Wednesday 18 April 2012

La Fleche Wallonne report and results

Pooley abandons, Stevens takes Fleche victory
Emma Pooley
Emma Pooley (AA was forced to abandon the Fleche Wallonne Femmes after her gears apparently broke twice, a third mechanical problem and three crashes. In the first, she went down along with several other riders but was unhurt; in the second, she collided with a rider who had unexpectedly stopped, breaking her deraileur and while beginning to feel rather battered could continue on a spare bike; in the third. another rider collided with her and she was thrown to the ground, then a motorbike ran over her bike and damaged it beyond repair (AA report here). Eye witnesses say she was bleeding as she climbed the Muur for the last time, but she's said to have only very minor injuries (updates as soon as possible). Faren-Honda's Nicole Cooke is reported to have abandoned "after a few kilometres."

Marianne Vos, four-time winner of this race, looked set to repeat her previous success after taking the lead on the final climbed of the infamous Muur to the finish line after a five-rider break formed with 15km to go and managed to join up with Linda Villumsen, Clara Hughes and Lucinda Brand. However, she was surprised in the last 30m by Evelyn Stevens who suddenly appeared from behind her and powered past to the line looking as though she had a rocket under her saddle - an absolutely superb win for the American rider and as good as a big tick next to her name on the Olympic selection list.

Evelyn Stevens, now with

Women's Top Ten
1. Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon) 3h26'32"
2. Marianne Vos (Rabobank) +4"
3. Linda Villumsen (GreenEDGE) +20"
4. Lucinda Brand (AA +27"
5. Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Ladies-Belisol) +41"
6. Judith Arndt (GreenEDGE) ST
7. Megan Guarnier (TIBCO) +44"
8. Clara Hughes (Specialized-Lululemon) +48"
9. Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) ST
10. Karol-Ann Canuel (Vienne Futurscope) +51"

Best Brit: 20. Sharon Laws (AA +1'10"
(Top 40)

The women's race is, of course, the fourth round of the Women's Road World Cup. The standings after today look like this:

1. Marianne Vos (Rabobank) 200 pts
2. Judith Arndt (Specialized-Lululemon) 139 pts
3. Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) 86 pts
4. Kirsten Wild (AA 80 pts
5. Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon) 75 pts
6. Trixi Worrack (Specialized-Lululemon) 62 pts
7. Adrie Visser (Skil-Argos) 56 pts
8. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabobank) 52 pts
9. Kristin Armstrong (USA) 50 pts
10. Tatiana Guderzo (IMCipollini-Giambenini) 50 pts


No comments:

Post a Comment