Brain Wash Ladies Toer: Marianne Vos takes stage four in breakaway sprint
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Brain Wash Ladies Toer: Marianne Vos takes stage four in breakaway sprint

by Ben Atkins at 1:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Charlotte Becker takes second and holds lead as the wind finally hits the Dutch race

marianne vosMarianne Vos (Rabobank) won the fourth stage of the Brain Wash Holland Ladies Toer in the town of Zaltbommel, just north of 's-Hertogenbosch, southern Netherlands, as she outsprinted the rest of a breakaway group of three. Second to the Olympic champion however, was race leader Charlotte Becker (Specialized-lululemon), ahead of Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home), and so the German held on to the red and white chequerboard jersey for another day.

“I didn’t have good legs today,” Vos said modestly after the finish. “I was still affected by the crash I suffered earlier this week.”

The three rider group had been five until a crash in the second of two 10.7km finishing circuits saw Janneke Kanis (Skil-Argos) and Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-GreenEdge) come down. Gunnewijk was forced to abandon the race, but Kanis remounted and took fourth, 46 seconds back. The peloton was led home by stage three winner Kirsten Wild (AA after 1’28”.

After three days of relatively calm weather, the wind that characterises the Holland Ladies Toer finally arrived on stage four, and Rabobank directeur sportif Jeroen Blijlevens had his team set a high pace.

“I didn’t like the idea,” said Vos. “I just didn’t feel good enough.”

Nevertheless, with the race covering 45km in the first hour, the peloton split into pieces, before mostly reforming again on the approach to the first intermediate sprint. There was a brief attack from Gerike Schreurs (Sengers Ladies); she was soon pulled back and Vos took the finish line first after the first, long, 64km loop, ahead of German champion Judith Arndt (Orica-GreenEdge) and Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon).

On the second, smaller, loop, Schreurs broke away for the second time, and this time was able to open up a lead of 45 seconds over the peloton. She was pulled back again however, shortly before the second intermediate sprint, which came as the peloton began the first of the two 10.7km circuits. Vos took the sprint again - ahead of Shelley Olds (AA, with Rabobank teammate Pauline Ferrand Prevot mopping up the final points and bonus seconds - and shortly afterwards, the five-rider break got clear.

At the bell with just one lap remaining the group was a minute clear of the peloton which, with the five biggest teams represented up front, was not chasing too hard. Disaster struck for Gunnewijk and Kanis with just eight kilometres to go however, as they both came down.

The three remaining leaders continued to the finish, where Vos took a relatively easy sprint victory. Bonus seconds on the line, as well as those from the two intermediate sprints meant that the Olympic champion closed the gap to Becker to 36 seconds, as she steadily clawed back the time that Rabobank conceded to Specialized-lululemon in the stage two team time trial.

Result stage 4
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank
2. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home
4. Janneke Kanis (Ned) Skil-Argos @ 46s
5. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA @ 1’28”
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italian National Team
7. Kelly Druyts (Bel) Belgian National Team
8. Nina Kessler (Ned) Dolmans-Boels
9. Shelley Olds (USA) AA @ 1’29”
10. Rixt Meijer (Ned) People’s Trust Ladies

Standings after stage 4
1. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank @ 26s
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon @ 1’35”
4. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 1’36”
5. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon
6. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge @ 1’50”
7. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge @ 1’55”
8. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Stichting Rabobank @ 2’33”
9. Iris Slappendel (Ned) Stichting Rabobank @ 2’34”
10. Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Stichting Rabobank


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