Marianne Vos (NED) has won it all. At least now she has, as today she captured Olympic Road Race Gold to go with her Gold medal in the Women’s Pursuit in the 2008 Olympics. Vos has been the most dominant female rider in the peloton since she exploded on the scene when she was 18, yet the Olympic Road Race Gold medal eluded her in 2008 when she won silver. Some people thought that may be indicative of her developing “a second place jinx” as she has 5 consecutive silvers in the World Road Race Championships after winning Gold in 2006. Also, like Mark Cavendish yesterday, the race has always been everyone against Marianne, but today on the rain soaked course of 144km, it was the aggressive Dutch who were the early instigators of the attacks to aid Vos to victory.
After the group left the Main Hall it was first Ellen van Dijk (NED) and Loes Gunnewijk (NED) took turns hammering the peloton with repeated attacks. When the peloton got to the box hill circuit there were so many attacks it was near chaos with Evie Stevens (USA) and mighty-might Emma Pooley (GBR) being the most active smashing the group to bits. Finally, after all the attack on the two circuits of box hill it was on the return to the main hall that the decisive move of the race came with Olga Zabelinskaya (RUS) attacking first and Vos, Lizzie Armistead (GBR) and super-sprinter Shelley Olds (USA) bridging across to form a powerhouse break. Behind, the chase group was lead by Judith Arndt (GER) but Kristin Armstrong (USA) moved to the front to help as Shelley Olds had punctured and the powerful German and American teams tried to close the gap on the three leaders. However, with the trio of Vos doing most of the work, an ITT champ in Zabelinskaya and British powerhouse Lizzie Armistead up the road, the gap just edged it way out more and more. On the approach to the line Zabelinskaya attacked early and was caught easily and Vos and Armistead went on the counter with Vos winning the sprint.
Women’s Road Race Top Ten
1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)________3h35’29”
2. Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain)
3. Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia)________+:02″
4. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany)_____+:25″
5. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
6. Emma Johansson (Sweden)
7. Shelley Olds (USA)
8. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (France)
9. Liesbet de Vocht (Belgium)
10. Aude Biannic (France)