Giro Donne: Emma Pooley wins mountaintop stage eight
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Friday, July 08, 2011

Giro Donne: Emma Pooley wins mountaintop stage eight

by Ben Atkins at 11:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
British rider pips Marianne Vos as the two are the class of the field yet again

emma pooleyEmma Pooley (Garmin-Cervélo) won the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile on the summit finish at Cancano. The former British champion beat race leader Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) on the line after the two of them had left the rest of the race behind once more. Former Australian champion Ruth Corset (Bizkaia-Durango) finished third, 1’29” behind the two leaders, with Judith Arndt (HTC-Highroad) outsprinting Tatiana Antoshina (Gauss-RDZ-Ormu) for fourth.

“I’m really happy to win today,” said Pooley at the finish. “The stage was really hard, and I really wanted the team to do well here.

“I tried to attack several times,” she explained, “but Marianne Vos is the strongest. I couldn’t have done any more today, but tomorrow we’ll try again.

“I’m happy to have taken to mountain jersey,” she added.

Stage eight was the second of three straight days in the mountains of northern Italy. Starting in Teglio, close to the Swiss border, the course would consist of an almost constant climb north to finish close to 2000 metres up, on the mountaintop finish at Valdidentro. Despite being just over 70km long, it was to be one of the toughest stages of the race.

The first part of the stage was ridden at a high pace and it was not until 30km that Corset managed to escape the peloton along with Amanda Miller (HTC-Highroad).

When the duo had built their lead to a minute, 2009 winner Claudia Häusler (Diadora Pasta-Zara) and stage seven third place Lucinda Brand (AA Drink-Leontien.nl). They were not able to make the connection to the two leaders though, and were swept up by the group of favourites, led by Italian champion Noemi Canteke (Garmin-Cervélo) on the way up to the first climb of the day, the 2nd category Le Motte, with 19km to go.

Corset attacked Miller close to the top of the climb and set off over the top alone, while Miller dropped back to help teammate Arndt. In the group of favourites though, Pooley accelerated and, as happened on so many occasions on the previous stage, Vos was the only rider able to match the World time trial champion’s pace.

The stage then became another duel between Pooley, wearing the green mountains jersey for Vos, and Vos, wearing pink. They soon caught, then dropped Miller and set about steadily reeling in Corset. The former Australian champion managed to hold out for some time, but was finally caught midway up the 10km climb, before she reached the final unsurfaced part.

Pooley was leading the whole way, asking for no help in her attempt to crack Vos. The Dutch champion hung on to the Garmin-Cervélo rider’s wheel the whole way though, and did not come around her to contest the sprint at the finish. Corset held on to take third, 1’29” back, while Arndt escaped Guderzo in the final kilometre to take fourth.

Thanks to time bonuses on the line Pooley has chipped four seconds off Vos’ overall lead, which now stands at 2’32”, and the British rider now holds the green mountains jersey in her own right.

“It was another very positive day,” said Vos. “This jersey gives me the strength to take on a Giro that is getting even harder.

“Tomorrow will be another difficult stage, but the victory seems to be getting closer.”

Arndt’s fifth place finish puts the German on the podium at the expense of leading Italian Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giambenini).

Result stage 8
1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo, 70.1km in 2h25’45”
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
3. Ruth Corset (Aus) Bizkaia Durango @ 1’29”
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad @ 2’39”
5. Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Gauss-Rdz-Ormu @ 2’49”
6. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Mcipollini-Giambenini
7. Mara Abbott (USA) Diadora Pasta Zara @ 3’16”
8. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-UCK @ 4’12”
9. Shara Gillow (Aus) Bizkaia-Durango @ 4’14”
10. Elena Berlato (Ita) Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo @ 4’16”

Standings after stage 8
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
2. Emma Pooley (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo @ 2’32”
3. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad @ 7’39”
4. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini @ 7’46”
5. Sylwya Kapusta (Pol) Gauss Rdz Ormu @ 10’07”

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