Emma Johansson Sprints to Sixth World Cup Podium of the Season in Plouay

Sat 31 Aug 2013

Emma Johansson was part of a five rider move that formed on the fourth of five laps in the final World Cup of the season. The lead group split in the final lap with Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv/Giant) eventually soloing to victory and Johansson besting Anna Van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies) in a two-up sprint for second.

“Emma should be really proud of herself,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “The team wasn’t at its best today. We were caught out a few times. Emma was consistent as usual and did a good job to beat Van der Breggen for second given how much work she did in the last lap.

The first two laps of the circuit race were fairly quiet. Rabobank Liv/Giant launched the first missive, sending Iris Slappendel (Rabobank/Liv Giant) up the road shortly before the second passage of the finish line.

“Not much happened until the end of the second lap,” noted McPartland. “The attacks started right before the beginning of lap three. The Rabobank riders were the main instigators, but other teams got in on the action, too.”

“We were out of position there for awhile,” McPartland admitted. “Things could have gone pear-shaped for us very quickly. We took some time to reorganise and get back under control.”

Attacks continued in lap three with solo riders and small groups breaking away from the bunch for short-lived escapes. An attack on lap four inspired the winning move. Vos, Johansson and Van der Breggen escaped with Alena Amialiusik (Be Pink) and Karol-Ann Canuel (Vienne Futuroscope).

“The group went away on the steep climb on the main highway road,” McPartland explained. “We had Emma in there, so we were happy with the move. For the next lap, the group cooperated and the gap continued to grow. They had opened up their advantage to 1’30 halfway through the last lap.”

Van de Breggen disrupted the collaboration with an attack that Vos easily followed. Johasson found herself in a rare spot of difficultly as she watched the duo power away from her.

“Emma couldn’t respond initially,” McPartland explained. “She tried to get Amialiusik and Canuel to work with her, but that was going nowhere fast. Emma realised it was absolutely critical for her to get across from to them immediately or it was never going to happen. They were riding away from her quickly. She put in one massive big effort and made it across. It was impressive.”

Johansson sat on the two Dutchwomen to recover from the energy she expended to bridge across to the leaders. She had barely caught her breath when Vos made her bid for solo glory.

“Coming into the main highway climb, Vos attacked,” McPartland said. “Anna and Emma both responded, but one of them let go of the wheel and opened up a gap. Instead of working together up the climb to chase Vos, they matched each other up the climb almost side-by-side.”

“Van der Breggen is going to Rabo next year,” McPartland added. “They may have had something to do with her unwillingness to work with Emma to bring back Vos.”

Vos soloed to victory. Johansson beat out Van der Breggen in the sprint. It is Johansson’s sixth World Cup podium of the season.

“There was no doubt that Emma was tired in the final,” said McPartland. “I’m impressed that she was still able to manage second.”

“The main goal today was to win the race today,” McPartland added. “In the back of our minds, we also had keeping Emma in second in the World Cup standings as a priority. It wasn’t the biggest goal of the day, but it was still important. We accomplished the second and put up a good fight for the first. Emma did an awesome job.”