Marianne Vos of the Netherlands blasted away from a lead group to take her third consecutive world title in Sankt-Wendel, Germany.
The 23-year-old took off on the last lap leaving behind Katie Compton (USA) and Katherine Nash (Czech Republic), who were unable to match her burst of strength and speed. They finished 17 and 20 seconds behind Vos at the line.
“They're all great but it's the last one that always seems the greatest in my mind,” Vos said after adding another rainbow jersey to her bulging wardrobe.
Home favourite Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) led the way on the first lap of the fast race in the sun and by the time the group hit the finish line for the first time, an eight-woman strong group had formed, including the winning trio. World Cup winner Sanne van Paassen (Netherlands) had an off-day in Sankt-Wendel and was off the pace. She finished sixth behind the surprisingly strong Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland).
Compton did most of the work on the front and ground the group down to the threesome, before the end of the second lap.
“I didn't look back but I didn't want to be popped in the sprint and that's why I kept the pace high. It affects the timing on the obstacles too which I prefer to take on fast,” Compton said.
After the third of six laps there was little doubt that the group of three would provide the winner. Hanka Kupfernagel was gapped at almost 20 seconds, after struggling on the slippery mud ramp and though desperately trying to come back on the leaders, she never came a second closer.
“I didn't find the rhythm on this course. During the first lap I was extremely good but then my legs weren't working when I needed them. It's fantastic to race here and I'm disappointed not to be on the podium,” Kupfernagel said.
Despite the efforts from Compton – who led the leaders for more than two laps - both Nash and Vos were able to stick on her wheel. Vos looked very comfortable but was hurting. “I crashed several times and in the last laps I was happy that I was able to stay on my bike. I knew that by making no mistakes I had a chance. The easiest tactic is following and it's often the best tactic too,” she said.
Despite being regarded as the fastest sprinter of the three, Vos accelerated in the last lap on a long climb and quickly left both Nash and Compton behind.
“On the climb I saw that I had a gap and kept going. I saw the gap increasing and kept the pace high to the finish,” Vos said.
A disappointed Compton had to settle for second place, while Nash was delighted with third place. “It's my first ever medal at Worlds so this is quite good for me. It was a very fast race and I was in good company; I'm all excited,” Nash said.
|1||Marianne Vos (Netherlands)||0:40:31|
|2||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:00:17|
|3||Katerina Nash (Czech Republic)||0:00:20|
|4||Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)||0:00:42|
|5||Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland)||0:01:10|
|6||Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands)||0:01:20|
|7||Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France)||0:01:42|
|8||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)|
|9||Sanne Cant (Belgium)||0:02:00|
|10||Sabine Spitz (Germany)|
|11||Sophie De Boer (Netherlands)||0:02:11|
|12||Helen Wyman (Great Britain)||0:03:00|
|13||Pavla Havlikova (Czech Republic)||0:03:05|
|14||Linda Van Rijen (Netherlands)|
|15||Nikki Harris (Great Britain)||0:03:08|
|16||Sabrina Schweizer (Germany)||0:03:19|
|17||Vania Rossi (Italy)||0:03:30|
|18||Sabrina Stultiens (Netherlands)||0:03:31|
|19||Elisabeth Brandau (Germany)|
|20||Katrin Leumann (Switzerland)||0:03:50|
|21||Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)||0:03:52|
|22||Arenda Grimberg (Netherlands)||0:03:55|
|23||Gabriella Day (Great Britain)||0:03:58|
|24||Martina Zwick (Germany)||0:04:14|
|25||Caroline Mani (France)||0:04:28|
|26||Amy Dombroski (USA)||0:04:33|
|27||Meredith Miller (USA)||0:04:36|
|28||Ellen Van Loy (Belgium)||0:04:42|
|29||Martina Mikulaskova (Czech Republic)||0:05:03|
|30||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA)||0:05:24|
|31||Natasha Elliott (Canada)||0:05:33|
|32||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spain)||0:06:34|
|33||Reza Hormes (Netherlands)|
|34||Aida Nuno Palacio (Spain)|
|35||Isabel Castro Cal (Spain)|
|36||Elke Riedl (Australia)|
|37||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Sweden)|
|38||Karin Aune (Sweden)|
|39||Dorota Warczyk (Poland)|
|40||Elena Valentini (Italy)|
|41||Genevieve Whitson (New Zealand)|
|42||Liga Smite (Latvia)|
|43||Laura Braziulyte (Lithuania)|
|44||Greete Steinburg (Estonia)|