Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour 2013
Previous coverage of Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour >> 2013
Stage 4 -Edmondson gets first professional win
Annettie Edmondson (Orica-AIS) won the final stage of the Lotto Belisol , leading out her teammate Emma Johnasson. Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) held on for third and took overall victory. Edmondson had the field strung out as she powered uphill toward the finish line. When Edmondson opened up a small gap, Johansson slowed ever-so-slightly to allow the gap to grow. Edmondson held off the field to take her first professional road victory in Europe while Johansson proved best of the rest to take second on the stage.
The hard, hilly Geraardsbergen course, that included four times up the infamous Muur.Tough crosswinds and fast pace means some riders have been dropped already It was an attacking race and eventually a group of around ten riders broke away from the front of the field. Edmondson, Loe Gunnewijk and Johansson (Orica-AIS) had made the move. Gunnewijk launched another missive to slip away alone and she was the virtual leader on the road for part of the day. In the build-up to the final ascent of the Muur, the peloton reeled in the chase group. Gunnewijk remained ahead of the bunch with a 55" advantage. van Dijk, second overall at the start of the stage, attacked up the final climb. Johansson followed the attack and eventually a lead of three riders formed with 22km to go. With 15 km to go a concerted chased from the pel0ton closed down the leaders and a it was set for a sprint., ORICA-AIS began to ready its sprint train.
Annette Edmondson (Orica-AIS) was very happy with the win but thankful to her team mate for letting it happen, "Emma was feeling really good today, and the finish is exactly the sort that usually suits her," said Edmondson. "She could have won it if she wanted to, but she gave it to me, which was really nice. She deserves a huge thank you for that." "When it came back together, we decided we'd ride for Emma in the sprint," explained Edmondson.
"We were driving it on the front in the last 10km. Jessie did a huge pull from a couple k to go, and then Loes took over. I was the last to take my turn before Emma would sprint, so I went as fast as I could from the bottom of the hill that leads to the finish. Emma saw that I got a gap, and she stalled a bit. I realised right away what she was doing, and I rode as fast I could to the line." "It's crazy," she added.
"Yesterday was the sprint stage. That's the one I wanted to win. I got third, and I told myself I needed to be happy with a podium. Today, I didn't even think about myself at all. I just thought about doing my job for the team, and look what happened." "This win isn't just mine," said Edmondson. "It's a win for the entire team. They all deserve this win after attacking all day, especially Loes who spent so much time solo in the front. Even though we didn't achieve our goal of winning the overall, it was really nice to end the week on a high note."
1 Annette Edmondson Orica-AIS
2 Emma Johansson Orica-AIS
3 Ellen van Dijk Specialized-lululemon
1 Ellen van Dijk Specialized-lululemon
2 Lisa Brennauer Specialized-lululemon
3 Emma Johansson Orica-AIS
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