Road World Cup 2010
Round 8 - Kirsten Wild wins in Sweden, Vos holds 18 point lead in World Cup
Vårgåda, Sweden 132km
Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team) sprinted to victory in the 8th round of the World Cup ahead of Adrie Visser (HTC Columbia) and Swedish Road Champion, Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling).
The course around Vårgåda was technical, challenging and initially the conditions were very poor. Just before the start and during the first lap rain fell then it stopped and the sun started to shine.
Initially, the bunch were keen to try and shake up the race. In the first lap, three riders managed to get away. Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team), Mascha Pijnenborg (Red Sun Cycling) and Silva Valsecchi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo-Ghezzi). The trio, managed to gain a 30 second lead on the peloton.
Just before the second lap had started, Pooley attacked the leaders and rode solo, quickly gaining an advantage over the two chasers. After 15.8km of racing, Pooley had 1 minute 10 second lead on the peloton and the two lone other escapees were caught by the peloton.
After three laps of the 11km circuit, Pooleys lead was starting to come down. This was due to a number of counter attacks being launched from the peloton. The first to attempt a break, was Ellen van Dijk (HTC Columbia). She managed a small gap before being caught by the chase from Cervelo Test Team, Red Sun and Lotto Ladies.
At the start of lap 4, Pooley held a 40 second lead to three chasing riders, who were just off the front of the peloton, Marijn de Vries (Leontine.NL), Grace Verbeke (Lotto) and Petra Dijkman (Red Sun).
Pooley increased her lead a little to 55 seconds the fourth time up the climb at Heerlunga but it did not last. By the time she reached the start finish line, to start the fifth lap the bunch had closed the gap and were all together.
On the climb Shara Gillow (Australian National Team) attacked and managed to get a 1 minute 15 second lead. She maintained the gap until the run into town. At 3km to go on the lap. Verbeke attacked the bunch and managed to join Gillow.
After 68km the two leaders had a 24 second lead but it was coming down rapidly. Verbeke decided to attack on her own over the tricky technical section of the course, a narrow bridge over the river. Verbeke rode solo for two kilometres before a reaction from Johansson at the front of the bunch, created a chase and the gap closed to Verbeke and caught Gillow.
After two hours of racing the bunch were all back together. With 5 laps to go, the attacks were coming thick and fast. First, Iris Slappendal (Cervelo Test Team) tried to go but Annemiek van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) closed the gap to her. On the climb, Vos tried to go but Wild closed the gap this time.
All together as the crossed the line with four laps to go, Linda Villumsen (HTC Columbia) tried to attack. It was Nederland Bloeit's Liesbet de Vocht who chased to make sure she did not get away.
After 105km of racing a break finally formed. The group included; de Vocht, Marie Lindberg (Red Sun), Sarah Duester (Cervelo Test Team), van Dijk (HTC Columbia), Verbeke and Irene van den Broek (Leontien.NL). This group got a maximum gap of 28 seconds lead of the chasing peloton.
Just before the climb, the whole peloton came back together. Duester tried to attack with Judith Arndt (HTC Columbia), Chantal Blaak (Leontien.NL), Johansson and van Dijk and nine other riders. The group of fourteen got a small 22 second gap before the peloton chased hard to close it.
With one lap to go the peloton were all together again. Arndt tried to attack through the technical turns in Vårgåda but could not get away. Vos launched a suicide attack attack on the climb. Wild could not stay with her and Vos managed to gain a gap of 15 seconds. On the decent, the Cervelo Test Team moved to the front to chase Vos. At 1km to go, Vos had a 5 second lead. By the time she reached the final turn to the finish line, Cervelo Test Team and HTC Columbia were on her wheel.
In the sprint, Wild and Visser had the perfect lead outs from their teams. It was Wild who had the stronger legs, enjoying a little time to celebrate across the line ahead of Visser and Johansson.
Vos finished safely in the bunch to secure her place as World Cup leader albeit only 18 points ahead of Wild and 46 points ahead of Johansson.
Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team) could not let her team down in the sprint, "When Marianne [Vos] attacked, the girls worked so hard to close the gap. I had to win because they worked so hard. We had to give it everything to close the gap over the climb, Marianne was so fast and I knew we had to catch her. I am so happy that we did," said Wild
Adrie Visser (HTC Columbia) worked hard for her second place and was very happy, "Of course it was not first but second against Wild is good. After my wins in Thuringen, I thought have to try. With two and a half laps to go I tried to attack on the climb, but it wasn't possible. So I thought I have to sit on Kirsten's wheel. then when Marianne [Vos] did a jump on the hill and Cervelo closed, it, so I thought ok, now it is possible. I could not pass Wild in the sprint, she had a great lead out and was too fast. It was a head wind on the finish straight and it was a tough spritn. I am happy I could keep my head focussed and take the responsibility to do a good sprint for the team," said Visser.
Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling) was a little disappointed not to win in her home country but happy with third. "I wanted to perform and do my best today. I know I am in good shape and I tried to reach the best place I can. When Marianne [Vos] attacked Cervelo chased. I held back as I wanted to save enough for the sprint. It was beautiful racing in front of my home crowd. I enjoyed every minute. Even in the rain, I love the rain, I would not have minded if it had rained all race but for the people who were watching the race, it was great that the sun came out. The crowds were incredible on the hill and it was huge motivation for me," said Johansson.
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloiet) holds a 18 point lead going into the final World Cup in Plouay in a few weeks". She tried hard to give herself the best lead going into the final race, but it did not work out. "I felt good when I attacked, I know normally there would not be many to follow but I hoped someone would follow to create a break but no one could and I was on my own." said Vos.
Talking about the circuit, Vos added, "You don't feel the hill in the first few laps, it seems short, but by the 12th time, that hill feels incredibly long and steep. That is the difficulty of this course. It is fast and has many technical corners that you have to accelerate out of and then the hill makes it very hard."
Retaining the World Cup leaders jersey, Vos does not believe it is all over yet, "I felt good today, Plouay suits me. I have confidence of course but I have to stay on my bike. I can't do it like this race, a suicide attack is not the way to do it, I have to do it differently, but I like to ride for the win. I took some points in the end today but not as many as I would have liked."
The team worked hard today but not just for Vos. "They were not just working for me, we have some very capable riders who can all win, Annemeik [van Vleuten] and Loes [Gunnewjik] have both had wins this season, but it is great to know we are so strong and anyone of us can do well, "added Vos.
Vos turned 23 in May this year, she has achieved so much already in her cycling career, "I never thought I could do so much. Sometimes I look back, but most of the time I look forward and enjoy every race. I always look forward to the next race, to achieve as much as I can "
Egon van Kessel (Sport Director Cervelo Test Team) was very happy with the effort of the team, "I always expected an attack from Vos, she was so strong and we had to chase so hard to catch her. It wasn't easy. We gave it everything to bring her back and when you win, it makes it all worth while, it was perfect, we had to fight but it was worth it" said van Kessel.
Rene Wenzel (Team Director HTC Columbia) was a little disappointed with second but his team gave it everything, "We worked so hard all day trying to create the breaks and do something about the sprint of Kirsten Wild. In trying to make it hard, you also run the risk of making yourself soft," said Wenzel.
The second place for Visser was an important consolation for the efforts of the team, "Adrie [Visser] was the protected sprinter here. She did some of the work, but we tried to protect her when we could to give her a chance in if it came to a sprint. In the end I am glad we did because she managed to get second. It isn't a win but I am happy, " added Wenzel.
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