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Giro Donne leader Marianne Vos won stage 8 from a three-rider breakaway to notch her fifth victory of the race.
Rabobank star on rising form ahead of Olympic Games
When Marianne Vos fractured her collarbone in May it was a small bump in her preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but the Dutch rider showed this week that it had no consequence and her form is ever increasing as she dominated the women's Giro d'Italia, the Giro Donne, for the second year in a row.
Vos came out swinging on stage 1 with a sprint victory over American Shelley Olds (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), and immediately followed this with a time trial win by five seconds over Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon).
While she conceded half a minute and her maglia rosa to Evelyn Stevens on stage 3, Vos rebounded, using her superior descending skills and new found strength on the finishing climb to Montecatini Alto on the following day to reclaim a lead she would then never relinquish.
"It was great to start out with a victory and then to also win the TT," Vos said after the final stage in a video interview with bicibg.it. "I struggled through the first hills but I was getting better and better throughout the Giro. I'm really happy my shape is improving after my collarbone fracture."
After regaining the pink jersey, Vos went on to win two more stages and come second on the final stage to Swedish champion Emma Johansson to secure her victory by a stunning 3:27 margin over Emma Pooley with Stevens in third at 6:32.
"So much happens in such a Giro. You have to keep focussed every day. It seems a long time ago we were in Naples for the start, but it was only nine days ago," Vos said. "The team gave me the confidence to win the Giro, they helped me through the stages. In the end I'm realy happy I could finish it off."