Giro Donne: Unbeatable Marianne Vos sprints to stage six victory
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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Giro Donne: Unbeatable Marianne Vos sprints to stage six victory

by Ben Atkins at 11:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Dutch champion shows who’s the boss on any terrain

marianne vosMarianne Vos (Nedeland Bloeit) has proved that she is the strongest rider on virtually every terrain by taking the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile, between Fontanellato and Piacenza in a bunch sprint. The Dutch champion, wearing the pink jersey as race leader, beat World champion Giorgia Bronzini (Colavita-Forno d’Asolo) into second, with German champion Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Highroad) in third.

"Today I was hoping to win, because the stage ended in my city,” said Bronzini at the finish. “I like a very technical finish, it suits my characteristics, in order to get my first win at the Giro. But Marianne Vos is the strongest right now.

“My second place, on her wheel, is as good as a victory," Bronzini continued. "I hope that, in future editions, Piacenza can welcome back a start or a finish of the most beautiful stage race in ciclismo rosa.”

Stage six was the longest stage of the Giro Donne, at 130km, and it was to start without Lucy Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) and Rochelle Gilmore (Lotto Honda), who were both victims of the stage five finishing straight crash. This was also to be the last chance for the sprinters, with the race heading into the mountains on stage seven.

In the very first kilometres of the stage Liesbet De Vocht (Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley) escaped the peloton alone. The former Belgian champion gradually managed to open up a lead, which was up to 45 seconds by the 45th kilometre.

With De Vocht already up the road, breakaway specialist Valentina Bastianelli (Vaiano-Tepso-Solaristech) and Esra Tromp (Netherlands) attacked across to her, forming a group of three in the lead, and the trio began to open the gap further.

Once the breakaway’s lead had opened to 2’30” the peloton decided to react; the Colavita-Forno d’Asolo team came to the front and began to pull them back to set up the sprint for Bronzini in her home town.

With 30km to go the gap had been reduced to two minutes, which was halved to just one minute by the 15km to go point. The three fugitives were finally caught with just 10km to go, and the peloton lined up for the sprint.

Despite Teutenberg’s power, as displayed by her victory on stage four, and Bronzini’s desire to win at home, Vos was the fastest in the sprint; taking the victory by a clear length over the World champion.

Time bonuses on the line mean that Vos further increases her slim lead over Sylwya Kapusta (Gauss-RDZ-Ormu) to 24 seconds. The real test for the dominant Dutch all rounder comes tomorrow though, as the race heads to the mountains, crossing the infamous Passo di Mortirolo.

Podium presentations were conducted without celebration in tribute to Australian cyclist Carly Hibberd, who was killed while out training this morning.

Result stage 6
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit) 130km in 3h14’07”
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Forno d’Asolo Colavita
3. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) HTC-Highroad
4. Sara Mustonen (Swe) Hitec Products-UCK
5. Martine Bras (Ned) Netherlands National Team
6. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
7. Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss Rdz Ormu
8. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-UCK
9. Cherise Taylor (RSA) Lotto Honda Team
10. Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Kleo Ladies Team

Standings after stage 6
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
2. Sylwya Kapusta (Pol) Gauss Rdz Ormu Unico1 @ 24”
3. Emma Pooley (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo @ 52”
4. Shara Gillow (GBr) Bizkaia-Durango @ 1’31”
5. Sharon Laws (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo @ 1’35”

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