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Plouay, Round 9 - Emma Pooley wins, Vos moves into World Cup leaders jersey 

GP de Plouay, France, 114.6km

 

Race Writeup

World Cup series with one round remaining, 

Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team), did multiple attacked before she was able to break free and solo to the finish. In the sprint for second, Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) beat Emma Johansson (Red Sun) and secured the lead in the World Cup series. 

Completing 6 laps of 19.1km, the race stayed together until 60km to go when n attack at from Vienne Futuroscope rider, Gautard,  created a 15 second gap on the peloton. The chase was controlled by Cervelo Test Team and on the climb Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team) set the pace to close the gap on the leader, closely followed by Eva Lutz (Equipe Nurnberger) and Vos (DSB Bank) was in third wheel.

The pace of Pooley, split the bunch and a group of 11 riders formed. They had a small lead on the chasing group. Vos, Emma Johansson (Red Sun), Claudia Hausler (Cervelo Test Team) helped Pooley keep the pace high on the top of the climb. 

With 50km to go Pooley attacked again and Naomi Cantele (Bigla) went with her. Vos attacked the chase and brought the lead group back. In the chase group were Lizzi Armitstead (Lotto Belisol) Nicole Brandli (Bigla) Editia Puchinskaite (Gauss) Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) Regina Schleicher (Equipe Nurnberger), Ruth Corset (Australian National team) and Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nurnberger). 

With 46km to go Pooley attacked again and managed to gain a small 9 second advantage on the chase group. Cantele was on the front working hard to close the gap to Pooley but she could not. The chasing Peloton had closed the gap to the leading group and immediately there was a counter attack. 

At 43km to go Pooley's advantage was 35 seconds back to a group of 35 riders. At 42km her lead was out to 44 seconds. The chasing group was led by Vikki Whitelaw (Australian National Team), who was allowed to do most of the work on the front. 

With two circuits to go,  the gap was 55 seconds to the chasing peloton. The 2008 winner Fabiana Luperini (Selle Italia) was in the chase group along side Vos, Cooke, Johansson.

With 37km to go Pooley's lead had increased to 1 minute 20 seconds. The race for the World Cup lead was in the chasing group, Pooley was way off the lead at the start of the race and therefore was no threat to Vos or Johansson. 

With 32km Pooley had a 1 minute 20 second lead back to the chase group led by Corset. A counter attack from a Great Britain rider, spread the chasers out. Vos responded and closed the gap. Claudia Hausler (Cervelo Test Team) moved to the front to control the bunch with team mate Regina Bruins. 

Pooley maintained a strong tempo and held the chasing bunch to a 1 minute 16 seconds advantage at 30km to go.

A Counter attack from the chasing group from the Netherlands National team's Chantal Blaak, stretch the bunch. Worrack and Lutz reacted to followed by Emilia Fahilin and Chantal Beltman (Columbia HTC) who closed the gap and counter attack. This gave the opportunity for a new attack. 

A new chase group formed Kim Anderson (Columbia HTC), Diana Zilute (SAFA Pasta Zara), Grace Verbeke (Lotto Belisol) and Georgia Bronzini (Safi) but they only had a 20m gap on the rest of the chasing peleton. The group came back together again, led by Cantele. Close on her wheel was Johansson and Vos. 

At the start of the final lap, Pooley had a 1 minute 05 seconds lead. Brandli tried to stretch the legs to split up the chase group but no one was going to let her go. Cantele and Lutz set the pace of the chasing peloton, it was high and the Dutch national team moved to the front to drive the pace. The British National team took over the chase, working for Cooke. Cooke attacked alone and quickly made space between her and the bunch led by the Australian Corset who moved to the front and split to the chasing group. 

The gap from Pooley to Cooke was 44 seconds at 17km to go. The main peloton was strung out in the pursuit of Cooke and Pooley. At 14km Pooley held 43 seconds lead over Cooke and the chasing bunch was 20 seconds further behind. 

An attack from chasing group from Monica Holler (Bigla) stretch the peloton on the climb. A small counter attack formed a group of four. They closed gap to Cooke. The group included Vos and Johansson. Vos counter attacked again, Johansson reacted. The Australian Corset had made the break along with Lotto Belislo's Verbeke. The five riders worked hard and the maintained a high speed.  

At 5km, Pooley had a 55 seconds  gap and with 4km to go she had increased this again to over a minute. 

With only 3 points separating Johansson and Vos in the overall World cup standings, the race for second place was critical. 

At 1km Pooley had stretched her lead to 1 minute 43 seconds.

An attack from Verbeke at 500m opened up the sprint for Vos, who moved round her with Johansson on her wheel. Vos was too strong and took second. 

The final World Cup race in the 2009 series is the “Rund um die Nürnberger Aldstadt” , in Germany on Sunday 13 September 2009

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Results - Top 3 - 10 to come - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Time/Gap
1 Emma POOLEY CWT 3:18:39
2 Marianne VOS DSB 2:30
3 Emma JOHANSSON RSC 2:30
4 Grace VERBEKE LBL 2:30
5 Ruth CORSET AUS 2:30
6 Nicole COOKE GBR 2:33
7 Martine BRAS MSI 2:33
8 Rasa LELEIVYTE SAF 2:33
9 Diana ZILIUTE SAF 2:33
10 Irene VAN DEN BROEK  NED 2:33

 

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Standings Top 10 - click here to see full standings

Position Name Team Points
1 Marianne Vos Netherlands National Team 386
2 Emma Johansson Red Sun Cycling Team 368
3 Emma Pooley Cervelo Test Team 150
4 Kristin Armstrong Cervélo Test Team 149
5 Loes Gunnewijk Team Flexpoint 145
6 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg Team Columbia HTC 126
7 Kirsten Wild Cervélo Test Team 123
8 Trixi Worrack Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung 123
9 Grace Verbeke Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 103
10 Martine Bras Selle Italia Ghezzi 97

 

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Post Race Comments

Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team) was visibly overjoyed with her victory. "It was pretty hard," she said, "and I honestly didn't think I would make it to the finish, I thought they'd catch me with about 300 [metres] and be just utterly gutted...but I'm quite pleased obviously!" When asked to compare her victory in Plouay to her win earlier n the season in Montreal (round 6), she admitted “In many ways it was more stressful because I didn’t ever really get such a big gap.” She had enjoyed the win as much as in Canada though, “You forget the pain, so I can’t really compare, but I’m sure I did [enjoy it as much] and it’s always good to win.”

Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) was disappointed, despite regaining the World Cup series lead, “I think it feels quite good,” she said of being the World Cup lead, “but second….. I’d always like to win, but today Emma was so strong, there was no chance to catch her, so second, that’s a pretty good result, I guess.”

Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling) admitted that she has grown to like wearing the World Cup leader’s jersey “I say the jersey’s not that important but you always think about it and I like it, I’ve really started liking it. Now Marianne gets to wear it in the next round. Its fun to have something to race for and a little bit more than just the top places [in the race].”

 

Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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