Women’s World Cup: Marianne Vos takes third straight Ronde van Drenthe victory
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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Women’s World Cup: Marianne Vos takes third straight Ronde van Drenthe victory

by Ben Atkins at 9:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
World champion starts series defence in perfect fashion in the freezing rain of the north east Netherlands

marianne vos Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) took her third straight victory in the Ronde van Drenthe, the opening round of the 2013 Women’s World Cup, after outsprinting breakaway companion Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) in the final kilometres of the race. The World champion had attacked on the final ascent of the VAM-Berg and managed to escape the front of the much-depleted peloton. She was chased down by Dutch compatriot van Dijk, but Vos then managed to out jump her companion in the final metres to take a simple victory.

Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) also managed to escape the peloton, and tried to chase down the two Dutch riders, but was unable to get close and finished in third place for the second straight year; it was also the fifth straight race that Johansson had finished on the third step of the podium.

Australian Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products) outsprinted Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano) at the head of a select chase group to take fourth place.

Reactions to follow

Pouring rain and wind, with cobbles and climbs thrown in

With wintry weather hanging around into the European spring the race was run in temperatures barely above freezing, with heavy rain falling throughout. The conditions led to a crash in the neutral zone, involving most of the Tibco-To The Top team, with Samantha Schneider forced to abandon, and Shelley Olds being pushed back into the race after being on the verge of climbing into a waiting ambulance.

After the race stayed together over the VAM-berg for the first time, there was an attack from Anne Sophie Duyk (Lotto-Belisol); the Belgian was joined by Kelly Markus (Argos-Shimano) but the duo was only able to get a few seconds clear before being pulled back into the peloton.

As the race hit the sharp Drenthe cobbles soon afterwards however, an acceleration from Johansson split the peloton, but it was former British champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) that managed to get clear. The Olympic silver medallist was soon caught, however, but, as the peloton began to split on the exposed course, Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans teammate Romy Kasper got away.

The German led over the VAM-Berg for the second time, with Vos leading the chasers over the top behind her. Armitstead, Roxane Kneteman (Rabobank-Liv/Giant), Katie Colcough (Specialized-lululemon) and Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS) managed to get up to Kasper, but once again the peloton was quickly up to the group as the race entered the closing stages.

On the approach to the VAM-Berg for the third, and final, time, van Dijk briefly got clear with Netherlands champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabobank-Liv/Giant), but it was Vos’ attack on the steep slopes of the climb that finally broke the elastic.

Over the top the World champion was clear, with van Dijk, Wild, Hosking and Olds in pursuit. Johansson had crashed on the approach to the climb, and could only use her front derailleur, but was gaining on the chase group.

Van Dijk managed to jump away from the chasers and bridge across to Vos, with Johansson also joining - then dropping - the group. Without a full selection of gears, however, the Swedish champion was unable to make any progress on the two Dutch riders in front, but was opening up her lead over the group behind her.

The chase group grew to six, with Armitstead, local rider Marijn de Vries (Lotto-Belisol) and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-AIS), but the three riders up the road were getting further clear.

Into the final kilometre Vos positioned herself onto van Dijk’s wheel, then opened up her sprint in the final few hundred metres; once the World champion was up to speed, van Dijk had no answer, and Vos went on to take her third straight Drenthe victory, and her second win in three days.

Result Ronde van Drenthe
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
2. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon @ 1s
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS @ 15s
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products @ 1’38”
5. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Argos-Shimano
6. Shelley Olds (USA) Team Tibco-To The Top
7. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans
8. Marijn de Vries (Ned) Lotto-Belisol
9. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS
10. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 2’18”

World Cup standings after one round
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant 75pts
2. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon 50
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS 35
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products 30
5. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Argos-Shimano 27
6. Shelley Olds (USA) Team Tibco-To The Top 24
7. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans 21
8. Marijn de Vries (Ned) Lotto-Belisol 18
9. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS 15
10. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon 11


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