Emma Johansson Sprints to Second on Elsy Jacobs Stage TwoSun 4 May 2014
Emma Johansson intended to lead out ORICA-AIS teammate Melissa Hoskins in the Elsy Jacobs stage two bunch sprint. When a crash in the final corner took Hoskins out of contention, Johansson barreled to the line in Marmar hoping to salvage a result for the team. Mission accomplished. Her sprint was good for second. Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv) took the stage win ahead of Johansson while Anna van der Breggen (Rabobank Liv) finished on bunch time to secure the overall.
“The plan was to look after Mel all day and lead her out in the finish,” said Bates. “The other girls did a really good job moving her into position. It was up to Emma and Mel in the last kilometre to get to the front.”
“Emma was doing the lead-out, so she was in front of Mel,” Bates added. “There was a big jostle coming into the final bend. Some riders went underneath and Mel got taken out, which left Emma with a clear run. She put her head down and come second across the line with Vos just in front.”
Despite short-live splits in the peloton over the QOM climb on the opening lap and repeated attacks when the race hit the circuit, the race stayed together for nearly the entire stage. Rabobank had no interest in gifting the stage to a breakaway.
“It was inevitable it was going to come to a bunch kick in the end, I think,” said Bates. “There were a lot of attacks today – on the big loop and especially when we got onto the circuit. The wind wasn’t hard enough It was a perfect day weather wise, and it all came back together every time. “
Vos gapped the field slightly on the line, taking the win by 2” ahead of Johansson. Fast finisher Julie Leth (Hitec Products) rounded out the stage podium. Johansson also delivered the team’s top overall result in seventh place at 1’22.
“The girls did a good job all weekend,” said Bates. “They did their jobs to perfection. I’m seeing some really good signs from them leading into Britain.”