Race Report – Women’s Tour 2014 Finale

 

 

Marianne Vos takes Friends Life Women’s Tour overall victory

Marianne Vos cemented victory in the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour by taking her third consecutive stage victory in Bury St Edmunds, out sprinting Giorgia Bronzini and Amy Pieters on Angel Hill.

The ensuing time bonuses ensured Vos finished 30 seconds clear of stage winners Emma Johansson and Rossella Ratto in second and third places, with the latter also claiming the Matrix Fitness Best Young Rider jersey for the highest placed Under-23 rider.

Italian duo Bronzini and Susanna Zorzi, who claimed the week’s overall combativity award, were fourth and fifth overall, with Pieters just edging Lucy Garner and Hannah Barnes in sixth, seventh and eighth places.

Garner also took the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Best British Rider jersey, inheriting it on Sunday morning in Harwich after Lizzie Armitstead withdrew through illness and then defending it from Barnes in the final sprint, despite clipping the barriers in the final corners.

For the second day running Lotto Belisol Ladies’ Emma Pooley was in the thick of the action, winning the Combativity Award for her constant attacking on the 108.3 kilometre stage through Tendring and Suffolk.

Loes Gunnewijk, Lauren Hall and Lisa Brennauer joined Pooley, but with no Rabo Liv rider in the font group they were brought back, setting up the final sprint finish of the week into Bury St Edmunds’ Angel Hill, where packed crowds awaited.

For the third day running it was Vos who powered clear, our sprinting Bronzini, with Pieters and Barnes in close attendance behind.

Vos’ consistent run of top three finishes and bonus points saw her claim the YodelDirect Points jersey, while Sharon Laws and Jolanda Neff’s week long battle for the Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey ended in favour of the British rider, three points ahead of her Swiss counterpart.

Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies claimed the overall Team Classification, with American rider Hall their highest finisher in ninth overall.

Highlights of Stage Five are on ITV4 at 9pm on Sunday evening, with a repeat at 8.10am on Monday morning.

From DHL Future Stars to World and Olympic Champions

Revolution Series 10 | Revolution 38 – Emily Kay takes on the Champions LtoR: Any Pieters, Emily Kay, Lizzie Armistead – Image © www.ChrisMaher.co.uk

During Revolution 38, I caught up with Emily Kay, last year’s winner of the DHL Future Stars competition, to find out how she is was finding it mixing it up with the Olympic and Senior World Champions on the track.

 


Emily on the podium at the beginning of her run as DHL Future Stars Champion – ©2010 Anna Magrath/Cycling Shorts.

DHL Future Stars Process

Emily has been a part of the DHL process right from the start. “I started off with the DHL Sprint School,” she explains, “then moved up to the DHL Future Stars, and now I’m riding with the best riders in the world. So, I suppose that’s proof that the system works. It’s great to get the opportunity to race against the likes of Marianne Vos and Lizzie Armitstead too.”

 

The Elimination Race

“I usually prefer to ride the elimination race from the front, riding at my own pace, but tonight was totally different. I found it slower than I was expecting, but it meant that I had to try different tactics than I’d use normally. But obviously

Revolution 36 – Emily graduates – final podium as a DHL Future Stars after three years domination – speaking to Hugh Porter – ©2012 Anna Magrath/Cycling Shorts.

this is a good stage to try things out on.”

Her tactics obviously worked, with a seventh in the Elimination Race.

The Scratch Race

Emily had said at the outset of the night that her main aim was to sit on Marianne Vos’s wheel at some point. In actual fact, during the Scratch race, Vos was sat on Emily’s wheel during the scratch race. Katie Colclough went off the front with a few laps to go, and it wasn’t until about two laps to go that Vos tried to close the gap, although Colclough held her off to take the win. Emily Kay stayed with Vos and tried to outsprint her on the line for second, eventually coming a close third to Vos’s second.

The Points Race

I asked Emily how the racing compared to the DHL Future Stars events. “Riding the domestic events, you find that you race against the same people all of the time and you tend to use the same tactics,” she said. “Riding at the Junior World Championships you get to ride with other people who you wouldn’t necessarily get to compete against ordinarily, this is just a step up from that. I’m really enjoying it though”.

Emily stayed with the bunch over the course of the points race, placing in one of the sprints. Ellen Van Dyck was the eventual winner, with Vos third.

 

 

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