Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) took yet another victory in Germany yesterday, winning round six of the Women’s World Cup, the Sparkassen Giro. The World Champion once again beat Wiggle-Honda’s Giorgia Bronzini into second place in the race in Bochum, near Dortmund.
The Sparkassen race has been around for a few years, but its World Cup debut was a turgid affair as the 15.5 kilometre circuit proved insufficiently selective to break up the race. It was only in the final two of the eight laps that concerted attacks began to enliven the peloton. In the end, however, the race finished in a bunch sprint which saw an imperious Vos cross the line first, beating Wiggle-Honda’s Giorgia Bronzini into second place.
“The feeling was almost identical to last week in Paris,” explained Vos. “It was impossible to avoid a bunch sprint. We agreed that Annemiek [van Vleuten] would lead me out, and she did well. I was first to the final bend, 200 metres from the line, and was able to hang on.”
A win for Sweden’s Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), second in the World Cup standings, would have seen her significantly reduce her over all deficit. However, whilst she attacked with seven kilometres to go, she eventually finished in eighth position, tweeting later “Better to try and lose than to never try at all.” She now trails the Commonwealth Champion by 125 points, with only three rounds remaining and 120 points for a win.
Armitstead missed the previous round of the World Cup in China, but such has been her consistency throughout the season, she will return to the competition with a chance of consolidating her lead. That opportunity will come in Sweden on August 22nd with a team time trial, followed by another road race two days later