UCI Road World Cup 2011
Round 4 - Vos climbs to Victory and takes lead in World Cup
La Fleche Wallonne, Belgium, 109.5km
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) added an important milestone victory to her resume, with another win up the gruelling Mur de Huy. Third place last year and second this year Emma Johansson (Hitec) was on her wheel but could not match the sprint of Vos. Just behind, a disappointed Judith Arndt (HTC Highroad) finished 6 seconds back to take third.
After 55k of racing, Evelyn Stevens (HTC Highroad) attacked alone on the Cote de Bohisseau. She accelerated fast and managed to get away on her own. Increasing the gap to 1 minute 15 seconds. By the time she reached the first passage of the Mur de Huy, the gap was down to 20 seconds. At the top of the Mur, Garmin Cervelo moved to the front. Noemi Cantele gave chase for 4km to close the gap and catch Stevens.
With 20km to got the peloton was together. At 10km to go, a group attacked at the front of the race on the climb to the top of the Cote d'Ereffe. This caused a break in the peloton. On the decent to the town of Huy, with 3km to go, Olga Zabelinskaya (Diadora Pasta Zara) attacked. Vos went with her and the chase from Amber Neben and Arndt (HTC Highroad) closed the gap with rest of the leading peloton..
Four riders led what was left of the peloton at the foot of the climb to the finish. In the final 750m, the eladNeben attacked first on the steepest part with 300m to go. Johansson was on her wheel. Vos was just behind. With 150m to go Vos attacked and crossed the line with time to pull the imaginary bow. Johansson crossed 3 seconds behind with Arndt at 6 seconds.
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) was in familiar territory when she arrived at the finish ahead of the bunch. Winning for the fourth time (2007,2008,2009,2011), Vos could not be happier. "You always know you are going to hurt when you reach Huy. You have to suffer. I know this climb suits me. I had a god feeling at the start of the climb. My team controlled the race really well. I didn't have to do anything. Then on the final climb, it just exploded.
"Amber Neben [HTC Highroad] made the speed on the steepest part and Emma Johansson [Hitec] was on her wheel. I looked back and I was the only one there at that point so I kept going. With 150m to go I started my sprint. It was a long way to the finish, but I am really happy." said Vos.
Reflecting on winning four times, Vos added, "Well Luperini and Cooke and I had won is three times each. Now I have it four times it is very special. This is only the fourteenth running of this race, I have a long time to really make my mark on the history of this race," added Vos.
At only 23, Vos has had so many incredible victories, Vos reflected, "I don't think about my age. I know I am still really young and I hope to have many more years. I am enjoying every moment right now."
Nederland Bloeit managed the break with a number of other riders, Vos was asked if she was concerned about the attack from Evelyn Stevens (HTC Highroad). "We knew she was strong and we didn't want to give her that big a gap. It is really hard here alone on the climbs. With two times up the Mur when you are alone, that is hard. It was along way for her to go on her own. We held her on about 1 minute and Loes Gunnewjik [Nederland Bloeit] did a great job on the front to bring the gap down. Garmin Cervelo and Hitec helped to keep up the speed and not allow her to get too much space."
van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) was not unhappy about losing the
World Cup leaders jersey. “Marianne, Me as long as the team has it
we are happy,” said van Vleuten.
can still defend the jersey, not with Marianne as she will not be in China
but I hope to keep it,” added van Vleuten.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/WorldCupRoad/04_Fleche/PhotoIndex.html]
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