news11.04.2013After the race

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For the last 15 years, just like the men, the women riders have been attempting to tame the Mur de Huy (the wall of Huy), the crunch point just before the finish of the Flèche Wallonne (Walloon Arrow). Some manage to succeed from time to time, but this formidable slope, with certain portions boasting a gradient of more than 20%, always retains an untameable dimension.

Marianne Vos, the most decorated champion in the history of women's cycling, received a cruel reminder of this fact last year. Despite her four successes on the event, the Dutch rider “stalled” on the approach to the finishing line and was overtaken by American Evelyn Stevens. Since this setback, Queen Marianne has shown both hunger and efficiency, winning at the London Olympic Games and the World Championships in Valkenburg last year. Her 2013 season has started with just as respectable finishing times, boasting three victories out of the four races she has contested, including the Tour of Flanders. To avoid falling foul of the same trick twice in a row, the captain of the Rabo team will be protected and launched to a desired triumph by team-mates of excellent calibre such as Annemiek Van Vleuten or Pauline Ferrand-Prévot. However, the hold-up accomplished by Stevens twelve months ago should inspire many regulars for the podium places. For example, the young Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini, who recently moved her performances up a gear by winning the Alfredo Binda Trophy and her first leg of the world cup, intends to taste triumph again. Nonetheless, the most serious rivals of Vos could also be Ellen Van Dijk, who lies just behind her in the world cup rankings, or Emma Johansson, who has climbed on to the podium on La Flèche three times, without ever having reached the highest step.

Orica-AIS: Johansson (Swe), Cromwell (Aus)

Senger Ladies Cycling Team: Van Der Breggen (NL)
Lotto Belisol Ladies: Moolman (SAf), De Vries (NL), Rousse (Fra)
CycleLive Plus - Zannata: Ryan (Aus), Brulee (Bel)
TopSport Vlaanderen - Bioracer: Belmans (Bel)

GSD Gestion - Kallisto: Pawlowska (Pol), Schink (Ger)

Bizkaia - Durango: Chacon Garcia (Ven), Hogan (Aus)

Specialized - Lululemon: Stevens (USA), Van Dijk (NL), Worrack (Ger)
USA: McGrath, Hall (USA)

Vienne Futuroscope: Cordon (Fra), Canuel (Can)
France: Lesueur, Biannic (Fra)

Great Britain
Wiggle Honda: Collins (NZ)

Be Pink: Amialiusik (Blr), Cantele (Ita)
Faren - Let's Go Finland Team: Luperini (Ita), Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra)
MCipollini Giordana: Jasinska (Pol), Tagliaferro (Ita)

Pastazara - Cogeas: Cilvinaite (Ltu), Borgato (Ita)

Hitec Products UCK: Longo Borghini (Ita), Hosking (Aus), Neylan (Aus)

Rabo Women Cycling Team: Vos, Van Vleuten (NL), Ferrand-Prévot (Fra)
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team: Armistead (GB), Visser (NL)
Team Argos-Shimano: Becker (Ger)
Team Van Der Kamp (NL)

Rusvelo: Kupfernagel (Ger)

The race in pictures


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