Sunday, 10 July 2011

Giro Donne Debrief - Another Vos Victory

Marianne Vos adds another trophy to
her cabinet, which must be groaning
under the combined weight.
Marianne Vos has won the General Classification in the 2011 Giro Donne. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won the final time trial, but it was a long way from enough to beat the 24-year-old Dutch woman who has dominated the race since the start. Vos, one of the most likable riders in professional cycling, was modest about her triumph: "It was only in the first mountain stage, over the Mortirolo Pass, that I first thought I had a chance at first place," she said during a post-race interview with Radio Netherlands - but anyone who has followed her incredible career will have had her down as as an easy favourite ever since the starters were confirmed, because although Vos was not originally known as a climber she has an amazing ability to apparently rapidly change her constitution and body shape in order to get the results she needs.

HTC-Highroad's Ina-Yoko Teutenberg put in an impressive performance in Stage 10, a time trial, and completed the 16km course in 22'17" at an average speed of 43.082kmph. Teutenberg, who is 36 years old, won Stage 4 in Romagna, came second in Stage 1 and third in 5 and 6 - which both featured some respectable climbs, making third place a very impressive result for the sprinter (if Mark Cavendish could climb like she does, he'd have won a Tour de France by now).

Britain's Emma Pooley took 2nd overall
It's also been a superb race for British riders. Emma Pooley, probably the best British rider today, managed second place overall despite coming sixth yesterday. The London-born 26-year-old may have grown up in snooker table-flat East Anglia, but her small size and huge strength makes her a natural in the mountains and she won Stage 8 - which featured a climb to almost 2000m - in 2h25'45", just crossing the line in front of Vos, and achieved several other excellent results throughout the race. Nicole Cooke, ten-time British champion, has been struggling to regain her form after an illness put her out of competitive cycling for a year and hasn't had a successful season so far which has caused some sections of the cycling medi to prematurely write her off. However, she proved decisively why her MCipollini-Giambenini team has kept her on the books by beating Vos to first place in Stage 5. The 28-year-old Welsh woman now has her sights firmly set on next year's Olympics where she'll be aiming for gold.

The mood of the race turned sad due to the tragic death of Carly Hibberd, killed by a car near Milan during a training ride on the 6th of July a few hours before Stage 6 began. The awards ceremony that evening was conducted in sombre fashion without celebration or festivity to pay respects to the popular rider who, while not competing in the race, was well-known to many of those who were. However, the event overall has been a joyous success and will have contributed enormously to the profile of women's racing which, gradually, is beginning to gain some of the recognition it deserves. Cyclists such as Vos and Pooley - the former being considered my some (including us) to be the best in the world of either sex - help no end in achieving this goal and we wish them every success for the future.

Pooley and Vos take 1st and 2nd place in Stage 8 of the Giro Donne 2011.

Stage 10 (TT) results:

1.   Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany) HTC-Highroad, 22'17"
2.   Emma Johansson (Sweden) Hitec Products UCK, +12"
3.   Marianne Vos (Netherlands) Nederland Bloeit, +15"
4.   Judith Arndt (Germany) HTC-Highroad,  +23"
5.   Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) HTC-Highroad, +30"
6.   Emma Pooley (UK) Garmin-Cervélo, +43"
7.   Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) Diadora-Pasta Zara, 51"
8.   Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Highroad, +54"
9.   Tatiana Antoshina (Russia) Gauss, 1'00"
10. Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) MCipollini-Giambenini, +1'03"

Overall General Classification results at conclusion:

1.   Marianne Vos (Netherlands) Nederland Bloeit, 25h42'40"
2.   Emma Pooley (UK) Garmin-Cervélo, +3'16"
3.   Judith Arndt (Germany) HTC-Highroad, +8'15"
4.   Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) MCipollini-Giambenini, +9'09"
5.   Tatiana Antoshina (Russia) Gauss, 12'46"
6.   Ruth Corset (Australia) Bizkaia-Durango, +12'58"
7.   Emma Johansson (Sweden) Hitec Products UCK, +14'15"
8.   Sylwia Kapusta (Poland) Gauss, +14'26"
9.   Shara Gillow (Australia) Bizkaia-Durango, +15'48"
10. Mara Abbott (USA) Diadora-Pasta Zara, +16'24"

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