Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) won the PostNord Vårgårda WestSweden Road Race, pushing hard into the final corner before making charge for the line ahead of the bunch.
The Dutch rider – who had to be content with second at the European road race championships in Glasgow – swooped around the heads of several lead out trains before exiting metres ahead of the competition and jumping on the pedals before anyone could respond.
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Second place went to RideLondon Classique winner, Kirstin Wild (Wiggle High5) with defending champion Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) third.
How it happened
The UCI Women’s WorldTour event covered 141 kilometres, kicking off with laps of a circuit around Vårgårda, before looping off to cover a 54 kilometre route with four gravel sectors along the way. The peloton then returned to Vårgårda for a further four laps of the opening circuit.
The bunch stayed intact over the first laps – before Margarita Victorita Garcia (Movistar Team) attacked on her own with over 80km ahead, building up a gap of 45 seconds.
Hot on her heels were Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla), and Vos (WaowDeals) – but once the trio joined up with Garcia and the group showed signs of cutting the cord all four were pulled back.
The gravel sectors threw up several surprises – notably Vos took a tumble but was able to right herself and get back into the race.
On the final gravel sector, with 47km left, a dangerous break of Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans), Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini), Silvia Persico (Valcar PBM), Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-Scott), Vos and Uttrup Ludwig formed. However – they were caught when as the race entered the finishing laps.
Van der Breggen was the first to make a move – with 30km left. She was joined by Canyon-SRAM’s Trixi Worrack, Alexandra Manly (Mitchelton-Scott), Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb), Anna Trevisi (Alé Cipollini), plus Eva Buurman (Trek-Drops).
Brand attempted to attack her fellow escapees, but ultimately the six-rider break proved unsuccessful.
Van der Breggen made yet another break for freedom, taking with her Worrack, Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb) plus Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla), and Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans).
Not content to tow anyone to the line, Van der Breggen attacked again, going solo whilst the rest were reeled in.
Entering the final lap, Van der Breggen had a gap of 15 seconds. Sunweb came to the fore, with Moolman-Pasio and Dani Rowe (WaowDeals) also lending a hand and the Dutch rider was eventually netted back to the peloton.
On the final bend, the bunch began organising itself in preparation for a sprint. However, Vos had other ideas, taking a long but fast line around the rest of the field before storming to victory – with Wild and Lepistö the fastest of the bunch which followed 2s back.
Results: PostNord Vårgårda WestSweden Road Race (141km)
1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team in 3-27-55
2 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Wiggle High5 at 2s
3 Lotta Pauliina Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
4 Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM Racing
5 Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling
6 Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar PBM
7 Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam, at same time
8 Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women at 3s
9 Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Astana Women’s Team, at same time
10 Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana at 4s