The 35-year-old Dutch star, a three-time road world champion and eight-time cyclo-cross world champion, has won just about every title in the sport and it seems fitting she can now add a yellow jersey to her considerable collection.
“The Cannibal” was second to Wiebes on Sunday’s opening stage on the Champs-Élysées, but this time got herself into a decisive late split entering the final lap of a circuit finish, then sprinted clear of Silvia Persico and Katarzyna Niewiadoma on the uphill drag to the line.
“It’s not revenge, it’s just beautiful,” Vos said. “We knew we had to be focused and alert with one lap to go, where it was narrow and the wind played a role.”
This was Vos’s 241st road victory – she has more than 400 in all disciplines – and one of the more significant she has recorded given the focus on this inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
“Right now, it’s definitely the best,” the Dutchwoman added. “Of course you’re here, you’re trying to be focused and take the victory. It’s beautiful and I have to thank my team.”
With winds ripping across the road, an early breakaway had been brought back with the intensity high throughout this 136km stage from Meaux, just east of Paris.
The nerves told as a number of crashes split the pack, with Marta Cavalli the most notable victim, the Italian hopeful now out of the race.
As the race broke up behind, Maike van der Duin attacked first, and a counter from Elisa Balsamo drew out Vos, Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini.
As they went back into the windiest sections of the circuit, they were able to stay clear of a disorganised peloton that finished 29 seconds down
While Vos celebrated victory and yellow, Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma both picked up valuable time on overall favourite Annemiek Van Vleuten, precisely what they need to spend the first few days of this tour doing if they are to hold her off in the mountains at the weekend.
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