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Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in Tuesday’s second stage of the OVO Women’s Tour, which was held at the Kent Cyclopark. Vos outsprinted Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) and Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) to win by more than a bike length.
With her victory, Vos (CCC-Liv) took over the race leader’s jersey from overnight leader Jolien D’Hoore (Boels-Dolmans), who won Monday’s opening stage.
The victory marks Vos’s second UCI Women’s WorldTour win of 2019, and her four big victory of the season. In May Vos won the final stage and the overall classification at the Tour de Yorkshire.
“I was quite surprised at the gap across the line,” Vos said. “I saw an opening at 200 meters to go. I came from the back so I thought ‘Okay if I don’t go now, I will be late’. I knew the legs were going to burn so I just kept going. I saw no wheels coming so that was, of course, a great feeling.”
The race awards time bonuses at the finish, and Vos now leads Deignan by nine seconds in the overall. Amy Pieters sits in third place, based on the time bonuses she accrued during Monday’s opening stage, where she finished second.
The 62.5-kilometer circuit race was comprised of 25 laps around the 2.5-kilometer course, which featured numerous twists and turns. The women’s field saw multiple attacks go early, with several teams committing to setting the pace on the front: Trek-Segafredo, Team Sunweb, Canyon-SRAM, and CCC-Liv.
The race featured multiple mid-race sprints, with points going toward the green jersey competition.
Vos said the racing format made for challenging action in the women’s bunch, since groups were constantly attacking and trying to gain ground. The racing dynamic forced the top women to stay at the front, Vos said.
“It was actually interesting for us to do such a thing and of course we have been looking into the parcours for the next couple of days but as I’ve said before, this race you just see day-by-day, you look day-by-day, you can’t look too far ahead, everything can happen every day,” Vos said. “Like today, I had a flat tyre: if it was five seconds later, I would have been dropped and then the tour was over. I was quite lucky.”
The race continues on Wednesday with a hilly 145.1km stage from Henley-on-Thames to Blenheim Palace.