Marianne Vos seized both the stage and overall victory in the ASDA Women’s Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday. She referred Mavi Garcia and Soraya Paladin to places two and three in the final sprint, after the three had taken the lead in the last hour of the race. The other CCC-Liv riders did excellent preparatory work.
Marianne Vos started the second and last stage in rainy Yorkshire on Saturday, as the sixth rider in the general classification (+8 seconds). Consequently, our leader knew that she had to take some time back from her competitors and saw sufficient opportunities to make a difference on the hilly and therefore tough course.
Sports director Jeroen Blijlevens: “It was difficult to decide on a clear tactic in advance, the course was decisive. At least we knew that we had to be attentive after the start, because with wind force 6 - blowing from the side on occasion, the break could happen early. Particularly on the second climb of the day, we had to stay alert as it was the logical place where the stage would be opened.”
This is exactly what happened: Anna van der Breggen jumped away on the Côte de Hooks House Farm and got company from Lizzie Deignan. Marianne raced well in front, but did not make the crossing. On the following climb, when the chasing peloton could nearly touch van der Breggen, the Dutch accelerated again. Soraya Paladin and Annemiek van Vleuten hooked on, resulting in three leaders and a strong chasing group, including Marianne.
With less than fifty kilometres to go, the three leaders were caught by the collar. On the Côte de Grosmont, the Spanish Garcia snuck away, and Marianne and Paladin counterattacked on the Côte de Ugglebarnby. They collaborated and prepared for a fascinating and breath-taking final in which the lead fluctuated between 10 and 15 seconds for many kilometres.
With only ten kilometres to the finish, the three remaining chasers’ confidence decreased and the winner had to be found in the leading group. Marianne overpowered the others in a sprint in beautiful Scarborough. Not only did she take the stage win, but also the final classification.
“This is a great victory for CCC-Liv and especially for Marianne herself. She has been at a high level all season, already had a WorldTour victory in her pocket, but had to deal with some bad luck in the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race. With this amazing victory she gets even. She deserves this victory”, says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens.
Photo credits: Cor Vos