Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira


Thursday the 10th of June 2010 saw the start of this year’s Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira in Spain.  Starting in the Basque town of Iurreta, stage one was a 88.4km race over a fairly easy riding course, with one Category Three climb.  In a bunch finish, Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) from Holland out sprinted Giorgia Bronzini (Gauss RDZ Ormu) from Italy and Lizzie Armistead (Cervelo Test Team) from Great Britain.
Besides Lizzie Armistead finishing in third position, other British riders included Lucy Martin (Team GB) in 15th place, Catherine Williamson (Team GB) 38th position.  Nicole Cooke (Team GB) 66th position.  Katie Colclough (Team GB) 70th.  Emma Silverside (Redsun Cycling Team) 71st. 
In all 116 riders started and finished the first stage.


Friday the 11th of June saw the race become more challenging with the 112.4km Lekeitio stage.  This stage included five classified climbs, in addition to the twisting narrow roads which meant the race was never going to be easy and added to this, it was raining for most of the day.
On the second climb two riders, Judith Arndt (HTC Columbia) from Germany and Claudia Hausler (Cervelo) from Germany, managed to break away from the pelaton and they maintained their lead for the rest of the race, with Judith claiming the stage victory and Claudia taking the race leaders Yellow Jersey.
At the end of the this stage, the General Classifications board was shaken up, with Claudia Hausler in first position, Judith Arndt in second and Marianne Vos pushed down to third position.
Nicole Cooke climbed over fifty places to finish in 11th place, whilst Lizzie Armistead dropped to 14th position.  Lucy Martin dropped to 36th and Catherine Williamson dropped to 41st position. However Katie Colclough climbed to 51st place and Emma Silverside climbed to 54th place.
97 riders finished the stage.


Saturday the 12th of June had two stages back to back.  Stage A was an uphill 5.9km individual time trial.  This gruelling challenge was won by Nicole Cooke, who celebrated her first stage win of the year.
Stage B then saw a 78.8km race which was eventually won by Marianne Vos in a sprint finish.
At the end of the day there was a little bit of a shake up in the General Classifications, with Judith Arndt moving into first place and Claudia Hausler dropping to second position.  Marianne Vos remained in third position. 
Nicole Cooke moved upto 5th place, whilst Katie Colclough lept to 37th position.  Katherine dropped to 62nd position.  Lizzie Armistead did not finish the stage.
In all 94 riders finished the stage.


The final stage on Sunday the 14th of June was the 125.7km Orduna stage.  Three riders, Annemiek Van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) and Andrea Bosman (Netherlands) both from the Netherlands, along with Claudier Hausler (Cervelo) formed a break away and working together to maintain their lead with Annemiek winning the stage, Claudier coming second and Andrea finishing third.  Interestingly, Claudia finished second on this stage last year as well.  However, despite her second place, she managed to regain her top place in the General Classification and became the overall winner of this year’s race.
Annemiek Van Vleuten finished second in the GC, whilst Judith Arndt finished third.
Katherine Williamson finished 42nd, Emma Silverside 52nd and Lucy Martin 57th.  Nicole Cooke and Katie Colclough did not finish.  In all 83 riders finished the final stage.
Claudier Hausler described her overall victory as important preparation for the Women’s Giro d'Italia later on in the year.

Writer: VeggieVelo www.vcac.vegfolk.co.uk


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