UCI World Road Championships
21st September - 25th September
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Race Review - Road Race
The last major event of the year started on a warm Madrid day, unlike the cold start of the time trial, it was 16'C at 7.30am and although dull still at 9.00am, the temperature was around 18'C for the start. There was not any real wind on the tough course and the day only rose to about 24'C by the finish. Unfortunately, the early start saw riders arriving at the team pits and warming-up in the dark, Madrid not being fully light until after 8.00am at this time of year.
The women's race started with 131 riders representing 32 countries lined up to complete the 126km course.
With defending champion, Judith Arndt, wearing number 1, the German team led the race away from the start line. The course, on the initial look at the profile seemed to be flat, but at the start of the first climb a number of riders were dropped off the back.
The pace picked up on small decent, the led by the Swiss rider Annette Beutler. At the end of the first lap the bunch were all together. The prominent teams of the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and the USA all had riders at the front. The first lap was completed in 30 min 27sec at an average speed of 38.908km.
The reigning road race world champion Judith Arndt of Germany, who finished fourth in Wednesday's TT, had a viral infection recently and started to suffer at the back of the pack.. Three or four riders are faring even worse, and have been dropped by the pack. Most notably, Camila Ayala of Argentina and Agnes Kay Eppers Reynders of Bolivia.
The main contenders for the sprint Regina Schleicher, Bronzini, Teutenberg, all seemed comfortable in the bunch, however they, as with the rest of the bunch were watching for a possible breakaway, the obvious contenders in the Dutch and Swede, Van Poppel and Ljungskog.
There was one attempt at a breakaway just before the climb on the second by Spain's Maria Mercedes Cagigas - but the peleton pegged her back with ease just prior to the first climb of this lap.
As the riders approached the climb French rider Elodie Touffet, escaped off the front and managed to get a gap of 100m very quickly, two Belgian riders overshot the bend after Touffet's injection of pace, and hit the barriers, without going down . The bunch led by Italy, pulled her back in on the run into the start/finish straight.
At the end of the second lap the bunch remained in tact, completing the lap in total race time so far of 1 hour 04 min 40sec, average speed of 38.88 km/h.
Olivia Gollan AUS attempted to get away but the bunch reacted led by the Netherlands. The peleton has slimmed down a little with a number of riders dropping out. For a period a small group formed on the front, but they were brought back into the pack after Gollan's attack. The frenetic pace on the front of the peleton calmed down a little as they approached the climb for the third time.
On the little drag up the Asturias three riders, including Germany's Luise Keller, attempted to break clear, but it's only short lived, they are swept back up by the peleton. At the end of the third lap the bunch seemed thinned out, they crossed the line with a completed time of 1 hour 36 min 29 sec at an average speed of 39.232 km. Sweden's Monica Holler retired from the race.
A crash caused by a touch of wheels at speed brought down Japan's Miyoko Karami and Britain's Emma Pooley in her first World Championships. The Briton went down hard and received treatment but did not look in a good state.
With 57km to go the race started to liven up a little in the peleton. The pace and tempo increased, and the back-runners found it hard to stay in touch. France's Marina Jaunatre broke away chased by three riders and the peleton, however it was short lived.
A series of attacks saw Aussie Sara Carrigan, Adrie Visser of the Netherlands, Russia's Svetlana Boubnenkova and Switzerland's Nicole Brändli, the women's Giro d'Italia champion attempt to get away.
Defending champion Judith Arndt slammed down her authority with a punchy pace increase on the front of the peleton!! The German drove her rivals at an excruciating tempo, and the peleton was stretched out dramatically with just over two laps to go. Karen Thürig took over the front of the race, the Swiss TT double champion was riding with supreme confidence. Nichole Cooke GBR was sitting in 6th place as they turned to start the 5th lap. The peleton crosses over the start-finish for the fourth time to set a time of 2 hours 07min 33 sec.
Spain's Eneritez Iturriagaechevarria Mazag went off the front, she managed to get a 12" gap over the peleton and gave it her all. she managed to get a lead of 20sec. This was the first significant break of the day. This was definitely a pre-planned attack from the home star. She's managed to get a 22 seconds lead and there was a concerted effort from within the Spanish camp to jiggle things up in the peleton.
Spain's Eneritz Itturriagaechevarria Mazag was caught by the peleton, as her team-mate Maria Mercedes Cagigas, who was the first rider to try and break today, retired from the race.
Australian and Olympic champion Sara Carrigan and Britain's Nicole Cooke led the bunch up the climb with the peleton strung out behind them. As the bunch approached one of the many tight turns on the circuit the Netherlands Loes Gunnewijk went off the front and managed to get 75 meters gap on the chasing peleton. It did not last long however as the bunch brought her back in.
Nicole Brändli and Theresa Senff tried to get away but there were caught and counter attacked by Olivia Gollan and Germany's Judith Arndt, unfortunately they brought the peleton with them.
As they approached the final lap Swiss Priska Doppmann managed to get away, chased down by Russia's Boubnenkova and the peleton. Doppman was caught just before the line. There was a counter attack by the Russian Svetlana Boubnenkova as they crossed the line in 2 hours 38 min 49 sec at an average speed of 39.668km.Defending champion Judith Arndt is off the back of the peleton but reacts quickly to get back in. Two riders managed to get away, Noemi Cantele ITA and Marina Jaunatre FRA, they were chased by Russia's Yulia Martissova. The break was caught driven on the front by Joanne Somarriba Arrola of Spain. With 14km to go there were quite a few Swiss riders at the front , Nicole Cooke, of Britain, was sitting in about 15th place.
12 km to go the American Christine Thorburn managed to get 20m gap on the
climb but she could not stay away. She was caught but the Americans
continued to counter attacked with Amber Neben who managed to get a 50m 5
sec gap. The German team worked hard on the front to bring her back
in, Senff, Worrack and Arndt leading the peleton. Neben was caught with 4
km to go then there was a counter attack by Suzanne de Goede who managed
to get caught with 3 to go. She was immediately counter attacked by the Canadian
. With 1 km to go the German Judith Arndt was at the head of the
bunch, she led out teanm-mate, Regina Schleicher, who won the sprint ahead of
Cooke, Oenone Wood was third.
Results - Road Race
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