UCI Road World Cup 2011
Round 2- Annemiek van Vleuten wins Flanders
Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour of Flanders, 129.9km
Race Writeup Brief
Annamiek Van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) won the sprint against Russian champion Tatiana Antoshina (Gauss) to win the women’s Tour of Flanders. Van Vleuten’s teammate Marianne Vos took third place in the bunch sprint that included World Cup leader Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervélo).
The bunch stayed together for the first 28km until it reached the first in a series of five climbs. The Oude-Kwaremont was the first 1500m cobbled section and the attacks started at the front of the race. Grace Verbeke (Top Sport Vlaanderen) crossed over the top of the climb first ahead of Judith Arndt (HTC HIghroad). The pace split the peloton and it took 12km to regroup.
At the foot of the sixth climb, the Eikenberg, Pooley but in a strong attack and managed to quickly gain a 22 second lead over a chasing group of 21 riders. The chase was led by Van Vleuten and Arndt.
Pooley was pulled back in the flatter downhill sections of cobbles. An attack from Sarah Duester (Nederland Bloiet) and Ludvine Henrion (Lotto) formed and the pair worked well together. Lieselot Decroix (Top Sport Vlaanderen) tried to bridge across to Duester but could not close in. The pair managed to gain a 3 minute 21 second lead. At the bottom of the Molenberg after 80km of racing, Duester and Henrion had a 1 minute 11 second lead. At the half way point of the climb, Duester attacked and left Henrion on her own.
Duester rode ahead on her own. With 3km to go she held a 58 second advantage over the chasing bunch.
With 2km to go, Duester was swamped up by the chasing group. Immediately Tatiana Antoshina (Gauss) counter attacked. Van Vleuten went with her and the pair cornered the last 300m to the finish together. With 75m to go, Van Vleuten moved out of Antoshina's slipstream and completed the victory salute 5m ahead. The chasing peloton were close behind and led across the line by Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloiet).
After third place in Italy last week, Annamiek Van Vleuten now holds a 24 point lead going into the next round. She will take it to the Ronde van Drenthe in a couple of weeks, where she will defend it. The omens for the Dutch women to continue to lead are good; the past four winners have been Dutch (Loes Gunniwijk, Marianne Vos, Adrie Visser and Chantal Beltman) and also in 2009 and 2010, the World Cup leader after the Drenthe round was Dutch (Vos).
Annemiek van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) was a worthy winner of the second World Cup. "When my team mate Sarah [Duester] was out on her own with 3km to go, both Marianne [Vos] and I felt relaxed in the bunch. Everyone else had to chase. When they caught her with 2km to go, Antoshina [Gauss] attacked, I went with her. She led me out perfectly to 50m to go and I was able to get round her," said van Vleuten.
When Pooley attacked over the Eikenberg climb, Van Vleuten was concerned, "After last week there was no way we were going to let her get a big gap, Judith Arndt and I were the ones working hard on the front to close the gap," add van Vleuten.
Winning Flanders and becoming World Cup leader, Van Vleuten was ecstactic. "I can't really believe it. I wanted to win one World Cup this season but I never expected to win this. Leading the World Cup is very special."
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/WorldCupRoad/02_Flanders/PhotoIndex.html]
Want to contact WomensCycling.net?
The WomensCycling.net email address is NewsResults [at] Womenscycling.net
To contact the webmaster, the address is : Webmaster [at] Womenscycling.net
Type this address into the "To" line of a new email message in your email programme. Replace [at] with @
WomensCycling.net 2004 - 2011 ©