Defending world champion Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) confirmed that her victory in Doha was no fluke, zig-zagging her way through the remnants of a late breakaway of race favourites to claim the bronze medal in the 2017 UCI Road World Championships elite women's road race in Bergen on Saturday.
The 21-year-old was part of a hard-charging group that reeled in all but winner Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) from a late breakaway, with Katrin Garfoot (Australia) hanging on at the front to narrowly take silver. Dideriksen had to fight her way through to the front for bronze, but was proud to land on the podium for the second consecutive year.
"It wasn't totally my course, but I'm proud to get a medal and show I defended as well as I could," Dideriksen said in a UCI interview.
The Danish rider's group had to fight to catch an elite group that escaped, with Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen and time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten playing on their team's strength by putting the onus on others to chase down Blaak's attack. Kasia Niewiadoma (Poland) tried, as did Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) but as Blaak soloed to victory, the chasers were caught in the final few hundred metres of the race.
"I was nervous if we could catch them or not, and we did in the last corner, and I had to start my sprint early to get past them," Dideriksen explained. "I had to take the long way around the corner and then zig-zag through people to get to the front. It was 50m too short to get the silver, but I'm proud to get a medal."
Cecile Uttrup was the only other rider from the Danish team to make the selection on the final lap, and Dideriksen was pleased to have an opportunity to get on the podium.
"We did a good team effort today, and the girls tried to help me the best they could, and I'm happy to get a medal for them, also. I was optimistic, we saw in the other races that it could come back together, at least for the medals. I was optimistic, and I did the best race I could. I was in front when we started the climb and I could slowly get to the back of the group and that way get over the climbs. I did the best I could, so I'm happy with a medal."
Although Dideriksen has to give up her rainbow jersey to Blaak, she could at least take consolation in the fact that the bands went to her trade teammate.
"If I can't win it, it's OK that it's Chantal. She's a nice girl and she can be very proud of herself."