Brain Wash Ladies Toer: Marianne Vos snatches overall victory on World championship course
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Brain Wash Ladies Toer: Marianne Vos snatches overall victory on World championship course

by Ben Atkins at 12:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Olympic champion outsprints Evie Stevens to take fourth straight Ladies Toer

marianne vos In what she surely hopes is a forecast for the World championships, Marianne Vos (Rabobank) took the final stage, and overall race victory, in the sixth and final stage of the Brain Wash Ladies Toer in Berg en Terblijt, on a course based on that to be used two weeks later. The Olympic champion outsprinted Evie Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) - the rider that would arguably be her biggest rival for the rainbow jersey - in a two-up sprint on the uphill drag to the line, after the two of them escaped the rest of an elite breakaway.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) took third, just nine seconds behind, staking her claim to protected rider status in Italian team for the forthcoming World championships. With overnight leader Charlotte Becker (Specialized-lululemon) a long way behind, Vos also took the overall victory for the fourth straight year.

“We had lost Charlotte Becker quite early during the race and I came to the final with all toppers in the lead,” Vos explained afterwards. “It was a woman against woman fight and that makes things a lot easier than fighting blocks.”

Vos has won the Holland Ladies Toer - now sponsored by Dutch hairdresser chain Brain Wash - every year since 2009, which makes her the outstanding favourite for the upcoming World championships once again.

“And again I’m very happy with it,” she said. “In Dutch stage races you always have to give it your very best, you cannot relax at any time.

“We’ll rest for the coming two days and then we are going to dot the last i’s for the team time trial which is programmed for next Sunday.”

Unlike the five preceding stages, which were held in the flatter parts of the Netherlands, the final stage between Bunde and Berg en Terblijt took place on the hillier roads of Limburg. The race was to be decided on the terrain of the Amstel Gold Race, the Holland Hills Classic, and - most significantly - the 2012 World championships.

After completing a long 69.3km loop, the race was to take in an 18.6km finishing loop, very similar to that used less than two weeks later. Following the climb of the Cauberg however - which would be the final climb in the Worlds - the stage would turn off before the Worlds finish line and climb the Geulhemmerberg to the finish line.

After a fast start, in which Vos took the first intermediate sprint to close the gap a little more to Becker, there was a four rider break from Liesbeth De Vocht (Rabobank), Kristen Wild (AA, Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home), and World champion Giorgia Bronzini (Italy). The group was not able to get far ahead, but the acceleration as the peloton chased them down split the bunch into pieces.

An attack from Linda Villumsen (Orica-GreenEdge) forced another group clear soon afterwards though, which proved to be far more decisive. With the Danish-born New Zealander were Vos, Stevens and Longo Borghini, with Specialized-lululemon teammate Trixi Worrack, Villumsen’s Orica-GreenEdge teammate, German champion Judith Arndt, Jessie Daams (AA, Anna van der Bruggen (Sengers), Johansson, and Bronzini.

An attack from Vos on the first climb of the Cauberg thinned this group to just four however, with Stevens, Longo Borghini and van der Breggen the only ones able to follow. The four riders opened an unassailable lead over the rest, and then an attack from Stevens on the second climb of the Cauberg saw van der Breggen distanced, but the American could not drop Vos or Longo Borghini.

On the final sprint up the Geulhemmerberg, the Italian was finally forced to let the others go however, with Vos proving too strong for Stevens to take revenge for her defeat in la Flèche Wallonne.

Result stage 6
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank
2. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home @ 9s
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge @ 1’08”
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home @ 1’10”
6. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies
7. Jessie Daams (Bel) AA @ 1’55”
8. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 1’58”
9. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italian National Team
10. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Stichting Rabobank @ 4’55”

Final 2012 Brain Wash Ladies Toer standings
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank
2. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 1’21”
3. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge @ 2’50”
4. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 3’26”
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home @ 4’51”
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home @ 5’21”
7. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies @ 5’57”
8. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge @ 6’45”
9. Jessie Daams (Bel) AA @ 7’31”
10. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italian National Team @ 8’20”


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