Giro Toscana: Annemiek van Vleuten takes night prologue in Campo Bisenzio
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Giro Toscana: Annemiek van Vleuten takes night prologue in Campo Bisenzio

by Ben Atkins at 3:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Dutch rouleur takes first pink jersey following post-Olympic break

annemiek van vleutenAnnemiek van Vleuten (Rabobank) won the opening evening prologue of the Premondiale Giro Toscana- Memorial Michela Fanini, on the streets of Campo Bisenzio. The Dutch rouleur, having returned from a post-Olympic break, completed the short, 2.22km out and back course in a time of 2’57” to go one second faster than 2011 race winner Megan Guarnier (Tibco-To The Top). Alexandra Burchenkova (Michela Fanini-Rox) took a morale-boosting third place for the home team, just four seconds back.

"It's very nice to be back out," said Van Vleuten afterwards. "I have done exactly one race in the past eight weeks. After London, I relaxed for two weeks, but the last two weeks I could fortunately train fully.

“It is now important to tighten my form again to for the World championships,” she added. “That is the main goal for the next two stage races. Obviously I want to go deep to in a number of stages and we will see what that can bring me here in Tuscany.”

Van Vleuten came in as a last minute replacement for Olympic champion Marianne Vos, who was forced to scratch. Having fractured her collarbone just weeks before the Olympic Games, she was able to help Vos to take the gold medal, but the wound from her operation had not fully healed and she was forced to take a break. This mean missing the Open de Suède Vårgårda and GP Plouay - both of which she won last year - which were taken by Rabobank teammates Iris Slappendel and Vos.

The early running was made by Estonian champion Grete Treier (Michela Fanini-Rox), but her time was soon beaten by teammate Burchenkova. The Russian was in turn knocked out of the hot seat by van Vleuten whose time of 2’57” - set at the halfway point through the field - was to stand.

Last to start, 2011 champion Guarnier was to come within just over a second of the Dutchwoman, but van Vleuten pulled on the first pink jersey of the five-day race.

Result prologue
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Stichting Rabobank, 2.22km in 2’57”
2. Megan Guarnier (USA) Tibco-To The Top @ 1s
3. Alexandra Burchenkova (Rus) Michela Fanini-Rox @ 4s
4. Amanda Miller (USA) Tibco-To The Top @ 5s
5. Aleksandra Sosenko (Rus) Vaiano-Tepso
6. Rossella Ratto (Ita) Verinlegno-Fabiani
7. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
8. Lauren Hall (USA) Tibco To The Top @ 6s
9. Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Be Pink
10. Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) Diadora-Pasta Zara

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