Brain Wash Ladies Toer: Kirsten Wild sprints to stage 3 after crash decimates peloton
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brain Wash Ladies Toer: Kirsten Wild sprints to stage 3 after crash decimates peloton

by Ben Atkins at 2:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Intermediate time bonus sees race lead pass to Charlotte Becker

kirsten wildKirsten Wild (AA took her third win in ten days as she sprinted to victory in the third stage of the Brain Wash Holland Ladies Toer in Leerdam after a late crash decimated the peloton. The 29-year-old was by far the fastest of those left standing after around 30 riders - including three of her four remaining teammates - hit the road with just six kilometres remaining.

Wild finished more than three lengths clear of Olympic champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank), who had been part of a late breakaway, with Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) in third.

“It’s always great to grab a stage in our national tour, especially in the knowledge that I also had to deal with a flat tyre in the finale,” said Wild afterwards. “It took some hard work to get back in the front of the peloton to take my place. It got a bit hectic out there when [Specialized-]lululemon found out that Vos and [Orica-GreenEdge’s Judith] Arndt had slipped away; they put the whole peloton in the gutter and it took quite long before they were caught.

“But that does not matter anymore,” she added. “My tour is successful anyway.”

A fast start to the 122.2km stage saw the peloton stay together on the opening 71.1km loop but, as the race hit the four 12.8km finishing circuits, the attacks began.

Vos took the first intermediate sprint on the first crossing of the finish line, ahead of Shelley Olds (AA and Charlotte Becker (Specialized-lululemon); the one second time bonus for third place giving the former German champion the virtual lead over teammate, and overnight race leader Trixi Worrack.

Local rider Martine Bras (Dolmans-Boels) was allowed to put in a solo attack towards the end of the first lap; this was followed by an attempted break from Elena Utrobina (Faren-Honda) but, once the Russian was caught, a far more dangerous group got away.

The five-woman break was made up of Vos, Olds and Arndt, with Sara Mustonen (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) and Ersa Tromp (Skil-Argos). The riders quickly managed to open up a sizeable lead before the peloton could react and, with 25km to go, were 55 seconds ahead.

Specialized-lululemon gradually began to close the gap to the five riders, but they were still clear at the bell, where Vos took the second intermediate sprint ahead of Mustonen and Arndt. The peloton was just 16 seconds behind by now however, and the break was all over with ten kilometres to go.

With the stage apparently heading for a sprint, a crash with six kilometres to go saw almost half the peloton either come down or delayed. Olds, Mustonen and Tromp were among those affected, along with Dutch champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabobank), but most of the riders at the top of the general classification managed to avoid it.

There was a trademark late attack from Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-GreenEdge) with three kilometres to go, but the former Dutch champion was quickly closed down and the remains of the peloton arrived on the finishing straight all together, where Wild was head and shoulders above the rest.

Despite Worrack finishing eighth, the bonus second taken by Becker saw the race lead pass from one Specialized-lululemon rider to the other.

Result stage 3
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home
4. Kelly Druyts (Bel) Belgian National Team
5. Nina Kessler (Ned) Dolmans-Boels
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italian National Team
7. Kim de Baat (Ned) Team Specialized DPD
8. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
9. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Monique van de Ree (Ned) Skil-Argos

Standings after stage 3
1. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
2. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 1s
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon
4. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon
5. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge @ 17s
6. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge @ 20s
7. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank @ 36s
9. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Stichting Rabobank @ 59s
10. Iris Slappendel (Ned) Stichting Rabobank


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