Emma Johansson takes technical Route de France prologue
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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Emma Johansson takes technical Route de France prologue

by Ben Atkins at 9:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Swedish TT champion beats Linda Villumsen by less than three-quarters of a second

emma johanssonEmma Johansson (Orica-AIS) won the opening prologue of he Route de France, in the northern city of Soissons, by the narrowest of margins over Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda). The Swedish time trial champion completed the technical 3.8km course in a time of five minutes, 7.93 seconds, to beat New Zealand champion Villumsen by less than three-quarters of a second. Dutchwoman Amy Pieters (Argos-Shimano) was just over six tenths of a second further back in third place.

“It was a good ride,” said Johansson. “Of course, I’m happy. This is a much different race than Thüringen because there are not bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints or at the finish. It makes the racing less stressful and less aggressive. The big sprinters have more of a chance for stage wins here.

“I honestly don’t remember much because it’s so short of an effort,” Johansson added. “It was almost over as quickly as I started. It was very fast. I remembered to bring up my speed before each of the three cobbled sections: at the start, on the little hill and in the last 150m. I was focused on that, but otherwise it was just full gas. That’s all you can do with a prologue; go as hard as you can.”

Despite having won the Thüringen-Rundfahrt less than two weeks before, Johansson was under no illusions as to how simple it would be to repeat that triumph in the closest thing to the Tour de France for women.

“We’ll take it day by day,” she explained. “The hardest stages come at the end. I’m pretty sure tomorrow will be a sprint. The stage ends with a technical circuit, and it’s important to stay in front on those four laps at the end. As long as the race stays together, I should be able to keep out of trouble and stay in yellow for the next few days.”

Result prologue
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS, 3.8km in 5’07”
2. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling @ 1s
3. Amy Pieters (Ned) Argos-Shimano @ 2s
4. Evelyn Stevens (USA) United States National Team @ 5s
5. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 6s
6. Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 7s
7. Annette Edmondson (Aus) Orica-AIS @ 8s
8. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
9. Esther Fennel (Ger) German National Team @ 9s
10. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv/Giant

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