Vos Wins Women's Olympic Road Race
Marianne Vos (Netherlands) has won the women's Olympic road race.
Marianne Vos (Netherlands) has won the women's Olympic road race. Vos jumped into a three-woman break in the last 50 km of the 140-km race in London, England and took Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) and Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) in a sprint to win the gold medal in 3:35:29. Armitstead and Zabelinskaya won the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
The day began with sunshine, but by race time, the wind had brought rain. The Americans, British, and Dutch controlled the race. Janilda Fernandes Silva (Brazil) made an early sally that was shut down. On the run to Box Hill Hsiao Mei Yu (Taiwan) and Grete Treier (Estonia) crashed, but both got back on.
As the race approached Box Hill for the first ascent, Loes Gunnewijk and Ellen van Dijk (both from the Netherlands) launched attacks, but the bunch reeled them in. Shara Gillow (Australia) made a move, but the Americans shut it down. Van Dijk tried again, but the Italians caught the Dutchwoman. The Americans led the field onto the climb.
Evelyn Stevens (United States) attacked, and Emma Pooley (Great Britain) and Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa) joined her. The field split, and the heads of state were in the lead group.
The Italians and Germans led the pursuit. Ahead, Vos attacked, but Shelley Olds (United States) took her wheel.
The Dutch continued attacking. Annemiek Van Vleuten and van Dijk threw in attacks, and Audrey Cordon (France) made a move as well. The lead group, however, was together on the approach to the second ascent of Box Hill.
Clara Hughes (Canada), Pia Sundstedt (Finland), Stevens, Pooley, and Judith Arndt (Germany) put in attacks, but none could stay away. Pooley made a counterattack, while behind, Gunnewijk crashed.
Amber Neben (United States) joined Pooley. Vos caught the pair. Pooley made another move, and Vos shut down that attack. Defending champion Nicole Cooke (Canada) missed the move but chased with Tatiana Antoshina (Russia) and got back on.
Kristin Armstrong (United States) and Stevens crashed. Van Dijk attacked, and the Americans reeled her in. Zabelinskaya countered with 50 km left, and Vos, Armitstead, and Olds joined her. The real race was on.
With 31 km remaining, the break led the bunch by 0:20. Olds punctured and drifted back to the peloton. Italy, Germany, and Canada led the pursuit, but the leading trio had the horsepower to stay away.
Zabelinskaya led the trio into the final km. Vos burst into the lead with 150 m to go and fought off Armitstead for the win. Zabelinskaya took the bronze, and Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Germany) led the peloton across the finish line at 0:27.
Many of today's riders will cross paths in Wednesday's time trial. Who will win? Defending champion Armstrong? Pooley? Judith Arndt (Germany)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!