Second successive victory for Marianne Vos

 

Reigning World & Olympic Champion Marianne Vos sprinted to victory for the second successive day, winning Stage Four of the Friends Life Women's Tour in Welwyn Garden City.

 

Reigning World & Olympic Champion Marianne Vos sprinted to victory for the second successive day

 

The Rabo Liv rider out sprinted Giorgia Bronzini and Britain's Lucy Garner along Welwyn Garden City's Parkgate to extend her lead of the Friends Life Women's Tour to 19-seconds over Emma Johansson, who finished fourth.

 

Armitstead's chances of victory were spoilt by a puncture for the second successive day, this time a puncture in the final four kilometres that necessitated a swift change of bikes, leaving her tenth at the finish, but up to fourth overall after Susanna Zorzi lost time.

 

Vos now enjoys a lead in excess of the time bonus available on Sunday's fifth and final stage, from Harwich to Bury St Edmunds, meaning her rivals now have to drop her if they are to win the Friends Life Yellow Jersey.

 

Vos also enjoys an unsurmountable lead in the YodelDirect Points classification, 22 points ahead of Johansson.

 

Much of the stage was defined by a breakaway move, led by Emma Pooley, but also containing riders from Rabo Liv, Orica AIS and Boels Dolmans, the teams of Vos, Johansson and Armitstead.

 

The group gained a maximum of 50 seconds advantage, and were gradually being reeled in to set up a thrilling finish when a road traffic accident ahead on the course caused a brief neutralisation to the race.  With the break's lead less than 30 seconds, when racing resumed their lead was annulled, setting up a 15-kilometre dash to the line.

 

Clad in the Friends Life Yellow Jersey it was Vos who finished clear of Bronzini, herself clear of Garner and the pursuing pack, including Armistead.

 

"This is a new race but a very important one it gets a lot of attention all the big teams are here trying to win a stage, so for me this is an important race,” said stage winner Marianne Vos afterwards.

 

"The organisation is really good and with the crowds as well, I definitely think it can be one of the biggest stage races in the world and the women's calendar.  So far I think this is the biggest one if you look to the attention it gets”

 

Local sisters Laura and Emma Trott were allowed to ride ahead of the comms car during the neutralised start

 

Local sisters Laura and Emma enjoyed differing days, double Olympic Champion Laura made the start despite injury and illness, finishing inside the top 30, while Emma, who was the first to attack on the stage, crossed the line further back, alongside Combativity Award winner Pooley, and then announced her retirement from the sport after Sunday's final stage in Bury St Edmunds.

 

Emma's Boels Dolmans teammate Lizzie Armitstead keeps the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Best British Rider jersey, while Sharon Laws keeps the Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey with a three point advantage and Rossella Ratto maintains her lead in the Under-23 Matrix Fitness Best Young Rider classification.

 

The Friends Life Women's Tour's final stage takes place on Sunday, from Harwich to Bury St Edmunds over 108.3 kilometres.

 

RESULTS

1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team 02:13:09
2 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
3 Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain  
4 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica AIS  
5 Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren  
6 Lauren Hall (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
7 Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
8 Aude Biannic (Fra) Lointek  
9 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized Lululemon  
10 Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
11 Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands  
12 Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
13 Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren  
14 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized Lululemon 00:00:04
15 Peta Mullens (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
16 Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (RSA) Hitec products  
17 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec products  
18 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
19 Jolanda Neff (Swi) Switzerland  
20 Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
21 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
22 Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
23 Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica AIS  
24 Denise Ramsden (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
25 Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda  
26 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec products  
27 Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
28 Mascha Pijnenborg (Ned) Netherlands  
29 Laura Trott (GBr) Wiggle Honda  
30 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized Lululemon  
31 Lucia Gonzalez (Spa) Lointek  
32 Dani King (GBr) Wiggle Honda  
33 Anouska Koster (Ned) Netherlands  
34 Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
35 Dalia Muccioli (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
36 Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
37 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle Honda  
38 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica AIS  
39 Ciara Horne (GBr) Great Britain  
40 Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica AIS  
41 Sharon Laws (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 00:00:13
42 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren  
43 Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
44 Alice Arzuffi (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team 00:00:29
45 Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
46 Chantal Blaak (Ned) Specialized Lululemon 00:00:38
47 Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica AIS  
48 Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized Lululemon  
49 Katie Archibald (GBr) Great Britain  
50 Melon Pawlowska (Pol) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
51 Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 00:00:43
52 Jessie Daams (Bel) Boels Dolmans cycling team 00:00:45
53 Belen Lopez (Spa) Lointek  
54 Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans cycling team 00:00:57
55 Helen Wyman (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:00:59
56 Lucy Martin (GBr) Estado de Mexico Faren 00:01:07
57 Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team 00:01:51
58 Emma Trott (GBr) Boels Dolmans cycling team 00:02:12
59 Emma Pooley (GBr) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
60 Chantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
61 Annette Edmondson (Aus) Orica AIS  
62 Katrin Leumann (Swi) Switzerland 00:11:29
63 Jo Tindley (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine  
64 Jessie Walker (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine  
65 Hayley Jones (GBr) Great Britain  
66 Fanny Riberot (Fra) Lointek  
67 Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Lointek  
68 Anna Knauer (Ger) Rabo Liv women cycling team 00:11:33
69 Janine Van De Meer (Ned) Netherlands  
70 Doris Schweizer (Swi) Astana Bepink womens team  
71 Uenia Fernandes Souza (Bra) Estado de Mexico Faren 00:11:35
72 Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 00:17:01
73 Amy Hill (GBr) Great Britain  
74 Jutta Stienen (Swi) Switzerland  
75 Cari Higgins (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
76 Harriet Owen (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine  
77 Henriette Woering (Ned) Netherlands 00:17:04
78 Penny Rowson (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:17:05
79 Ramona Forchini (Swi) Switzerland 00:18:05
80 Melissa Lowther (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:19:03
81 Erika Leticia Yepez Fernandez (Mex) Estado de Mexico Faren  
DNF Isabelle Beckers (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
DNF Linda Indergand (Swi) Switzerland  
DNF Caroline Baur (Swi) Switzerland  
DNS Emily Kay (GBr) Great Britain  

 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 4

1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team 09:54:10
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica AIS 00:00:19
3 Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren 00:00:22
4 Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans cycling team 00:00:30
5 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda 00:00:31
6 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
7 Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain 00:00:37
8 Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
9 Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren 00:00:41
10 Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands  

 

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