HUY, Belgium (VN) – Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloueit) was the strongest on the Mur de Huy and a tough 100-kilometer circuit Wednesday. The Dutch master of most trades was triumphant at La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, finishing a handful of seconds ahead of Emma Johansson.
Judith Arndt (HTC-Highroad) came third after her American teammate Evelyn Stevens spent much of the day solo off the front of the race.
Kristin McGrath (U.S. National Team) was the top American finisher in 14th.
“A win is a win. It doesn’t matter how big the gap is,” said Vos, who will assume the UCI World Cup points lead with the victory. “It’s short, but it’s really hard. A few seconds is only a few meters.”
With Vos’ teammate Annamiek Van Vleuten wearing number one as World Cup leader, Nederland Bloeit was content to control the race from the start. HTC and Garmin-Cervélo were aggressive early and Stevens slipped away midway through the first lap through the walls of the Walloon region in southeast Belgium.
The American time trial champion rode alone into the wind for half of the race, forcing Nederland Bloeit to ride hard tempo at the front. It wasn’t until the penultimate climb, on the Côte d’Ereffe, that the peloton, cut down to around 30 riders, pulled Stevens in.
“I would have liked someone with me; I’m surprised I went that long,” said Stevens. “We wanted to be aggressive. We’re a strong team.”
With 11 kilometers remaining, Vos’ squad was able to neutralize the front of the race heading into the final climb of the Mur and when they hit the bottom, the multiple-time Dutch world champion pushed ahead of Johansson, Arndt and Elena Berlato (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo).
Crossing the line three seconds ahead of Johansson and six ahead of a wasted Arndt, Vos rose from the bars and gave her trademark arrow shot.
“We tried to control the race because of the points. My team did a great job the entire race to keep me out of the wind,” said Vos, the current world cyclocross and scratch race champion. “There are terrains where I don’t win, but I try to be as all-around as I can.”
- 1. Marianne Vos (Nl), Nederland Bloeit, 109.5km in 2:58:27
- 2. Emma Johansson (S), Hitec Products-Uck, at 0:03
- 3. Judith Arndt (G), HTC Highroad Women, at 0:06
- 4. Elena Berlato (I), Top Girls Fassa Bortolo, at 0:15
- 5. Nicole Cooke (GB), SC Mcipollini Giambenini, at 0:15