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Road Race -Vos again

Montecatini Terme - Florence140.05 km

Race Writeup

Marianne Vos (NED) won another World Title ahead of  Emma Johansson (SWE) and Rossella Ratto (ITA).

The 141 women rolled out under warm conditions for the 140.05 km race from Montecatini Terme to Firenze.  All of the top countries were represented at the front of the peloton.  

Kirsten Wild (NED) and Valentina Scandolara (ITA) set the early pace along  side the Russians, Natalia Boyarskaya and Oksana Chulkova.Everyone cautious and watching for moves and pace is quite high on the way to Pistoia. After 25 minutes of racing, the pace is being controlled by the big teams. The pace was high on the flat run to Firenze, touching 44km/hr.

An early mechanical for Christine Majerus (LUX) forced her to chase back as the peloton bunched up on the flat roads to Valenzatico.As the attacks started the speed was 48km/hr, no one was getting away just yet. The Russian, Sweden and Australian team are controlling the pace after 45 minutes of racing.

The pace was high but the Russians were still controlling the pace. An attack from Swiss rider Patricia Schwager stretched the bunch momentarily. After 30km of racing the peloton were intact.

An attack from Lithuanian Katazina Sosna did not get anywhere. Then the Russian Svetlana Stolbova tried to attack but she was covered by Elisa Delzenne  (FRA).

Attack from France’s, Audrey Cordon, caused the Wild  to chase but the peloton slowed again quickly. With 100km to go the pace was being controlled by Italians and the USA’s Jade Wilcoxson.

As the peloton entered the city of Firenze the pace was extremely high. The Americans were on the front with Carmen Small and Jade Wilcoxson setting the pace. The Italians sent Valentina Scandolara up to keep an eye on proceedings, the Germans sent Lisa Brennauer.

The peloton started the laps after 1 hour 22 minutes of racing. Leading the peloton across the line were, Evie Stephens and Jade Wilcoxson  (USA), Wild, Sophie Vuyst, Maaike Polspoel and Liesbet De Vocht (BEL), Susanna Zorzi (ITA), Brennauer (GER), Andrea Dvorak (USA), Amy Pieters (NED), Giorgia Bronzini (ITA), Ellen van Dijk (NED), Lauren Kitchen and Tiffany Cromwell (AUS), Aude Biannic (FRA) and Jo Kiesanowski (NZL)

The pace was high as the peloton approached the climb for the first time up the climb to Fiesole: 4,37 km at 5,2% average and 9% max. As predict the attacks started on the fast downhill. Doris Schwizer (SWI) attacked and she was riding at 57km/hr . She was joined by Belgian Liesbet De Vocht as they approached the Via Salviati climb, 10,2% avg,16% max. The leaders reached 70km/hr on the run back into Firenze

At the front of the race, Maarike Polspoel (BEL) attacked and managed to gain a small lead as they approached the start/finish line to get 4 laps to go. After 1 hour 49 minutes of racing. Polspoel had a 14 second lead as she crossed the line.

All the key riders are in the main group of 46 riders. The Americans had a five riders, Italy had 7, Australia had 3, Norway 1, Switzerland 2, South African 1 Poland, 4, Netherlands 5, Russians 2, France 2, Canada 2, Germany 2, Sweden 1, New Zealand 2, British 1,

The leading group hit the climb for the second time and the peloton was down to 33 leading riders. Britain just had Armitstead but riders were dropping off on the climb, it was a real war of attrition as the leader reached speeds of 52.7km,  approaching the  Via Salviati climb again.

Brand attacked on the descent and Cromwell went on the chase. The rest of the peloton gave chase, led by the Italians. On the tough descent two riders broke free again, Brand and Ratto with 36km to go. They had a lead of 14 seconds

Worrak gave chase to the two leaders and closed the gap. Then Tatiana Antoshina (RUS) attacked, Cruz (ITA) followed and then Anna van der Breggen (NED  attacked. Stephens, Vos, Cromwell, Johansson, Guderzo and Ratto, Hausler created a break.

Van der Breggen attacked again and Stephens gave chase. A leading group of seven formed chased by Cromwell.

The leaders were, Ratto, Guderzo and Longo Borghini (ITA), Stephens (USA), Vos, and van der Breggen (NED), Tatiana Antoshina (RUS) and Tiffany Cromwell (AUS)

Ratto attacked again, but she was chased by Vos.  On the climb for the fourth time, Longo Borghini attacked, Vos went with her and Ratto and Johansson closed the gap.  Cromwell was finding it hard to stay in touch on the tough sections of the climb but managed to get back on the downhill.

At the finish line to start the final lap, the 8 leaders were joined by three chasers, Claudia Hausler (GER) , Villumsen and Antoshina.

With 14km to go the 11 leaders were riding tempo. Guderzo was having problems with her left leg at the bottom of the climb. Two more riders chased back to the leaders, Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Russian Elena Kuchinskaya.

On the climb, Cromwell attacked and van der Breggen covered the move. Ratto attacked again, Hausler and Kuchinskaya  struggled and fell back.

Vos took to the front, Stephens tried to attack and van der Breggen and Vos went with her with Longo Borghini and Johansson.

Van der Breggen attacked again, Longo Borghini and Guderzo chased with Stephens and Vos.Three riders were chasing back on the descent, Guderzo, Ratto and Villumsen.

All 8 riders were together until the final climb. Vos attacked and left the rest behind. Johansson and Ratto gave chase.

With 3.6km to go Vos had a 100m lead ahead of Johansson and Ratto. Vos rode like a woman possessed and there was no way she was going to be caught. She crossed the line with 15 seconds to spare ahead of Johansson and Ratto.


Marianne Vos (NED) could hardly contain her emotion as she crossed the line for a consecutive World Road title, "Of course it's great to defend the title. They say always it's hard to win one, but to do it two in a row it's even more difficult," Vos said. "It was especially with such strong competition, the Italians were very strong today, they made it a tough race."

Vos expected an attacking race and that was exactly how it panned out. The Americans took control early on and it worked,  "They started already at beginning of the circuit, but then we knew this was going to be a hard five laps," Vos said of the American pace. "But it was a really good race from the Dutch team. They gave me the opportunity to keep us as quiet as possible in the bunch until the last lap."

“Anna did a great job keeping the race together, pulling back attacks and that was really important. I didn’t feel too confident until the last lap although I wasn’t at the best on the longer climb, so when I saw that last lap sign I knew it had to be the moment and that I would have to go for it on the steeper climb.”

Emma Johanssonv(SWE)  was deflated at being beaten but relieve it was a silver not a bronze, “I know Marianne’s attack was really strong and I gave it a real try to pull her back when she finally sat back a little,” Johansson said, “we did get a bit closer, I felt I could almost grab her, but I realised it was no good and I had to focus on the second place.”

“I was quite isolated from the first lap onwards, and it was a very hard race, riders kept getting shed out he back. When there was a break with three Italian and two Dutch riders, it was difficult, my brain was working as hard as my legs and I think I got the best result possible.”

"I have had a great season and I knew coming into these championships that I could medal. The Swedish team worked hard early on. We have a lot of young riders and they protected me well until we reached the circuit. They ensured Igot a feed and then I was good to go," added Johansson.

Rossella Ratto (ITA) had the expectations of a nation on her young shoulders. Coming into the race in great form, Ratto knew she had a chance for a medal. On the final lap, the Italians and the Dutch were obviuosly discussing tactics, “There were three of us Italians and we decided I should stay on Vos’ wheel whilst the other two attacked. Racing in Toscana there were a lot of people supporting me here, getting that result was a dream come true.”

Tatiana Guderzo (ITA) was pleased for Rossella Rato but a little disappointed she was not on the podium, "I tried so hard to attack but I had a problem with my leg. For me this was my last World Championships and I really wanted to finish with a medal," said Guderzo

Tiffany Cromwell (AUS) had a strong ride but just could not keep pace on the really steep section of the climbs, "I enjoy the descents and I really had to use it them to my advantage to get back on and then recover to give me the chance to have an impact on the race." said Cromwell. "My goal was a top 10 and I've achieved that so I'm satisfied with my ride, but it was a hard race."

Cromwell summed up the race by adding. "This is the worlds, the strongest rider should win and Marianne was certainly the strongest out there today. "

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Country Time/Gap
Gold VOS Marianne NED 3:44:00
Silver JOHANSSON Emma SWE 15
Bronze RATTO Rossella ITA "
7 GUDERZO Tatiana ITA 52
9 CROMWELL Tiffany AUS 1.4
10 ANOTSHINA Tatiana RUS "


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