Johansson wins final stage of the Boels Rental Ladies TourSun 7 Sep 2014
Swedish champion Emma Johansson has finished ORICA-AIS’ last tour of the season on a high, winning the sixth and final stage of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour this afternoon.
A constant deliverer for the team, the victory marks Joahnsson’s tenth for the season including two national championships and the Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio World Cup event.
Johansson was thrilled with the victory after a period where constant outnumbering from Rabobank-Liv has limited her ability to capitalise on good form.
“Everyone is really happy, we worked so hard and this week we haven’t had the best luck either so it was just nice to finish it off,” Johansson said.
“We really needed this, we are strong enough and today I just managed to stay calm.
“I had some moments when a group was away and I was back in the peloton but I had the whole team backing me up the entire day and they were really doing everything I wanted them to which makes it really easy to do my part of the job.”
It was an active race all day, but the 30-year-old’s experience played into her hands, making two perfectly timed moves to see her on top of the podium.
“I knew that it was up to me to get the group back that still had over a minute with 30km to go,” Johansson explained.
“I managed to bridge across, I still brought the good riders with me but with the Cauberg climb and uphill finish this was my type of course and I think that was the perfect move.
“Then coming into the last climb of Cauberg there was still one rider away and moves over the top but then I launched another perfect attack on the last descent.
“With Tatiana (Guderzo) still being away I had someone to target when I went. I caught her back with 500-600m to go and I could just pass her and come into the line.”
Sport director Gene Bates said the team was really motivated to deliver a stage win at this week’s tour and were confident going into the final day of racing.
“It was always a course that was going to split in a million pieces and it did that pretty much right from the word go,” Bates said.
“The girls did a great job all day, the idea was to protect Emma as much as we possibly could and always have numbers in the front. We knew she had good legs and the finish really suited her so we were quite confident going into today.”
Bates commented on the team environment, a boost for the outfit heading into the team time trial at the world championships in Spain in a fortnights time.
“The feeling within the team has been great this week,” Bates said.
“It has just been getting better and better which we couldn’t be more happier with leading into the world championships.
“Yesterday we were all at the front doing a great job and then to get a win today feels like a really big team victory for us. The team is definitely on a high heading into two weeks time.”