Ronde van Drenthe 2011
Drenste 8 Dwingeloo - Vos sprints to victory
Brink, Dwingeloo 141 km
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) was the clear victor in Drentse 8 Dwingeloo. In the battle for second, Shelly Olds (Diadora Pasta Zara) was ahead of Emma Johansson (Hitec).
The peloton's appetite for attacking was lost in the first of the Drenthe races. The bunch navigated the 141.2km of Drente counrtyside around Dwingaloo. The route went in a figure of 8 through Dwingeloo. Each time taking in narrow roads and 100m of cobbles. The entry to the cobbled section was very technical and fast. The race included six passages of the cobbles with a number of sprints on the road and on the cobbled section.
The peloton stayed together for 80% of the race. The only real attack came in the last 46 kilometres. Jackie Crowell (USA) saw an opportunity to attack before the cobbled section. By the time she reached the start/finish line to start the final 40km lap, Crowell had a 15 second lead. A lone rider, Simona Frapporti (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) tried to close the gap but could not quite get there. Crowell managed to get a maximum lead of 35 seconds lead, before the peloton started to get organised and formed the chase.
With 20km to go the race was all together. In the final 8km, the teams were all jostling for position. HTC Highroad was trying to get up their sprinters, Chloe Hosking and Judith Arndt, Hitec were working to set up Johansson, Nederland Bloeit was lining up for Vos. Diadora were fighting to line up for Olds. Lotto Honda were trying to slot in for their sprinter Australian Rochelle Gilmore. Finally Forno d'Asolo Colavita, the team of current World Road Champion, Giorgia Bronzini were working to set her up.
The left hand turn to the finish line was tight and straightened up with 350m to go. It was relatively straight, only really turning in the last 5 metres to the line.
With 100m to go the peloton was in two lines, Vos moved to the front with 50m to go and had time to look over her shoulder as she crossed the line.
In the sprint competitions, Sarah Duester (Nederland Bloeit) won the cobbled section while Valentina Scandolara (Gauss) won the road sprints. As a result of her lone attack Crowell was awarded the most active prize.
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) was a very happy winner, "It is always great to win in Holland and even better to win at this race. I love racing in Drenthe and the girls did a great job today. They were on the front from 8km out," said Vos.
Jackie Crowell (USA) is racing in Europe for the first time, "This is only my second race in Europe. It is incredible. To be racing with some of the best riders in the world is great. I just saw an opportunity and went for it today. I did not really think about it. I just put my head down and went. I did not know if I could stay away," said Crowell.
Emma Johannson (Hitec) was pleased to have taken third from where she started in the sprint, "I was in about 10th place and had to work hard to move up. Given this, I am happy to be on the podium in third," said Johansson.
Shelly Olds (Diadora Pasta Zara) has been improving each week since arriving to race in Europe this year with a new team. "It feels great to start sprinting better. It took me a while to get going, but I am starting to feel more confident in the sprint so that is positive," said Olds.
Sarah Duester (Nederland Bloeit) was award the sprint points over the cobbles. "I was at the front each time and my job was to put the pressure on over the cobbles. Winning the sprint prize is a bonus. It was also my job to be the last in the line up for Marianne to bring her to the line. Again I pushed hard to 50m to go and let her take it from there. It is a great result for her and for the team, " said Duester.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/04_Drenthe/01_Stage1/PhotoIndex.html]
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