Giro Donne: Marianne Vos sprints to opening stage in Terracina
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Giro Donne: Marianne Vos sprints to opening stage in Terracina

by Ben Atkins at 10:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
Defending champion takes first Maglia Rosa of 2012

marianne vosDefending champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) began the 2012 Giro d’Italia Femminile as she did the previous year, with a sprint victory in the first stage between Napoli and Terracina. The World number one, despite only recently having returned from a fractured collarbone, hit the line ahead of Tour of Chongming Island World Cup winner Shelley Olds (AA, with World champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora-Pasta Zara) in third.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to come back and win a bunch sprint straight away,” said Vos, who had only returned to racing for the Dutch championships the week before. “I was also pretty insecure and nervous.

“My teammates pulled for the sprint so I wanted to finish it off,” she explained. “The finish came just in time for me, Shelley Olds came very close, but I’m very happy with this victory. It’s a beautiful confirmation that my speed is still good.”

The predominantly flat 139.1km stage was dominated by a long attack from Alina Bondarenko (RusVelo), Sara Grifi (Michela Fanini), and Vaiano-Tepso duo Aleksandra Sosenko and Valentina Bastianelli. The quartet managed to open up a maximum lead of 8’14”, but the sprinters’ teams in the peloton steadily reeled them in again. Despite the lack of radios in the peloton, a solo attack from Sosenko, just as the peloton was gaining, was unsuccessful, and the final 15km saw a battle for supremacy between the fast finishers.

A hot, fast day on Italy’s south west coast

After a hot start to the stage in Napoli, Chloe Hosking (Specialized Lululemon) took the first intermediate sprint in Grumo Nevano after just 5.9km, ahead of Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini-Giambenini) and Valentina Scandolara (MIchela Fanini-Rox). The high pace continued on the flat roads, and it wasn’t until the 32km point that Bondarenko and Sosenko escaped.

They were quickly joined by Grifi and Bastianelli, and by the 63km point had opened up a lead of 8’14” over the peloton. This was as far as they were to be allowed however, and work from Specialized-lululemon, Rabobank, Diadora-Pasta Zara, MCipollini-Giambenini, and AA began to gradually bring the foursome back.

A crash in the peloton saw Grete Treier (Michela Fanini-Rox) come down. The Estonian champion managed to rejoin the peloton, but was adjudged to have taken pace from her team car too much and was disqualified by the race jury.

Inside the final 40km, as the course hit the rolling coastal roads, Sosenko attacked the others and managed to get clear. The Lithuanian was 1’48” clear with 25km to go, as her three former companions were finally caught, and led over the top of the 3rd category Sperlonga climb alone. The MCipollini-Giambenini team kept the pace high however, and with just over 15km to go Sosenko was caught.

MCipollini-Giambenini maintained its position at the front of the peloton, aiming to set up two-time former Italian champion Monia Baccaille for the sprint. In the final kilometres however, as the course hit a series of corners, the flouro-yellow team found itself pushed out by the other teams, and Vos was the fastest at the finish.

Result stage 1
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank
2. Shelley Olds (USA) AA
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Diadora-Pasta Zara
4. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
5. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren-Honda
7. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
8. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) AA
9. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
10. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo-Servetto

Standings after stage 1
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank
2. Shelley Olds (USA) AA @ 4s
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Diadora-Pasta Zara @ 6s
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Specialized-lululemon @ 7s
5. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Specialized-lululemon @ 8s
6. Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Michela Fanini-Rox @ 9s
7. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 10s
8. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge
9. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren-Honda
10. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini


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