Johansson 13th in Ronde van Vlaanderen comebackSun 5 Apr 2015
Swedish champion Emma Johansson has finished 13th at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, her first race since breaking her collarbone just three weeks ago.
Johansson finished third in the peloton, three minutes 30seconds behind solo winner Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling).
“It really was a victory in itself just to have Emma on the start line,” sport director Gene Bates said. “It’s just extraordinary to be able to bounce back like that, race Flanders of all races. It just shows her character and what she is willing to do for this team.”
“To then to be there in the final. She was lacking a little bit right when it really counted but we can’t be disappointed at all, she gave it everything she had.”
Earlier in the day, 38.2km was covered in the first hour of racing but the peloton remained in tact as it approached the first climb of the day, the Wolvenberg.
Despite some losing touch the race stayed together, ORICA-AIS well positioned moving into the first cobbled section that resulted in the much-anticipated splits in the peloton.
“The girls put together a really good race,” Bates said. “They rode exceptionally as a unit.”
“All six of them were always together, especially early and they put themselves in a great position coming into the first sector.
“Loes Gunnewijk and Mel Hoskins did a great job getting us there. From there is was about keeping Gracie Elvin, Valentina Scandolara and Emma is the best shape as possible leading into the final.
“To their credit in the final they did everything they could. They came up a little bit short in the final but we come out of it positive. We had a great team ride.”