Pauline, celebrating with her team, and styling it with French-tricolour socks
Lessons in the art of becoming Women’s World Champion!
Who was my favourite to win the Women’s Elite Road Race Championships in Ponferrada last weekend? Marianne Vos, straight up!
Ask any Baroudeur, and Vos was, and is the favourite. After all, she is twice the previous champion and several times MTB, Cross and Track champ. Add to this, that 4 out of the top 10 women cyclists are Dutch, kind of swings things in her favour and for Dutch courage, but life is never that simple. Neither is it in road racing.
The Most Amazing Season
The fear came in the form of the Italians: Giorgia Bronzini , currently world no.9, and Elisa Longo Borghini, as world no.4. Their combination of world class experience coming from Giorgia, coupled with Elisa’s young engine and her one-day-race specialism, would tear the field apart. It almost did that when it came to the end. However, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot wasn’t having any of it.
Don’t Look Back
The breakaway of four insisted on looking back. A big no-no when coming to the line, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself. Bronzini gave a kick. Vos turned, to check, but at 200KM you could see the legs blow. It was to be a fine French day for Pauline.
Ferrand-Prevot has an admirable record: second at the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile (2.1), Vos came first, Elisa 5th, and Emma Johansson 10th. Emma Johansson is notable for having been No1 in the world rankings early in 2014, and coming 3rd in the World Championships. An update is currently being made on women’s world rankings.
The moment the race was won: Marianne Vos in Orange, sits back down, whilst advisary and teammate Pauline Ferrand-Prevout, lunges forward to victory.
Moreover, the French have plenty to celebrate, as Pauline holds both rainbow colours in the National Road Race and the Individual Time Trial disciplines. All this at only 22 years of age, and to top it all she holds a competitive mountain-biking background. It’s no surprise then, that Vos is proud of her Rabobank-Liv teammate and friend. Similarly, they both enter cross races too. Vos later exclaimed that it was good to keep the jersey (at least) within the team. It goes to show, Ferrand-Prevot has learnt a lot from her Captain, and the results speak for themselves.
It’s been a marvellous year for Pauline Ferrand-Prevout. Out of 27 race days this season, she’s rarely been out of the top 10; with podium positions, becoming a regular expectation. She’s signed up with Rabobank-Liv till 2016. In 2010 she was the youngest ever professional to race the Olympic RR, at only 18. So expect plenty more action from this young French professional.
Noteworthy that Vos is only in the roster till 2015.
Women, by name only
Some say that the race was “too easy”, and there lies the problem. No race is ever going to be easy. It may appear to be so, but that’s a professional riding it. So for a pro to make this remark, and forgive me for saying this, is asking for trouble: laying blame on others, and is being shamelessly arrogant.
For those approaching the route with a more dignified attitude, are surely the cyclists who came out on top this day.
If there was any doubt, then the following video will help give some idea as to the determination and dedication that drives such professionals. In many ways, with so little support backing women’s sport (yes, it is changing), the ‘women’ have much more to prove. Complaining about it, doesn’t make it any better, but racing it with belief, does.
Women, by name only:
sCongratulations to Pauline, and all the pro-racers who made Saturday such an outstanding race!