The prediction for the Giro Rosa 2014 was for Rabo Liv domination and the powers that be were not wrong. From the minute the flag was dropped on the Prologue of Giro Rosa, we were shown exactly why Rabo Liv is considered the world’s best female cycling team.
Rabo Liv took all three spots on the podium for General Classification, Marianne Vos leading fellow teammates Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anna van der Breggen to enjoy their moment of glory.
However there was one rider who proved she is back on form at this year’s event. And that was none other than British rider, Emma Pooley. After a disastrous start to the 10-day stage race – an unrelenting nosebleed and mechanicals on stage one – Pooley came back with gusto in the later stages.
Proving why she is current national time-trial champion, Pooley won a total of three stages and took home the Green Jersey for the best climber. After a full year away from full time racing, Pooley showed us that she has returned to the top of the sport, her talent for climbing, stronger than ever.
“This year my Giro did not get off to the best start, but I won the most difficult stage," said Pooley. “I am returning home truly satisfied and with the knowledge that women’s cycling is growing and is gaining greater media attention."
In the fight for general classification, Vos rode with composure for the duration of the week. Along with her teammates, the race was kept under tight control, especially in the final stage. Not a threat to general classification, Emma Pooley was given ample space to ride, American Mara Abbott (United Healthcare) was not so lucky. A credit to her talent, Abbott was boxed in the field on the final climb by Rabo Liv who managed to hold on to the pink jersey for the duration of the race.
Throughout the race we were treated to exciting racing with a number of bunch sprints. The final stage on Sunday was no exception. Starting at a high pace, the peloton only started to thin out on the final climb to the finish line at Madonna del Ghisallo. With four kilometres to go Pooley attacked, building a gap which she maintained, crossing the line 25 seconds ahead of Ferrand-Prevot and Vos.
The Giro Rosa 2014 champion, Marianne Vos said, “I’m really happy with this triumph. The success is a team effort. Rabobank-Liv was always in the pink jersey and never let its guard down, winning six stages. Our team’s strength has been serenity and tranquillity."
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