Wednesday 18 April 2012

La Fleche Wallonne Femmes 2012

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 a crash (other rumours say three crashes). Spectators at the race have said on Twitter that the crash was caused when she was hit by a motorbik, though this is as of yet unconfirmed. 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 Result
1. Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon)
2. Marianne Vos (Rabobank)
3. Linda Villumsen (GreenEDGE)
4. Lucinda Brand (AA
5. Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Ladies-Belisol)
6. Judith Arndt (GreenEDGE)
7. Megan Guarnier (TIBCO)
8. Clara Hughes (Specialized-Lululemon)
9. Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home)
10. Karol-Ann Canuel (Vienne Futurscope)
(Top 40)

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