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2012 Olympic Games - London: Women's RR
By Bart Hazen
Date: 7/30/2012
2012 Olympic Games - London: Women's RR

2012 Olympic Games - London: Women's RR
Marianne Vos sprints to first ever gold medal in Olympic Road Race. In front of Buckingham Palace "the flying Dutchwoman" outsprinted break companions home rider Lizzie Armitstead and Russian Olga Zabelinskaya.

Marianne Vos (The Netherlands) powered to gold in the women's Olympic road race in London. Vos won with a perfectly timed sprint over her break companions home rider Lizzie Armitstead and Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia). 27 seconds later German Ina Teutenberg won the sprint of the bunch for fourth from World Champion Giorgia Bronzini. Emma Johansson, Shelley Olds, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Liesbet de Vocht and Aude Biannic completed the top 10. Vos, Armitstead and Zabelinskaya broke clear with over 40 kilometers to go. Initially USA's Shelley Olds was part of the winning move as well but dropped back after a flat tyre. For Vos, finishing second in the last five World Road Championships, it is her first ever Olympic gold medal in the road race. Four years ago she already won an Olympic gold medal but in the Scratch.

Just before the start of the race at noon the winds blew up and rain began to fall. By the time they were a few kilometers into the race the riders were drenched and really soaked. From the start Great Britain and The Netherlands took control of the race. The first attack came after 5 kilometers (140 km in total) from Brasilian Janildes Fernandes Silva. Fernandes got a 15 seconds lead but was caught a few kilometers ahead in Richmond Park. The women had to do the same course as the men a day ago with the difference that the women had to do Box Hill twice (the men nine times).

Early in the race the Dutch riders were very active with multiple attacks from Ellen van Dijk and one from Loes Gunnewijk but the bunch didn't let them go. Also an attack from Shara Gillow (Australia) was neutralized by the Americans. Near Box Hill it started to rain very hard and riders as Amanda Spratt, Noemi Cantele and World Champion Giorgia Bronzini had to deal with flat tires.

Just before the first time up Box Hill Team USA took control of the race. On the climb itself Evelyn Stevens attacked and was marked by Emma Pooley and Ashleigh Moolman. Later Vos, Johansson, Arndt and the others came across. In the descent all came back together with Clara Hughes taking control of the race. In the approach to the second and final time up Box Hill Vos attacked but was marked by Shelley Olds. The two didn't get any space as the GB team chased them down. But the GB team didn't get any rest as the Dutch team with first Van Vleuten and later Van Dijk kept attacking in order to reduce the bunch.

Van Dijk had a more succesful attack in her sixth attempt and was joined by France's Audrey Cordon. The two got a couple of seconds before they got chased down just before the second time up Box Hill. At the start of the climb Kristin Armstrong crashed but was able to continue and get back in the bunch. On the climb itself there was not much happening and a large group crossed the summit of Box Hill.

With 50 km to go Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) launched a powerful move. Zabelinskaya got 15 seconds before Marianne Vos went in the counter-attack together with Lizzie Armitstead and Shelley Olds. The three quickly bridged up to Zabelinskaya forming the decisive break. In front Vos continued to drive the breakaway through pounding rain. The four quickly got a lead of 25 to 30 seconds before Germany started to chase in the bunch for their sprinter Ina Teutenberg. Later they also got some help from Sweden and Italy but they were not able to chase down Vos, Olds, Zabelinskaya and Armitstead. Olds dropped a few kilometers later after a puncture ruined her chances for a medal.

With 2 kilometers to go Zabelinskaya took the lead and seemed to be satisfied with the bronze medal. Vos started the sprint with 200 meters to go and there was no chance for Armitstead to come around and beat Vos for the gold medal.

1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3:35:29
2 Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain)
3 Olga Zabelinskaya (Russian Federation) 0:00:02
4 Ina Teutenberg (Germany) 0:00:27
5 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
6 Emma Johansson (Sweden)
7 Shelley Olds (United States of America)
8 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)
9 Liesbet De Vocht (Belgium)
10 Aude Biannic (France)
11 Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)
12 Joelle Numainville (Canada)
13 Ahreum Na (Republic of Korea)
14 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands)
15 Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)
16 Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa)
17 Grete Treier (Estonia)
18 Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand)
19 Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
20 Pia Sundstedt (Finland)
21 Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)
22 Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)
23 Clemilda Fernandes Silva (Brazil)
24 Evelyn Stevens (United States of America)
25 Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation)
26 Evelyn Yesenia Garcia Marroquin (El Salvador)
27 Denise Ramsden (Canada)
28 Joanna Van De Winkel (South Africa)
29 Maaike Polspoel (Belgium) 0:00:32
30 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)
31 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)
32 Clara Hughes (Canada)
33 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 0:00:35
34 Noemi Cantele (Italy)
35 Kristin Armstrong (United States of America) 0:00:47
36 Amber Neben (United States of America) 0:00:51
37 Judith Arndt (Germany) 0:00:59
38 Larisa Pankova (Russian Federation) 0:01:53
39 Shara Gillow (Australia)
40 Emma Pooley (Great Britain) 0:01:57
HD Ingrid Drexel (Mexico)
HD Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands)
HD Charlotte Becker (Germany)
HD Xin Liu (People's Republic of China)
HD Monia Baccaille (Italy)
HD Fernanda Da Silva Souza (Brazil)
HD Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)
HD Lucy Martin (Great Britain)
HD Mei Yu Hsiao (Taipei (Chinese Taipei))
HD Alona Andruk (Ukraine)
HD Audrey Cordon (France)
HD Ludivine Henrion (Belgium)
HD Robyn De Groot (South Africa)
HD Amanda Spratt (Australia)
HD Chloe Hosking (Australia)
HD Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (Cuba)
HD Emilie Moberg (Norway)
HD Isabelle Soderberg (Sweden)
HD Wan Yiu Jamie Wong (Hong Kong, China)
DNF Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan)
DNF Danielys Garcia (Venezuela)
DNF Paola Andrea Munoz Grandon (Chile)
DNF Aurelie Halbwachs (Mauritius)
DNF Elena Tchalykh (Azerbaijan)
DNF Juthatip Maneephan (Thailand)
DNF Janildes Fernandes Silva (Brazil)

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