Emma Pooley (AA Drink-leontien.nl) topped the mountains classification of the 2012 Giro Donne – the women’s Tour of Italy – which finished on Saturday.
The British rider placed second overall in the race behind a rampaging Marianne Vos (Stichting-Rabobank) who has firmly put herself forward as the outright favourite for the Olympic road race title at the end of July.
American Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon) completed the overall podium in third. British road race champion Sharon Laws (AA Drink-leontien.nl) put in a solid performance to finish in 16th place overall.
Vos defended her 2011 title by winning five stages of the eight-day race, once again showing her unrivalled ability to win no matter what the terrain or discipline. She won on the flat in bunch finishes, in the time trial and solo in the mountains.
Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda) is the only British rider to have won the prestigious Italian race, in 2004. This year Cooke finished in 44th place, over an hour adrift of Vos.
Lizzie Armitstead (AA Drink-leontien.nl) was forced to withdraw from the race before stage seven with an infection. She will now prepare for the Olympic Games road race on July 29.
Giro Donne 2012
Final overall classification
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank in 24-50-43
2. Emma Pooley (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl at 3-27
3. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-Lululemon at 6-32
4. Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Faren-Honda at 7-39
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home at 7-50
6. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge at 8-30
7. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini at 9-00
8. Claudia Hausler (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge at 9-13
9. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home at 10-07
10. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto-Belisol at 10-12
16. Sharon Laws (GBr) AA Drink-leontien.nl at 33-16
44. Nicole Cooke (GBr) Faren-Honda at 1-08-58
57. Katie Colclough (GBr) Specialized-Lululemon at 1-18-32
92. Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-leontien.nl at 1-53-20