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Marianne Vos wins five of nine stages en route to defending Giro Donne title

BERGAMO, Italy (VN) — Marianne Vos (Rabobank) defended her Giro Donne title on Saturday, finishing second in the final 108km stage behind Emma Johnasson (Hitec Products Mistral Home).

Emma Pooley (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) finished third, just two seconds behind the duo.

Vos has held the pink Pasta Zara jersey for nearly the entire race, only giving it up once to American Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon) for the fourth stage. Vos matched her 2011 performance by winning five of nine stages and was also the final winner of the points competition and its yellow Rock No War jersey.

The Dutch rider was just over one month removed from a collarbone injury when she began the race.

“I wasn’t sure of my physical condition, but step by step I realized I always feel better,” Vos said in a news release after the race. “And thanks to my team, I then started to believe I could repeat the feat from last year.”

Vos finished the nine-stage race 3:27 ahead of Pooley, who came in second in the general classification. Stevens, who had been second in GC for the majority of the race, had a poor performance on Saturday but managed to finish third overall, 6:32 back from Vos.

Pooley also finished the race as Queen of the Mountain, taking home the green Epiù Energia-Gruppo Iseni jersey, which she had held for the entire race.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products Mistral Home) took home the white Servetto jersey for best young rider, while Fabiana Luperini (Faren Honda) held onto the blue Santero jersey for best Italian rider.

For Vos and many other Giro Donne competitors, the London Olympics are next on the list. Vos will be competing in the road race and time trial for the Netherlands, while Stevens will represent the United States in the road race.

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