UCI Road World Cup 2011
Round 1- , Pooley soloed to victory again.
Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Cittiglio, Italy 121.4km
Cup - Trofeo Binda
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) won the first World Cup of the 2011 season in a 70km solo ride. In the bunch sprint, Emma Johansson (HITEC) outsprinted Annemiek van Vleuten (NED)
near Varese, in the north of Italy, delivered unfortunately
very wet conditions for the start of the 13th Trofeo Alfredo Binda. The first race of the Women's Cycling
World Cup 2011 season saw temperatures of 10
degrees at the start for the 160 starters. This year, the course had been changed
again. An early climb had been removed as the race went north to the lake
and Luino, before heading south again to the climb of Brinzo. Then onto
the Orino climb before starting 4 loops of Cittiglio, that included the climb
over Orino another four times on the smaller 17Km circuit.
The attacks started at the base of the first mountain at Cunardo on the way to Brinzio. This split the peloton in half. On the climb Sharon Laws (Garmin Cervelo) managed to gain a 100m gap over the top, before the chase group of 50 riders managed to close the gap. Almost immediately Olga Zabelinskaya (Diadora Pasta Zara) attacked. Laws went with her again but this time the pair got less than 50m away before the gap was closed by the chasers.
On the decent of Orino, Zabelinskaya crashed and had to chase back to the lead group, helped by her team mate Rachel Neylan (AUS). At the foot of the Orino climb, 2010 World Time Trial champion, Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) attacked and managed to gain a 23 second advantage. Pooley held the advantage through Cittiglio for the first passage. By the time Pooley passed through Cittiglio for the second time, she held a 2 minute advantage over the chase group of 36 riders. Heading the chase were the team of Diadora Pasta Zara. By the time Pooley reached Orino for the third time she had a 3 minute lead.
Pooley's advantage dropped briefly to 2 minutes 20 seconds with 44km to go. On the Orino climb for the fourth time, Pooley stretched her lead back out to 3 minutes, due in part to the lack of organisation in the chasing group of twenty six riders. The group were represented in small numbers by the majority of the teams, albeit with only a couple of riders each. Judith Arndt and Evelyn Stevens (HTC Highroad), Lucinda Brand and Chantal Blaak (AA Drink), Noemi Cantele and Laws, (Garmin-Cervelo), Shelley Olds and Zabelinskaya (Diadora Pasta Zara), Johansson (HITEC), Giada Borgato (Colavita Frono DÁsolo), Tatiana Guderzo (SC Mcipollini Giambenini),Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Gauss), Martine Bras (Dolmans Landscaping), Elena Berlato and Elisa Longo Borghini (Top Girlss Fassa Bortolo), Anna Fischer (ABUS Nutrixxion), Polona Batagelj (Bizkaia Durango), Grace Verbeek (BEL), Loes Gunnewijk, Van Vleuten and Nortie Tabak (NED) and Aude Biannic and Pauline Ferrand(FRA)
In the final 25km, Pooley was holding a 3 minute lead. The chase from behind finally started with 20km to go. At 3km to go, Johansson and van Vleuten tried to get away to close the gap to Pooley but could not make the break. With 1km to go, Ruth Corset (AUS) launched a chase to Pooley. She managed to get 100m before Bras and Gunnewijk closed the gap, bringing the rest of the chase group with them. It was all too late. Pooley was the clear victor for her second win in the Italian race.
In the bunch sprint, Johannson, who had been alone in the break waited until the last 50m to sprint clear. The rest of the bunch were stretched the width of the rode in a desperate attempt to get third. Van Vleuten crossed first ahead of Bras, Olds, Blaak and Anrdt.
Emma Pooley (Garmin Cervelo) was a worthy winner of the first World Cup of 2011. "I was lucky today, the attack worked. It would not have been possible without the support of my team. I didn't actually think it would work so it was nice that it did," said Pooley.
Having won this race in 2008, Pooley reflected on winning for a second time, "It is fantastic to win this again. It is always hard to come back to a race when you have the memory of doing well previously. You are always a little nervous that you can repeat it. I am quite surprised to have won," added Pooley.
Reflecting on the changes to the course, Pooley added, "It is difficult because it is hill but not super hard. It lends itself to constant attacks and that is what we tried to do. We had great communication between the team today and it worked really well for us. It was also a great atmosphere."
Pooley had great condition
at the end of 2010 and has started in great form this year. “It is
nice to get the season off to a good start. I am always a little nervous
starting a new season. I worried a
bit after last season. Maybe you don’t do so well and you end up
disappointed. The better you do each year the more that is expected from
you. It is great to have a good start to the year,”
"We have a new team this year and new sponsors. I am keen
for Garmin to see that the women’s team are really important. Cervelo
have supported up well and it is important that they get recognition for
the support they give us. I didn’t get lost in the race,” quiped Pooley in recognition of the Garmin monitors
they carry on the bikes.
Emma Johnannson (HITEC) was third in 2010 and second today in the chasing bunch sprint. "I knew today with so many strong teams that it would be difficult if there was a break. Garmin had so many options when Emma [Pooley] was up the road I was alone in the chase group. There were two and three riders from most of the teams and no one wanted to chase. In the end they were racing for second and I took it from them," said Johansson.
"It was a little frustrating. I could not do it on my own, I just had to accept it and try to make the race hard. There was hardly any wind and it was difficult to break up the chase group. In the last lap I thought I would give it a try but then it came back together. I thought to myself, 'OK that's it now save yourself for the sprint'. I started early and it paid off," added Johansson.
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) was one of three Dutch riders in the chase group. "It would have been nice to win, but finishing third is good for me," said van Vleuten.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/WorldCupRoad/01_Binda/PhotoIndex.html]
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