Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) sprinted to her third consecutive stage win, and in so doing won the inaugural Friend’s Life Women’s Tour by 30 seconds this afternoon. The world champion beat Wiggle-Honda’s Girogia Bronzini in a sprint which finished in front of hundreds of spectators and the historic Abbey Gates in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
“The team did a lot of work from 25 or 30 kilometres, so that’s why you definitely want to go for the third victory,” said the 26 year old, whose birthday it is on Tuesday. “The plan was to have a good break, maybe with one of us in, or to control from behind. It’s the best feeling when you are in yellow and your five teammates make an echelon and they can control the breakaway.”
Once the break had been caught in the final 10 km, Vos was forced chase Emma Johansson who sat second on GC. “I was in front with my eye on Emma, of course she attacked, but I knew from the book they were fast final kilometres. There were a lot of riders wanting to go for the stage win to, so it came to a sprint again.”
The race was only Vos’s third of the season. “I came here with a good feeling but still you have some doubts. I’ve seen Emma Johansson, Lizzie Armitstead and Giorgia Bronzini racing strong, and we knew it was going to be a hard battle and a close call between all the teams.
“It’s nice to win the first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour,” she continued. “This race is setting the standard for every other now, there’s no race that can match the organisation, the attention or the crowds. It’s really big already, but it was the first time and I think it has a bright future.”
Vos is now looking forward to the Giro Rosa, the women’s Giro d’Italia, and plans to defend her world road race title at the World’s in Pontferrada, this September.
Rabo-Liv rider completes hat-trick of stage victories to extend her final winning margin.
Lotto-Belisol rider picked up the day's combativity award for her efforts.