [World Cup, in Montreal], so maybe I’ll lose it again," Vos seemed disappointed that she does not intend to travel to Montreal for the next round. “You’ll just have to win some more [World Cups]”, laughed Armstrong in the media conference. “Kristin was the strongest today on the climb, I was happy to be on her wheel and we made a good group through to the finish, I was happy, Johansson lost position and I have the jersey. I’m happy.”

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Time Gap
1 Kirstin Armstrong Cervélo Test Team 3.30.19
2 Marianne Vos DSB "
3 Trixi Worrack Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 3.31.08 0.47
4 Andrea Bosman Netherlands National Team " "
5 Emma Johansson Red Sun Cycling Team " "
6 Grace Verbeke Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam " "
7 Susanne Ljungskog Team Flexpoint " "
8 Linda Villumsen Team Columbia Highroad Women " "
9 Elizabeth Armitstead Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam " "
10 Nicole Cooke Vision 1 " "

 

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Standings Top 10 - click here to see full standings

Position Name Team Points
1 Marianne Vos Netherlands National Team 242
2 Emma Johansson Red Sun Cycling Team 237
3 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg Team Columbia Highroad Women 96
4 Kirsten Wild Cervélo Test Team 88
5 Eva Lutz Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung 67
6 Nicole Cooke Vision 1 Racing 65
7 Martine Bras Selle Italia Ghezzi 60
8 Andrea Bosman Netherlands National Team 49
9 Grace Verbeke Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 48
10 Yulia Martisova Gauss Rdz Ormu 47

 

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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