(image credit: Velocio Sports)
I honestly never wanted this race to end - the riding has been absolutely first rate, the outcome was totally unexpected and with the short, spectator-and-TV friendly circuit courses and excellent online coverage the organisers have done more for women's cycling in only five days than many organisations have achieved in five years; so congratulations on an absolutely first rate job by all the riders and everyone else involved. It looks very much as though a holiday to north-east Nederland is on the cards in April 2013.
Many fans expected Specialized-Lululemon to get Ina-Yoko Teutenberg up to the front in order to hammer home her General Classification victory today and for Rabobank to come together in a serious attempt to propel Marianne Vos back up to the top, but this stage turned out to be all about the lesser-known riders - a number of whom finished within the top ten after a series of effective breaks throughout the race. Meanwhile, Lululemon kept out of the limelight and concentrated on getting Teutenberg to where she needed to be; their clever riding leaving no doubt whatsoever that the GC was hers.
(image credit: Gsl CC BY-SA 2.5)
1. Nicole Cooke Faren-Honda 03:27:05
2. Evelyn Arys Kleo +2"
3. Sarah Düster Rabobank ST
4. Megan Guarnier Team TIBCO ST
5. Marieke Van Wanroij AA Drink-Leontien.nl ST
6. Josien Van Wingerden Specialized Dpd SRAM +4" -
7. Jennifer Wheeler Team TIBCO ST
8. Chloe Mcconville +16"
9. Amy Pieters Skil-Argos +2'19"
10. Judith Jelsma WV De Noord-Westhoek ST
(Full stage result)
Stage wins: 1. Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12); 2. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team Specialized-Lululemon); 3. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team Specialized-Lululemon); 4a. Kirsten Wild (AA Drink-Leontien.nl); 4b. Specialized-Lululemon; 5. Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda)
Final General Classification
|Image credit and full results: Energiewachttour.nl|
Interesting Stuff: Follow Teut on Twitter (and her team too) / Sarah Connolly's Podium Cafe report