By Nick Bull
Marianne Vos sealed overall victory in the inaugural Friends Life Women's Tour by sprinting to win the final stage in Bury St Edmunds this afternoon.
Vos comfortably got the better of Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda), Amy Pieters (Netherlands) and Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) after a technical run-in to the historic market town.
She claimed 10 bonus seconds for the stage, and with those picked up at the day's first intermediate sprint, she extended her overall winning margin to half a minute over world number one Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS).
Home favourite Lizzie Armitstead's week of bad luck continued: after ill-timed mechanical problems on stages three and four, the Yorkshirewoman did not start the race. Her team told Cycling Weekly that the Olympic silver medallist had an upset stomach last night, and was suffering from a fever this morning.
For the second day running, Emma Pooley illuminated the race. The British Lotto-Belisol rider attacked near Holton St Mary after 25km, and was joined by Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS), Lauren Hall (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-Lululemon). With the presence of any riders from Vos's team, Rabo-Liv chased the move down.
Amy Pieters (Netherlands) attempted to bridge the gap, but she was caught shortly before Pooley punctured and was also reeled in.
The trio continued until the final 10km, and despite the efforts of several riders to break clear, the race came down to a bunch sprint.
Friends Life Women’s Tour 2014, stage five: Harwich to Bury St Edmunds, 108.3km
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv in 2-48-10
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda
3. Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands
4. Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealtchare
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
6. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estadio de Mexico-Faren
7. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products
8. Aude Biannic (Fra) Lointek
9. Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized-Lululemon
10. Leah Kirchmann (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies all at st.
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv in 12-42-07
2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS at 0-30
3. Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estadio de Mexico-Faren at 0-35
4. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda at 0-38
5. Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana-BePink at 0-44
6. Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands at 0-50
7. Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain
8. Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare both at st
9. Lauren Hall (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 0-52
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estadio de Mexico-Faren at 0-54
Yodel Direct Sprints Competition
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv
Strava QoM Competition
1. Sharon Laws (GBr) UnitedHealthcare
Matrix Young Rider Competition
1. Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Best British Rider
1. Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain
Lotto-Belisol rider picked up the day's combativity award for her efforts.
World Champion Marianne Vos increases lead in Friend Life Women's Tour after second stage win
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