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TERRACINA, Italy (VN) — Defending champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) started strongly at the 2012 Giro Donne on Friday with a victory in stage 1.
Vos won the 139.1km race from Naples to Terracina in 3:48:31, outsprinting American Shelley Olds (AA Drink-Leontien.nl). Rounding out the podium was two-time world champion Italian Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora Pasta Zara).
Specialized-Lululemon standout Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and German national champion Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Even though she is recovering from a fractured collarbone suffered in late May, Vos’ victory came as no surprise. The all-around cycling prodigy has won four world championships in cyclocross, two in track and one in road racing, as well as a Dutch time trial national championship.
Olds and Bronzini took advantage of the flat and fast opening stage, which played to their strengths as sprinters.
Teutenberg, likewise a top-flight sprinter and favorite to win Friday’s opener stage, tweeted after the race: “Hot day [in the] office … wasn’t strong enough at end. Good to see @marianne_vos bounce back with win.”
Saturday’s stage 2 takes riders on a 7.2km individual time trial through Rome. Vos will be in the pink leader’s jersey sponsored by Pasta Zara, while Bronzini will race in the blue Santero jersey for best Italian rider.
Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini Giambenini) will wear the white jersey sponsored by Servetto as stage 1’s best young rider, having earned ninth on the day.