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Top attacks of 2012: Six moments that stand out

  • By Andrew Hood
  • Published Dec. 28, 2012
  • Updated Dec. 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM EDT
Take your pick on Marianne Vos' race-winning attacks in 2012. Our top: her home-country worlds win in Valkenburg. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

3. Marianne Vos: Take your pick

Marianne Vos was in a class by herself in 2012. In just about every race she contested, she was either winning or making the winning moves. She opened the year winning the world cyclocross championship and then blasted through the spring classics. In July, she won the Giro Donne with five stage wins along the way.

It was the Olympic road race over Box Hill where Vos reached her zenith to capture the lone cycling prize that had so far eluded her: the Olympic road race gold medal.

The 25-year-old surged clear over the Box Hill climb, drawing out three other riders. Everyone knew that Vos’s wheel was the one to follow. Following it, however, was another story. An unfortunate puncture for Shelley Olds in the final hour of racing knocked the American sprinter out of a chance for an Olympic medal. Arguably her top rival gone, Vos finished it off with a perfect sprint to strike gold.

Vos was even better in Valkenburg, attacking on the final climb up the Cauberg to win her second rainbow jersey on home roads. Fans ate it up and Vos got her just desserts, recognized as the best rider of her generation.

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Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood has covered every Tour de France since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002.

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