World Road Championships 2011
Junior Road Race - Briton Lucy Garner wins gold
Friday 23 Sept 70km (5 laps)
Lucy Garner (GBR) won the Junior road race ahead of Belgian Jessy Druyts and the Danish hope for a medal Christina Siggaard.
The junior women's peloton included 9 of the top 25 riders from the 2010 championship, including Italian, Rosella Ratto. Ratto was second in 2010 and was looking to go one better in 2011.
At the end of lap 1, a touch of wheels by Grace Alexander (USA) caused a number of riders to crash in the bunch as they were about the cross the start/finish line. Newly crowned Junior World Time Trial champion Australian Jessica Allen, placed 15th in 2010 and was expected to race well, was taken down in the crash ending her hopes for a double medal.
The junior women attacked the race right from the start. The British certainly seemed to want to stir things up early on. Amy Roberts attacked and was out alone for a lap on her own. The peloton were not far behind however. She managed a maximum gap of 18 seconds before the Danish, Russians, Italians and Dutch moved to the front to close the gap. By the time they go to start the third lap the group were back together.
Immediately, Thi Tat Nguyrn (VIE) counter attacked. She did not stay away for long. The gap was closed. Briton Hanna Barnes countered, this time the Italians were onto her move and the attack was closed down.
The tall Dutch youngster Thalita de Jong attacked at the start of the 4th lap and managed to gain an advantage of 17seconds. Mieke Kroger (GER) gave chase and she was followed by the 2010 silver medalist Rosella Ratto.
The pair took three other riders with them, Ingrid Drexel (MEX), Elinor Baxter (GBR) and Italian Maria Confalonieri.
With 16km to go the lone leader was back in the group and what was left of the peloton back together.
On the short climb at the back of the circuit, Ratto attacked alone. Kroger gave chase and the pair quickly worked up a lead of 53 seconds.
The chasing peloton took some time to get organised but eventually a number of riders committed to the chase. With 2km to go the leaders were in sight.
The two tried hard to ensure that they were going to stay away but there legs said something else. With 500m to go the were swallowed up by the chase.
Initially it looked like the win would go to the Russian Svetlana Karishina would be the likely victor. The with 150m to go Garner made her move. She moved up from 15th wheel to be in 6th with 50m to go. Then she exploded and eventually won by 5m.
Lucy Garner (GBR) celebrated her 17th birthday earlier this week in Copenhagen and was awarded a late present with a Gold medal. The multi-disciplined youngster was elated to have won, "I didn’t expect this. The team worked really hard and I couldn’t have asked for more from the team. They put in early attacks and I was just trying to keep sheltered during the whole race. On the last lap there were still two riders away but I did try and give it a go but it all came back together," she said at the finish.
"At the bottom of the hill a few riders did go and I just tried to sit in because I knew that if I went early on the sprint I would blow. I felt that I timed it just right though and put my head down until the finish line," Garner said.
"On the last corner I knew that we’d caught the group and when the sprint gets going it gets pretty fast. I bided my time because I knew I couldn’t go early and with around 150 meters to go I knew it was time to go."
Jessie Druyts (BEL) was a surprised silver medalist, winning the first medal for Belgium at this years championships, "I thought the break would stay away. When I looked like it was going to come back I realised that it was a sprint and I had to be in the right position," said Druyts.
Christina Siggaard (DEN) was very happy to have won another medal for Denmark, "I was protected throughtout the race and when it came back to a sprint I knew I was in with a chance," said the tall youngster. "It was amazing riding around and seeing all of the Danish flags and people shouting for you," she added.
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