UCI Road World Cup 2011
Round 3 - Ronde van Drenthe - Vos wins sprint, van Vleuten keeps World Cup lead.
Ronde van Drenthe, 132.8 km
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) dominated the sprint in the only Dutch World Cup to win for the first time. Fellow countrywoman, Kirsten Wild (AA Drink- Leontien.nl) was second ahead of 2011 World Road Champion,Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d' Asolo Colavita).
The course for the 2011 event was not perceived to be as hard as it has in previous years. With the first passage over the Col du VAM (or VAM berg), at 9.4km, the peloton stayed together. It wasn't until just before the first set of cobbles at 19.7km that the race began.
American Alison Starnes attacked. She was joined by Janneke Kanis (Nederland Bloeit) and the pair managed to quickly gain a 1 minute 50 second lead.
It wasn't until the second set of cobbles at Exloo, that movement came from the peloton. Judith Arndt (HTC Highroad) attacked to try to join the leaders.
The attack from Arndt sparked at reaction in the peloton. Finally the gap to the leaders started to come down. By the time the leaders reached the third set of cobbles the peloton had reformed. The damage was done however and the peloton was split.
The split gave the lead group the opportunity to shape the race through the narrow Drenthe lanes and on to the Col du VAM (or VAM berg). A small lead group of 8 riders formed which included Kanis, Charlotte Becker (HTC Highroad), Iris Slappendel (Garmin Cervelo), Chantal Blaak (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), Sara Mustonen (Hitec), Marta Bastianelli (SC Mcipollini), Grace Verbeke (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Christine Majerus (GSD). It only managed a small gap.
The peloton came back together again with 2km to the VAM. The Col du VAM is a short but steep lung opener. The Col du VAM is covered twice in the final 40 kilometres as the parcours take the riders in a procession through the finish line in Hoogeveen once before the finale.
The first time up, Verbeke and Emma Johansson (Hitec) went over the top ahead of Wild. On the way down, the peloton split into four groups.
With 100km to go Australia Belinda Goss attacked. She did not get far however. On the run into Hoogeveen for the first passage, Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin Cervelo) counter attacked. This timeit was Vos who covered the move.
The peloton was in two parts with all of the favourite riders in the first group of 59 riders. More important, the World Cup leader van Vleuten was there.
With 20km to go the leading peloton had a one minute lead over the chasing group. The group stayed together over the Col du VAM for the final time and split on the decent. It came back together with 5km to go. On the run into the finish, the sprinters were fighting for position behind their lead out riders.
The final 2km were quite technical. The peloton was stretched out and a group of 25 riders battled out the final 200m. Vos only had van Vleuten to help with her lead out so had to use the other riders in the last 50m.
10m to go, Vos was the clear leader.
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) won her first Dutch World Cup, "That sprint was hard. The whole race was hard really. The team worked incredibly hard today so it was great to finish with the win, " said Vos
"When you are sprinting against, Wild, Teutenberg and Bronzini, you have to be as fast as you can and today I was, it feels great, "added Vos
Annemiek van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) rode strongly to secure her place in the overall World Cup leaders jersey for another week. "It is great result for the team and I am so happy to still be in the leaders jersey,” said Van Vleuten after the race.
“It just seems to be going on and on, last race me, today Marianne. It is perfect, I felt good this morning, I was not concerned. We are only in the third of nine races so we know it will get harder to defend.” added van Vleuten
Loes Gunnewijk (Nederland Bloeit) won the Ronde bvan Drente in 2010 and supported the team again this year. “There wasn’t really a lot of pressure for us. We have the jersey but the other teams want it.We have already many victories this season, we had a strong team and we were really looking forward to the race today. It is good to finished with a win,” said Gunnewijk.
Kirsten Wild (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) was second in the sprint, “That sprint was hard. It wasw longer that I thought and I went early. The course was easy today. Some broken cobbles and I only really suffered in the last 300m, “said Wild.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/WorldCupRoad/03_Drenthe/PhotoIndex.html]
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