While three-time road race world champion and five time victor on the Mur de Huy, Marianne Vos, was receiving the title as favourite for the World Cup round. It was her younger 22-year-old teammate Pauline Ferrand-Prevot who prevailed to take the win for the Rabobank-Liv team at the La Flèche Wallonne Féminine.
The 22-year-old French all-rounder was relatively unknown entering the race but said after claiming the biggest win of her career, she can only improve.
"This is obviously very good for my confidence. The season can now only get better," said Ferrand-Prevot who is in her third season with the Dutch team.
Having placed fifth at Trofeo Alfredo Binda and 11th at the Tour of Flanders, her name would be one to watch on Wednesday for the astute followers of the professional women's peloton.
"I feel good all year in order. That was also the case in Binda where I was fifth, but I believe in myself sometimes too little"
For team manager Koos Moerenhout, he knows the potential of Ferrand-Prevot and was overjoyed by her win. "That belief in herself was a barrier which she had to go through," Moerenhout said.
"She also had to learn that a course is often something of moments. You need at a time to throw everything out. Like today. This was perfect.
"If Pauline can win here after an escape, they can no longer control her. This really is not a fluke. She is still very young [but] this girl has still not reached her limits."
After claiming the win, Ferrand-Prevot embraced Vos and was quick to thank her teammate, and her team, for the work done to get across the line. "Thanks to the team and Marianne Vos. They have done everything for me," she said.
"On the way to the final climb of the Mur, Marianne said to me, "we are going to ride for you." Anna van der Breggen not feel good any more and Marianne doubted whether she could win. I felt very strong. In the first passage of the Wall, I had fire in my legs. It seemed like it just happened.
"I'm glad I could give this victory to the team. When Marianne Vos rides for you, its a special feeling. When Villumsen was gone and forty seconds ahead of the final climb, it seemed like a lot, but I didn't panick too much. Marianne said to me, "Stay calm" and "it is not over."
It was the catch of the Wiggle-Honda rider that gave Ferrand-Prevot a boost and she knew the win would be there for the taking. "When Villumsen was caught, I knew I had a chance."
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