There seems to be no stopping Marianne Vos. She can win sprints, time-trials, on steep hills and evidently in the high mountains too.
The dominant Nederland Bloeit rider took her fourth stage of the Giro Donne on Thursday afternoon, leading over the tough climb of the Mortirolo before extending her advantage on the 20-kilometre descent to the finish at Grosotto.
On the legendary Dolomite climb, Garmin-Cervelo leader Emma Pooley tried to shake off Vos, but had to settle for second over the top. She lost time on the descent, being caught and passed by three rivals.
Stage five winner Nicole Cooke (MCipollini-Giambenini) also rode strongly, finishing thirteenth.
Pooley moved up to second overall after the race’s toughest stage so far. Two and a half minutes down on maglia rosa Vos, she will hope to crack the flying Dutchwoman on back-to-back mountain finishes at Valdidentro and Ceresole Reale.
The race concludes on Sunday with a 16 kilometre time-trial around San Francesco al Campo.
Giro Donne 2011, stage seven: Rovato – Grosotto, 122km
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit 3-39-00
2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini at 1-13
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned) AADrinks at 1-21
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad
5. Emma Pooley (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-34
13. Nicole Cooke (GB) MCipollini-Giambenini at 5-06
26. Sharon Laws (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 8-53
General classification after stage seven
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit 19-42-36
2. Emma Pooley (GB) at 2-36
3. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini at 4-51
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad at 4-54
5. Sylvia Kapusta (Pol) Gauss at 5-40
13. Sharon Laws (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 10-38
36. Nicole Cooke (GB) MCipollini-Giambenini at 24-05
Nicole Cooke takes Giro stage win