Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.
It took but one ‘warm-up’ race for Marianne Vos to be back on the top step of a UCI podium. The 12-time world champion won the Pajot Hills Classic today, her first UCI road race win in 18 months.
After having been sidelined with injury for 10 months, Vos (Rabo-Liv) returned to the peloton Drentse Acht van Westerveld earlier this month to ‘test her legs’. At the event, she rode in the breakaway and helped her teammate Anouska Koster secure a podium finish, while finishing in 10th place herself.
Vos went on to test her legs at the criterium van Oud-Vossemeer where she outsprinted Ellen van Dijk –who was also returning from an injury –for the win.
Her fitness seems to be returning properly as today, Vos and a stellar Rabo-Liv line-up of Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Anna van der Breggen, Shara Gillow, Thalita de Jong and Kasia Niewiadoma took out the win at the Pajot Hills Classic, a new UCI 1.2 race on the women’s calendar.
Vos kept a low profile throughout the race but was there when it counted.
At the end of the 122.4-kilometer race through Flemish territory, a group of five riders took off from the front, and although it started to look like the breakaway would make it to the finish easily, everything came back together in the final 3 kilometers. A mass sprint headed to the finish and Vos managed to outsprint Boels-Dolmans’ Megan Guarnier and Cervélo-Bigla’s Lotta Lepistö to secure the win.
With some disbelief about her own performance, she forgot to put her arms in the air. It’s the first time since Stage 3 of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour on September 4, 2014, that Marianne Vos has won a UCI race.
Could this mean that we’ll see her in Flanders this weekend?
Pajot Hills Classic (1.2) Gooik → Gooik