Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira 2010
Stage 4- van Vleuten wins stage , Hausler snatches Overall
ORDUÑA - ORDUÑA 123.8 - Km
Annemiek van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) finished off a successful tour for the team with a win on the final stage ahead of Claudia Hausler (Cervelo Test Team) and Andrea Bosman (Netherlands). Hausler had done enough to snatch the overall from Judith Arndt (HTC Columbia).
Conditions for the final stage could not have been worse for the riders at either end of the stage. Although, there was a respite with warm and dry conditions for the middle 60km of the race. There was a price though, they had to contend with rainy, wet roads in the early stages of the race and less than 10m visibility for the descent of the final climb.
The race started at a steady pace in the tough conditions until the 28km point, when Italian Silvia Valescchi (Fassa Bortolo- Ghezzi) went on the attack. She managed to get a 2 minute 30 second gap before the bunch reeled her in at the base of the 2nd category climb at Mendaika at 50km.
The bunch regrouped and were together until the Inicio Tunnel at 87km. Van Vleuten, Bosman and Hausler attacked the group and quickly gained a 15 second lead. HTC Columbia moved to the front with Arndt doing much of the work, but they did not get any help from anyone else and the gap increased.
Marianne Vos (NED-Netherland Bloeit), Emma Johansson (SWE-Red Sun), Arndt, and Vicki Whitelaw (AUS-Lotto-Ladies Team) formed a chase but that group didn’t work as well together.
Adding to the challenge for the chase bunch on the decent, were a change in the conditions. They changed dramatically, the race enjoyed dry conditions at the top of the climb but the fog (Thick cloud) dropped in over the race on the decent of the Puerto Orduna climb. For 2km the bunch could barely be seen back to front. The three leaders managed to stretch their lead out to over 4 minutes as the chase struggled in the larger bunch to navigate the difficult decent.
the finish van Vleuten was the clear winner. Bosman and Hausler finished,
Hausler knew she was the overall victor.
Claudia Hausler ( Cervelo Test Team) was pleased to have won but was relieved to have finished the race. "I had to slow down in the fog because I could not see," said Hausler at the finish. "I was concerned that I was losing too much time so I had to keep going," she added.
“We said this morning we go for all or nothing. We wanted to win this race, and so we had to take some risks,” explained Häusler, after winning Emakumeen Bira. “There where two girls in front, van Vleuten and Bosman and I decided to gave it everything on the climb and I had a gap. So, I gave full gas and I was able to join the them in front. We worked very well together though it was still a long way to the finish line. At the end the gap was pretty big. Annemiek van Vleuten won the stage and I had enough time to win the classification for the race. This race was important in my preparation for the Giro d’Italia. But it is also a big race, the biggest stage race in Spain. I have to say thanks to my team, all the riders worked really hard for me in the last days and did a fantastic job.”
van Kessel, (Cervelo Test Team,Sports Director) did what he
needed to do, to ensure that his team won the overall.“Today’s
last stage was a very hard stage, the hardest one all week, but a very nice
stage for us,” said van Kessel. “There were lots of
mountains and 40km from the finish line there was a moment, I know it was
fairly early, when Claudia tried to attack and she dropped Judith Arndt on
the climb. At that moment there were two riders ahead, Bosman and Van
Vleuten and they worked very well together with Claudia. There were four
riders behind including Marianne Vos (Netherland Bloeit), Emma Johansson
(Red Sun), Arndt, and Vicki Whitelaw (Lotto-Ladies Team) but that
group didn’t work as well together and at the end the three with Claudia
had a big gap of some minutes. Van Vleuten won the race and Claudia came
second but won the GC overall. So it was a great victory again. So we had a
good campaign in Spain!”
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