Saturday, 22 September 2012


This felt like one of those iconic races which will be remembered for a long time.
It was an incredible display of grit and strength.

It all started to unfold with a break from a small group. Commentators doubted they would be able to stay away, and that might have been the case but as they reached around 37" gap from the main peloton and only a few laps left, Dutch super rider Marianne Vos attacked, closely followed by Longo Borghini of Italy. 
Once they bridged the gap the Dutch and the Italians had two riders in the break. At that point it felt like game over for the riders chasing the group.

Vos was possessed, she had the look you only see in true champions. There was no doubt and no faltering at any time.
Vos attacked on the Cauberg and was only followed initially by Longo Borghini, shedding a couple of riders.
The established final group of 5, Vos (NED) Longo Borghini (ITA) Neylan (AUS) Neben (USA) Van der Breggen (NED) rode away. The fear was Vos had done too much too soon.
But as the final climb approached Vos attacked and then accelerated even more to dampen any hope Neylan had to follow too close. Longo Borghini's legs finally gave up to collect a very respectable bronze. In the final straight Vos had time to veer to the right and grab a Dutch flag.

Rachel Neylan was impressive in her tactics. Vos and Longo Borghini had the advantage of a team mate in the group early on but the Australian had to work hard as did the American Neben, even though the latter never showed too much strength on the climbs. In Van der Breggen, Vos had the perfect domestique, controlling the group, attacking when needed.

The Germans, Belgians and the Brits comprehensively failed to make any impression. Not sending a rider in the break is what failed the GB team at the Olympics Men Race and like for them, they had to do the chasing because of it, thus wearing down a strong Pooley.

Marianne Vos won the World Championships back in 2006 and since then she has always come 2nd.
This year she adds the Worlds title to the Olympic title, a feat only matched by Nicole Cooke.

Tv coverage of the Elite Women races has to increase. Twitter was alive in reporting and commenting of the race, the crowds at the race were massive. In tactics and spectacle they match their male counterparts. Even in the crashes! It wasn't the first time women racing has been has always been this good. I've watched Giro coverage, some classics, Worlds, Olympics, track and it has never failed to impress. Sponsors need to realise that soon as money is needed for teams to exist and for tv coverage to happen. They're missing out on a very profitable (and most of all enjoyable) sport.

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