Marianne Vos (Netherlands) flies the Dutch flag as she wins the 2012 road world championship on home soil.
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Dutchwoman claims Worlds gold again after five silvers
It may have been widely predicted, but Marianne Vos's victory was no less memorable for that as the Dutchwoman blazed ahead of the remnants of the leading break on the Cauberg to claim a superb solo win in the elite women's world championship road race.
From the moment Vos had charged across to the seven rider move just 30 seconds ahead of her, it was clear she was the strongest of the race. Her ability to convert that into her latest gold medal triumph - in a year which has already netted her the World Cyclo-cross title, the Olympic gold, the women's Giro and the women's World Cup - was faultless in its execution and spellbinding to watch.
"I have nearly forgotten what it feels how to have this jersey, but after five years of silver it's wonderful to have it again," Vos said.
"This year has been amazing, it started off really well in the Worlds Cyclo-cross, then it was a little stressful in May" - with a broken collarbone when in a two-up move with Sharon Laws (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) in the Parkhotel Classic, ironically enough held near Valkenburg where she triumphed today.
"But then there was the Olympics, I won the Giro d'Italia with a better build-up than I expected, I won the World Cup overall and this [the World Championships] was still coming.
"I didn't want to ruin my chances so I've been in form and keeping in shape. Then my team kept me in good training mode and now I'm here in rainbow stripes. It was a good day and I'm glad it worked out so perfectly."
As for the Cauberg and that final attack, she said, "Of course it is hard, and if you've done it seven times before you know it is going to hurt. I knew I had some energy left and I knew in this break it was possible to attack there.
"I waited till the speed was high and then I just made that attack. Of course it helps when you have done the Cauberg 100,000 times before, so I did this at the hardest spot and knew i could do this (keep the pace going) to the top then there was 'only' a kilometre and a half to go at the top. I say 'only' because there was a headwind and it was pretty hard actually."
When the break was out there and Vos bridged across she had already worked out "that it was a good move with nice riders and it was good to have Anna [Van Der Breggen, teammate] out there in front.
"We'd made a hard race, but if you have a rider ahead and can bridge across then you've already got two there.
"The plan worked out, but I told my other teammates to keep the break at 30 or 40 seconds so I could make my move. Then when we were at the foot of the Cauberg it was 35 seconds, so that was perfect."
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