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World Road Championships 2010

 

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Road Race-  Bronzini World Road Race Champion.

Saturday 2 Oct 127.2km (8 laps)

Race Writeup

Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) completed the best sprint of her life to win and become the fourth female Italian road race world champion. Marianne Vos (NED) was second again ahead of Emma Johansson (SWE). Vos in winning another silver medal becomes the first rider in history to win a medal in five consecutive world championships. Emma Johansson (SWE) breaks the dominance of the big four female cycling countries as she becomes the first rider outside Italy, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany to grab a medal since Oenone Wood (AUS) in 2005.

The 50th running of the Women's race started and it was a beautiful day in Geelong.The sun was shining and the wind did not pick up until the later part of the race. 123 riders started the race from 35 nations.

Right from the start the Italians, British and Germans were on the front, keeping the pace high as they approach the first climb of the day. A crash saw the Singapore rider Collen Ang hit the deck as the pressure was on at the front of race. Another crash on bottom of climb split the bunch, this time it was the Canadian who hit one of the barriers. Denise Ramsden hit the ground and buckled her seat. 

At the head of the race, the British team of Sharon Laws, Emma Pooley and Nicole Cooke on front with the Dutch and Americans.

The home team had good representation in the race and the young Tiffany Cromwell, from South Australia worked hard on the front to chase down attacks. At the back of the race USA's Evelyn Stevens and Australia's Carla Ryan were involved in a touch of wheels caused by the Ukrainian. They were forced to chase back.

On second climb, the USA were on front, Amber Neben and Katheryn Mattis forced the pace. Also evident were Ruth Corset the Australian hope for a medal, the New Zealand hope, Linda Villumsen (NZL), Charlotte Becker (GER) and the talented South African Carla Swart. 

At the end of first lap the Italians were all in top 10 position as they rode along the seafront. Amanda Miller (USA) and Amanda Spratt (AUS) led them across the line to start the second lap. Corset, who had started the race on her spare bike, refused a bike change in favour of staying at the front of the race.  

Approaching second time up the climb, the Italians, Noemi Cantele and the 2009 World road champion Tatiana Guderzo were up the front as they approached the climb. Always evident on the front was Marianne Vos (NED), who moved up at bottom of climb. Pooley and Laws were on front on climb driving hard. At the back of the bunch Judith Arndt (GER), Ryan and Jennie Longo-Ciprelli (FRA) were at the back.

Katheryn Mattis (USA), Guderzo and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (GER) were on front on the climb with her team mate. Luise Keller (GER). On the decent the front of the peloton hit 77km/hr.

At the head of the race Cromwell (AUS) was doing her job, setting a fast pace for the following riders. As they approached the new bridge across the river, Olga Zabelinskaja (RUS), who won this years Thuringen Rundfahrt this year, moved to the front and attacked on the second of the climbs. This was quickly closed down and as they reached the top they were all together.  

Approaching start of the third lap. Sweden's Emma Johansson and Emilia Fahlin moved up towards the front of the race with the Americans as the bunch rode along the sea front in the last km of the lap. Amanda Miller and Theresa Cliff Ryan (USA) were on the front with Guderzo and Cantele. The bunch completed the 15.9km in 28 minutes.

For the third time up the climb, the pace was high. At the front the were the Belgians Grace Verbeke and Liesbet de Vocht who had moved up to try to attack the climb.

An attack from America Amanda Miller and South African Carla Swart stretched bunch as they hit the climb. Half way up though it was the British riders Laws and Pooley who were on front.

The early pace had taken its toll on the bunch and a lead group of 80 riders crossed the Bailey Bridge. On the climb after, NoortjeTabak (NED) moved to the front with team mate Loes Gunnewijk. An attempted attack from the Italian Eleonora Patuzzo stretched the bunch again. It was Cromwell (AUS) who chased down the attack again to keep the race together. 

At the end of third lap, the peloton were strung out up finish line. Mattis (USA) attacked and was allowed to go.  She won the last World Cup race that was held in Geelong in 2008 and quickly gained an advantage on the bunch.

The bunch did not get organised to chase and slowed a little to allow two riders to counter attack. Chasing Mattis were Valentina Carretta (ITA) and Anne Samplonius (CAN). The pair chased Mattis over climb and they were 49 seconds behind. In the chase from the bunch,  Edwig Pitel (FRA) led over the top of the climb, 1 minute 18 seconds back.

Samplonius left Carretta on decent to chase Mattis. At the front of the peloton Zabelinskaja (RUS) tried to attack again and strung out the chase for 300m and closed the gap on the two chasers. 

After 70.1km of racing, Mattis held a 2 minute 29 lead with a chasing group down to 60 riders as they approached the climb for sixth time. With the lead out to nearly 3 minutes, Cromwell was on the front again with Trixi Worrack (GER) and the gap started to come down. 

On the climb British riders Cooke, Laws and Pooley were on front with Johansson, Cantele, Arndt, Vos, Amber Neben (USA), Grace Verbeke (BEL) and Lizzie Armitstead (GBR). Chantal Blaak moved to the front for the Netherlands and with 35.4km to go, the chase group of 30 riders had the top riders in bunch with a gap to Mattis of 1 minute 22 seconds. 

The damage had been done and a number of riders including Charlotte Becker and Teutenberg (GER) were in second chase group. 

Approaching climb for the seventh time, Mattis was in full view of the riders at the front of the bunch and the gap was down to less than 1 minute.

The chase group was led by Blaak and Pooley and approximately 38 other top riders.

Pooley caught Mattis about 50m from the top of the climb and led over climb. Cantele followed Pooley over climb with Guderzo on her wheel. Guderzo immediately attacked over  and a lead group of riders formed. Neben led the decent ahead of Johansson, Vos, Arndt, Worrack, Tatiana Antoshina (RUS), Cantele, Guderzo. Pooley then the chase group. 

On second climb up Queens Park Rd, Worrack, Pooley, Vos, Arndt, Neben, Cantele, Johansson were the first over. 

Antoshina, attacked and managed to gain a gap of 10 seconds ahead of the chase led by four Dutch riders. 

On the final lap, Cantele attacked over the climb to start/finish line but could not stay away. Catherine Williams (GBR) and Natalya Boyarskaya (RUS) moved to the front to attack. Again it was the Dutch team who cloed the gap. With 14km to finish, all four Dutch riders were on the front of the race as they approached the climbs for the last time.

Lithuanian, Rasa Leleivyte moved to the front of the race with Guderzo and Loes Gunnewijk (NED) one of the three Dutch riders left but she was done after this move. A key player in the Dutch team, Annemiek van Vleuten punctured approaching climb which meant that Vos was left on her own for the final part of the race.

The final time up the big climb. Johansson and Pooley were on the front with Arndt and Vos. Cooke attacked on decent and was joined by Arndt. With 7.2km to go to the finish, Cooke and Arndt were away. Canadian Tara Whitten led the chase with Vos on her wheel. .

Cooke and Arndt worked together and at 4km to go they held a 12 second lead over the chase from Guderzo, Vos and Whitten

With 3km t go, Cooke and Arndt had 11 seconds lead over the chase group. Canadians Erin Willock and Tara Whitten led the chase and with 1km to go, Arndt and Cooke had 10 seconds lead. In the final 250m Arndt decided that she needed to start her sprint to the line. Behind, Vos had started to sprint for the line and was closing fast. Vos caught Arndt and Cooke at 90m to go. It looked like it would be a fairy tail win for Vos when Bronzini pulled off her wheel and had a clear sprint to the line. Johansson tried to go on the inside of Vos but struck a spectators arm as the barriers tightened in. This forced her to swing left and resulted in a third place on the line.

Johansson initially felt that Vos had not held her line and protested the result. On video replay it was clear that Vos had not moved.   

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Post Race Comments

Girogia Bronzini (ITA) left it to the last minute to sprint to the line off the wheel of Vos to win for Italy. "This is for Franco Balerini," said Bronzini after she crossed the line. "That was the best sprint of my life. I have so much respect for my team mates. We are the best," added the new World Champion.

Reflecting on the sprint, Bronzini added, “I started in the final metres, because I know it was the only possibility to beat Marianne [Vos], who was faster…"

Bronzini had great preparation for the event winning two stages of the Giro di Toscana, the stage two victory was very similar to the finish in Geelong. "I said to my coach that I was in good form. In the final (part) of the season, my sprint was good."

Asked about the difficulty of the course and the race, "There are many people who think that the lap is too hard to arrive in a sprint but yesterday and today we arrive in a sprint. The girls has five laps so easy for me, it was good and only three laps were hard for me."

The Italian team all supported Bronzini after she had completed the first lap and knew that today could be a sprint, "I thought OK I'm here, here's my chance and I must do my best for the Italian team because they are here for me and they work for me to find the win. I think the final was for me, only the last hill."

Like many riders, Bronzini gestured as she crossed the line. She placed her hands in the shape of a heart after as she crossed the line, "When I arrive, I did a small heart and this symbol is for my heart. "I race for my heart and I think about the person that maybe one day was with us, Franco Ballerine. The heart is the best for me when I race, and I believe in that (it) is my heart, not my legs, not my head but my heart."

The Italian team dedicated their race to Franco Balerini and Italian cyclist Marina Romoli who was involved in a training crash just outside Lecco, north of Milano, on Tuesday. She was riding with her fiancé and another rider when a car cut across her path just as she was in the middle of a high intensity interval; there was nothing the rider could to do avoid a collision and she struck the side window.

Marianne Nos (NED) was the pre-race favourite for the race and almost had the win, “In the final I felt good but I had to go for the sprint because otherwise Cooke and Arndt were staying in the lead.  I had no choice, as I wouldn’t have the gold (if I didn’t go), and I haven’t got the gold so then I think I won the silver,” Vos said. Vos was on her own in the later part of the race due to a puncture for team mate Annemiek van Vleuten, “Well of course, Annemiek, if she was there she would have maybe (lasted) longer for the sprint.  Maybe I didn’t have to go so early but that’s not how it went so I had to go.”

Emma Johansson (SWE), initially thought she should have the silver medal, as she thought that Marianne Vos (NED) had impeded her racing line in the finishing straight,  "I was feeling very strong. I had the feeling that Marianne had changed line but after watching the movie [film clip of the race], she was keeping her line. The problem was that the barriers came in. I bumped my head into one in the public. So it was a little bit annoying I had a lot more power in my legs and it was a little bit frustrating to stop more or less and go around on the other side. I am happy to have my first medal at the world championships, I am happy with that but I want more."

Other Comments:

Kathryn Curi-Mattis (USA) was the lone attacker for 6 laps of the race but could not stay away. She enjoyed her experience though, "The first two laps we were pretty quiet and then coming into the start of the third lap we wanted to start putting some pressure on the peloton; and it worked out really well because there was sort of a flurry of attacks. I told the gals I was going to put in an attack through the start/finish. It was good because the field got strung out. I put in an attack and I looked back and didn’t see anyone and at that point you are committed and so you just kind of put your head down. It would have been great to have had two or three other people with me, but at that point…it gives the other girls a free ride. The crowd was great. Every time up the hill people were cheering so it was fun," said Mattis.

Ruth Corset (AUS) was very disappointed after the elite women's road race at the 2010 UCI Road World Championships. "It was very hard, especially at the end there, and there was only Vicki [Whitelaw] (AUS) and I left at the end in the last two laps, which made it really hard and I think I just gave it everything, the whole team gave it everything, I don’t think there was anything else we could have done, it was just, it was really hard, especially on those last two laps.”

A relative new comer to racing, Corset was asked about the intensity at the start, “Yeah, it was hard positioning for the first four laps, especially on the straight, on the flat parts, which made it hard to move up before the climbs. Quite a few times I had to use a little bit of extra energy just to move up before the climbs, which made it hard as well.”

Corset started the race on the wrong bike due to a mechanical problem before the start, “No, I had to start on the spare bike before the start because there was something wrong with my gears on the other bike – so I had to change from the SRAM to the Dura-Ace, which was OK though.”

In the last two laps Corset tried to ensure she was well positioned, "I think the last two laps were really hard, when the attack went on the second-last lap I tried to go with them, and then was with them for a bit and then my legs just seized up and I was just wobbling to try and get over the top, and then there was a gap over the top so I had to drive it hard because then Vicki was dropped as well back further, so I was the only one left and had to bridge across on my own and then use every bit of energy to get across."

“I had nothing left on that last lap on the climbs – so I think the whole team gave it everything, gave it one hundred per cent today, we didn’t leave anything behind.”

Tara Whitten (CAN) after the elite women's road race Whitten discussed trying to bridge the gap to the two leaders late on the last lap: "(There were) two girls off the front, and Erinne (Willock - CAN)) tried to bring it back, and did a really good job. We came around the corner and I was right on her wheel, I let a couple girls go by and tried to get on their wheel to set up the sprint and once it started to go, I just had nothing." 

Asked whether she thought others would help her bridge the gap, Whitten added, "Well, I wasn't sure how badly people wanted it - I meant I should have been a bit more patient for other people to work but I'm never really that patient." 

Whitten was asked if she was happy with the result, "Yeah, I'm happy but I do wish I had a bit more in my legs for the sprint because I know I am capable of sprinting, it's just, at the end of a road race sometimes I have the legs and sometimes I don't." 

Reflecting on the course itself, she added "It was a tough course, but the climbs were actually a good length for me. The first climb was the longest, pretty close to a pursuit distance, which I'm pretty good at."

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Time/Gap
1 Giorgia Bronzini Italy 3:32.01
2 Marianne Vos Netherlands "
3 Emma Johansson Sweden "
4 Nicole Cooke Great Briain "
5 Judith Arndt Germany "
6 Grace Verbeke Belgium 0.03
7 Trixi Worrack Germany "
8 Rasa Leleivyte Lithuanian "
9 Lizzie  Armitstead Great Briain "
10 Carla Swart South African "

 

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