Johansson eighth at Sparkassen, remains second in World Cup battle

Sun 3 Aug 2014

Swedish champion Emma Johansson maintains second position overall in the UCI Women’s Road World Cup series, finishing eighth at the Sparkassen Giro in Germany this afternoon.

Johansson, who now sits 125 points behind leader Lizzie Armitstead (DLT), finished amongst the reduced bunch sprint after an unsuccessful attempt to escape off the front over the final climb.  Marianne Vos (RBW) took out the victory.

“We wanted to change it up a bit,” sport director Gene Bates said of today’s race.

“We wanted to conserve our riders until at least half way and have numbers to play with in the final part of the race.

“We have been quite aggressive in previous races, but we would start to run out of riders right at the finish so we wanted to keep them as fresh as possible. 

“We weren’t active at the start and no really noticeable breaks went away until the half way point.”

Once the peloton hit the half way mark, the aggressive nature of the ORICA-AIS lineup returned and the race played into their hands until the final kilometers.

“From there, the girls were great, they were really aggressive, initiating moves and really making smart decisions in the race,” Bates said.

“Valentina (Scandolara) got away with Vos and a couple of others and that was probably the most dangerous move of the day. 

“Jess MacLean then went away with a lap and a half, two laps to go.  The idea was to be aggressive and set Emma up to make an attack over the final climb and try to stay away to the finish.  

“It was all working perfectly, Emma attacked at the top of the climb. We were hoping a couple of other riders would be able to go with her and stay away until the finish but it ended up that she went solo which wasn’t ideal and got caught with 5km remaining.

“It was probably not the result we were after, we were really after a podium result today but it can’t take anything away from the way the girls rode. They made some really smart decisions in the way they rode today and it was just unfortunate that it didn’t fall their way in the finish.”