Johansson Victorious in Le Samyn des Dames
Sweden's Emma Johansson earlier today sprinted to victory in Le Samyn des Dames 2014.
the top of the cobbled section,” explained Bates. “Emma was always in a good position over the cobbles. I don’t know that the classification was something she specifically chased. I suspect it was more of a natural consequence of her good positioning.”
Delzenne launched a bold move in the last lap. Initially, the French National Champion was able to steadily build up her advantage, but inside the final ten kilometers the gap rapidly began to shrink.
“It’s ten kilometers to the finish from the top of the cobbled hill,” explained Johansson. “There were a lot of attacks after that hill on the last lap, but I felt like we had it completely under control. I still wasn’t completely confident that I could win or exactly how I would do it in the end.”
“I gave it a crack on the cobbled hill,” Johansson added. “That split things up. My legs were burning form the effort, so I hope the legs were burning a bit for the others, too.”
Gunnewijk had assumed responsibility of the chase ahead of the cobbled climb, and she resumed her position at the head of affairs after Johansson’s acceleration. Leading the bunch through the twists and turns, she pegged back Delzenne. Five kilometers from the finish line, it was gruppo compatto. A field sprint appeared imminent.
“Spratty attacked in the last two or three kilometers,” noted Johansson. “There were a few more attempts. I knew I needed to be near the front and ready to go with any attacks in the last kilometer.”
Moolman was the first to open her sprint. Johansson hopped on the South African’s wheel and enjoyed a draft until she was ready to unleash her final acceleration.
“We didn’t have any riders available for a proper train,” Johansson explained and added “Everyone had done so much work, so it was up to me find my own way. No team had a lead-out. Everyone was sort of on their own.”
“Ashleigh started the sprint really early,” Johansson said. “She gave me quite a good lead-out. I didn’t think too much. I just knew when it was the right time to go – and so I did.”