Marianne Vos wins Open de Suéde Vårgårda World Cup
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marianne Vos wins Open de Suéde Vårgårda World Cup

by Ben Atkins at 7:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
World champion secures fifth overall title with one race to go

marianne vosMarianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) sprinted to her second victory in the Open de Suéde Vårgårda World Cup road race in Vårgårda, Sweden, at the head of the four-rider group that had escaped in the closing laps of the 132km race. The 26-year-old World and Olympic champion was the fastest on the 300 metre long finishing straight, and crossed the line several lengths clear of local favourite Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), with 22-year-old Amy Pieters (Argos-Shimano) matching her career best result in the World Cup with third.

Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) took fourth place at the back of the group, having spent several kilometres chasing back on after the final climb.

A win for Vos meant that the Dutchwoman secured an unprecedented fifth victory in the season-long World Cup with the GP Plouay still to come.

"A period of rest has done me good,” Vos explained after the race. “On Friday I noticed already in the team time trial. Today came the confirmation. This makes me really good.

"My team was excellent today, we have constantly had control,” she added. “That gave me the necessary rest. In the final Roxane [Knetemann] was really strong. All of that gave me a victory, which is very important for my confidence. "

The first attack of the race came from Trixi Worrack (Specialized-lululemon) on the second of the twelve 11km laps, but the German champion was only able to gain a few seconds before being pulled back.

On lap three, however, a more dangerous group got clear, made up of Roxane Knetemann (Rabobank-Liv/GIant), Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS), Rossella Ratto (Hitec Products), Nina Kessler (Boels-Dolmans), Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon), Esra Tromp (Argos-Shimano), Dani King (Wiggle Honda) and Claudia Häusler (Tibco-To The Top).

The eight riders were joined by the counterattacking foursome of British champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Netherlands champion Lucinda Brand (both Rabobank) and Evie Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), and more riders managed to get across including Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda), and both Vos and Johansson.

With 17 riders now up the road, including four from Rabobank-Liv/Giant, and three from Orica-AIS, it looked like the winning move had been made, but there were still several big names left in the peloton and gradually the group was closed down.

Just as the group was caught by the peloton, however, Knetemann attacked again and was quickly joined by Gunnewijk. The duo managed to get almost a minute and a half clear of the peloton, with Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Hitec Products) in pursuit; despite getting to within just a few seconds of the leaders though, the Norwegian champion was forced to give up her chase.

As the peloton closed in on Knetemann and Gunnewijk, several riders bridged across and the resulting ten-rider group began to pull away again. Joining the two leaders were Vos, Johansson, Pieters, van Dijk and Stevens, Ratto, Anna van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies) and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda).

With two laps to go the ten riders were more than three minutes clear of the next chase group.

An attack from Vos on the hill midway around the lap saw Knetemann, Gunnewijk, Ratto and Bronzini dropped, but there was then drama for the World champion as she punctured. With no service immediately available, Vos continued on her flat tyre until her team car could reach her and, not wishing to take advantage of a technical misfortune, the others in the group allowed her to rejoin.

"Especially to get rid of [Bronzini], we have worked really hard in the last lap. In her present form it could be a difficult story to beat her,” said Vos. "I have to ride on the deflating tube for a while, but Koos [Moerenhout] was quickly with me. [Mechanic] Sem Versteeg has ensured a fast bike change and the damage was not too bad, so I could get back on again quickly.”

With Vos back in the group, Stevens tried to escape, but the American was unable to get clear. Vos herself the attacked the final time up the climb and, following a counterattack from Johansson, the two rivals got clear with Pieters. Having been dropped on the climb, van Dijk managed to chase back on the descent, with van der Breggen briefly for company, and the Dutch time trial champion managed to make contact with just over a kilometre to go.

Vos attacked into the final corner with 300 metres to go, however, and immediately pulled open a gap over the others. By the time the World champion reached the line she was several lengths clear and had plenty of time to sit up and celebrate her first victory in Sweden since 2009.

Result Open de Suéde Vårgårda
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/GIant
2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
3. Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
4. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Speicalized-lululemon
5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team @ 25s
6. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 48s
7. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 1’22”
8. Rossella Ratto (Ita) Hitec Products
9. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS
10. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling @ 2’03”

World Cup standings after seven Rounds
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant 354 pts
2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS 252
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon 224
4. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products 156
5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies 123
6. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant 86
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 80
8. Tetyana Riabchenko (Ukr) Chiro Forno d’Asolo 75
9. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling 69
10. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon 59


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