Giro Donne: Two out of two for Marianne Vos in Rome time trial
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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Giro Donne: Two out of two for Marianne Vos in Rome time trial

by Ben Atkins at 6:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
World number one increases overall lead over short, flat test

marianne vosMarianne Vos (Rabobank) continued her domination of the 2012 Giro d’Italia Femminile, with victory in the 6.6km stage two time trial in the Italian capital, Rome. On a steaming hot morning in the Eternal City, under the shadow of its iconic Colosseum, the former Dutch champion flew around the course to post a time of 8’50”, at an average speed of 44.830kph. Vos’ time was five seconds quicker than that of provisional leader, Canadian champion Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon), with World time trial champion Judith Arndt (Orica-GreenEdge) third, a further seven seconds back.

“To ride through Rome in the Maglia Rosa with the Colosseum in the background was a great experience,” said Vos afterwards. “That was me already worth a lot and, if you can win, it makes it one of the best days of the year so far.

“It was pretty hard, but both the course and the distance was good for me,” the World number one explained. “You never got into your rhythm; I had to get back on the power all the time. At the finish I was completely on it, giving it everything. I knew what it was going to be really close. I could see Clara Hughes’ time, and then I knew I had to give everything.”

The result meant that stage one winner Vos increased her overall lead over the field, with Hughes moving into second place. Stage one runner up Shelley Olds (AA finished in fourth place,16 seconds behind Vos, which was enough to hold on to third place overall.

“The victory on Friday gave me a thrill when I won the bunch sprint,” said Vos. “But now a time trial. If you win one it says quite a lot about the shape you’re in right now; it’s better than I dared to dream a few weeks ago.

“My shape is good, but not absolutely terrific,” she explained. “There is still some way to go. Sunday will be a totally different stage with a 1st category climb and two short but steep climbs and the finish is uphill. That is the next test after the first sprint and the time trial today.”

A hot morning in Rome and a course that’s too short and twisty for may specialists

18-year-old Lara Vieceli (Verinlegno-Fabiani) got the stage under way, but her time of 10’25” was never going to be on the top for long. American rider Whitney Gaggioli (Chirio Forno d'Asolo) posted 10’01” shortly afterwards, but the first rider to go below ten minutes, was Vos’ Rabobank teammate Liesbet De Vocht. The Belgian time trial champion stopped the clock in a time of 9’40”, having covered the course in a average of 44.647kph. De Vocht was at the top for just over twenty minutes however, as Italian national road race silver medallist Silvia Valsecchi (Be Pink) lowered the best time to 9’24”.

This time from Valsecchi was good enough to hold off teammate, and former two-time Italian time trial champion Noemi Cantele, who slotted into provisional second with 9’33”.

Italian prodigy Rossella Ratto (Verinlegno-Fabiani) briefly went into provisional third, just fractions of of a second behind Cantele, before she was pushed off the podium altogether by Emma Pooley (AA The former World champion, and Olympic hopeful, went twelve seconds faster than Valsecchi’s time, to stop the clock at 9’12”. She too was only to last a few minutes at the top, before Olga Zabelinskaya (RusVelo) lowered the best time to 9’09”.

Zabelinskaya was to sit in the hotseat for almost twenty minutes herself - as RusVelo teammate, and former World time trial and cyclocross champion Hanka Kupfernagel went into third with 9’18” - before she too was pushed out by a flying Evie Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), who went two seconds quicker with 9’07”.

Newly re-crowned Italian time trial champion Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giambenini) posted a relatively strong 9’17” on a course that she had said would not suit her. World silver medallist Linda Villumsen (Orica-GreenEdge) however, was far more comfortable on the twisting course and posted 9’08”, just one second slower that Stevens, to slot into provisional second.

Ten minutes later however, everybody was forced to move down a notch as Canadian champion Hughes blitzed around the course in 8’55”, knocking 12 seconds off teammate Stevens’ time, and becoming the first rider to go below nine minutes.

World champion Arndt managed to go five seconds faster than former teammate Stevens, with 9’02”, but was still seven seconds shy of Hughes in second place. Olds pushed hard to try to take the Maglia Rosa but, at eleven seconds slower than Hughes, the Canadian was one second ahead in the provisional overall standings.

Just when it looked as though Hughes had done enough to take the stage and possibly the race lead however, Vos flew over the line five seconds quicker to take her second stage of the race; the Dutchwoman’s cannibalism of her second straight Giro continued.

Result stage 2
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank, 6.6km in 8’50”
2. Clara Hughes (Can) Specialized-lululemon @ 5s
3. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge @ 12s
4. Shelley Olds (USA) AA @ 16s
5. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 17s
6. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge @ 18s
7. Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) RusVelo @ 19s
8. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Stichting Rabobank @ 20s
9. Emma Pooley (GBr) AA @ 22s
10. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home @ 24s

Standings after stage 2
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank
2. Clara Hughes (Can) Specialized-lululemon @ 15s
3. Shelley Olds (USA) AA @ 16s
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge @ 22s
5. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 27s
6. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge @ 28s
7. Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) RusVelo @ 29s
8. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Stichting Rabobank @ 30s
9. Emma Pooley (GBr) AA @ 32s
10. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home @ 34s


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