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UCI Road World Championships 2013

Date range:
September 22-29, 2013

September 28, Elite Women road race: Montecatini Terme - Florence 139.65km

Vos repeats as women's road race world champion

Barry Ryan
September 28, 2013, 16:02,
September 28, 2013, 18:16

Johansson outsprints Ratto for silver

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) wins the road race world championship for the second straight year and third time of her career.

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) wins the road race world championship for the second straight year and third time of her career.

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Her rivals lined up to ask questions of her in the finale of the elite women's world championships road race, but Marianne Vos (Netherlands) provided an emphatic answer with a clinical attack the last time up the climb of Via Salviati.

Vos had a lead of just five seconds over Emma Johansson (Sweden) and Rosella Ratto (Italy) when she crested the summit with 3.5 kilometres to go, but that was all she needed to claim her second successive world road race title, and her third in total.

The Dutchwoman showed strength and poise to fend off the pursuers through the streets of Florence, and had time to savour her victory as she crossed the line, while Johansson out-sprinted Ratto for second place 15 seconds later.

"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."

It was perhaps the manner of Vos' single attack, rather than her margin at the top of the final climb, that broke the resistance of the elite group that had formed at the front on the penultimate lap of the demanding Florence circuit.

When Vos took the bell for the final lap, she had just Anna van der Breggen for company in a group that included the Italian trio of Rosella Ratto, Tatiana Guderzo and Elisa Longo Borghini, Emma Johansson (Sweden), Evelyn Stevens (USA), Tiffany Cromwell (Australia), Linda Villumsen (New Zealand), Claudia Hausler (Germany) and Tatiana Antoshina (Russia).

On the long haul up to Fiesole, the penultimate climb on the circuit, Guderzo and Longo Borghini took turns to attack for Italy, while Cromwell and later Stevens put in fierce digs closer to the summit. Seemingly unmoved, Vos simply feathered the pedals in the heart of the group, while her teammate van der Breggen diligently tracked the moves at the front.

Stevens tried again on the steep wall of Via Salviati, before Johansson – who had wisely allowed the Dutch, Americans and Italians dictate affairs for much of the afternoon – finally showed her hand midway up the climb.

Johansson's move shattered the leading group, but it also had the effect of stirring Vos into action. The Dutchwoman edged her way up to Johansson's shoulder and then kicked fiercely as the gradient stiffened. Vos immediately opened a small gap, but such was the purpose behind her move that it already seemed unbridgeable.

Behind, Johansson and Ratto had battled their way clear of the remnants of the leading group, which was now strewn across the hillside. Johansson, in particular, fought to breathe life into the chase, but with Ratto unwilling to contribute to the chase, she was reliant on an error from Vos if she was to have any hope of catching her.

No such error was forthcoming, and Vos even stretched out her advantage as she entered the final kilometre. By that point Johansson was resigned to her fate and, reluctant to tow Ratto to the silver medal, she sat up, all but confirming Vos' second consecutive world title.

While Italy had the greatest strength in numbers in the selection that ultimately decided the destination of the rainbow jersey, the Dutch had the greater strength in depth. Van der Breggen performed her supporting role to perfection – raising and lowering the pace as necessary, and dutifully tracking the vital moves – and she even summoned up the strength to jump clear for fourth place on the day, while Evelyn Stevens took fifth, just ahead of Villumsen, Guderzo and Longo Borghini.

How it unfolded

Low Autumn sunshine and pleasant temperatures greeted the peloton as it rolled out of Montecatini Terme, and the racing was similarly benign on the run-in to the finishing circuit in Florence, with most riders eager to save their legs for the five demanding laps around Fiesole and Via Salviati.

Once on the circuit, the American and Italian teams were conspicuous in controlling affairs at the head of the peloton. Their tempo was gradually dropping riders from the rear of the bunch every time the road went uphill and with three laps to go the leading group had been whittled down to 30 or so riders.

"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 forcing. "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."

Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) ignited the racing in earnest on the third to last lap when she hurtled after Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) on the descent of Fiesole. Although she was pegged back shortly afterwards, Cromwell was undeterred and remained an aggressive presence every time the road plunged downhill.

On the penultimate lap the climb of Fiesole forced another selection, with Stevens and van der Breggen's pressing shedding a number of riders, including Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) and Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), from the leading group. When Ratto followed up on Via Salviati, the leading group was whittled down to just eleven riders as they approached the final lap.

The three Italian riders deliberated on the front as they came through the finish line for the penultimate time, and they duly set about probing Vos as soon as the road climbed towards Fiesole. But as is so often the case, Vos had the final word.

Full Results
1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3:44:00  
2 Emma Johansson (Sweden) 0:00:15  
3 Rossella Ratto (Italy)    
4 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 0:00:33  
5 Evelyn Stevens (United States of America) 0:00:46  
6 Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand) 0:00:50  
7 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 0:00:52  
8 Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)    
9 Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) 0:01:40  
10 Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation)    
11 Elena Kuchinskaya (Russian Federation) 0:02:41  
12 Claudia Häusler (Germany) 0:03:34  
13 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 0:04:20  
14 Megan Guarnier (United States of America) 0:04:41  
15 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands) 0:05:03  
16 Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands)    
17 Paulina Brzezna (Poland)    
18 Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 0:05:05  
19 Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) 0:05:28  
20 Trixi Worrack (Germany)    
21 Eugenia Bujak (Poland)    
22 Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa)    
23 Flavia Oliveira (Brazil)    
24 Francesca Cauz (Italy) 0:05:30  
25 Carlee Taylor (Australia)    
26 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) 0:05:35  
27 Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) 0:06:44  
28 Valentina Scandolara (Italy) 0:07:40  
29 Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)    
30 Oxana Kozonchuk (Russian Federation)    
31 Shara Gillow (Australia)    
32 Kristin McGrath (United States of America)    
33 Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada)    
34 Edwige Pitel (France)    
35 Doris Schweizer (Switzerland) 0:07:46  
36 Tetyana Riabchenko (Ukraine) 0:08:51  
37 Mara Abbott (United States of America) 0:09:40  
38 Miriam Bjørnsrud (Norway) 0:12:09  
39 Liesbet De Vocht (Belgium)    
40 Eri Yonamine (Japan)    
41 Susanna Zorzi (Italy)    
42 Inga Cilvinaite (Lithuania)    
43 Anastasiya Chulkova (Russian Federation) 0:13:00  
44 Andrea Dvorak (United States of America)    
45 Eivgenia Vysotska (Ukraine)    
46 Anna Sanchis Chafer (Spain)    
DNF Noemi Cantele (Italy)    
DNF Hanna Solovey (Ukraine)    
DNF Audrey Cordon (France)    
DNF Madelene Olsson (Sweden)    
DNF Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)    
DNF Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian Federation)    
DNF Lorena Maria Vargas Villamil (Colombia)    
DNF Maaike Polspoel (Belgium)    
DNF Reta Trotman (New Zealand)    
DNF Enkhjargal Tuvshinjargal (Mongolia)    
DNF Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Norway)    
DNF Paz Bash (Israel)    
DNF Uenia Fernandes Da Souza (Brazil)    
DNF Aude Biannic (France)    
DNF Amanda Spratt (Australia)    
DNF Elise Delzenne (France)    
DNF Olivia Dillon (Ireland)    
DNF Melanie Späth (Ireland)    
DNF Ingrid Lorvik (Norway)    
DNF Julie Leth (Denmark)    
DNF Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania)    
DNF Diana Peñuela (Colombia)    
DNF Agne Silinyte (Lithuania)    
DNF Špela Kern (Slovenia)    
DNF Malgorzta Jasinska (Poland)    
DNF Patricia Schwager (Switzerland)    
DNF Lex Albrecht (Canada)    
DNF Romy Kasper (Germany)    
DNF Lisa Brennauer (Germany)    
DNF Leah Kirchmann (Canada)    
DNF Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spain)    
DNF Denise Ramsden (Canada)    
DNF Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)    
DNF Ursa Pintar (Slovenia)    
DNF Carolina Rodriguez Gutierrez (Mexico)    
DNF Amy Cure (Australia)    
DNF Gracie Elvin (Australia)    
DNF Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)    
DNF Annelies Van Doorslaer (Belgium)    
DNF Sofie De Vuyst (Belgium)    
DNF Esther Fennel (Germany)    
DNF Andrea Graus (Austria)    
DNF Martina Ritter (Austria)    
DNF Daniela Pintarelli (Austria)    
DNF Sara Mustonen (Sweden)    
DNF Joelle Numainville (Canada)    
DNF Amy Pieters (Netherlands)    
DNF Minami Ueno (Japan)    
DNF Ana Fagua (Colombia)    
DNF Lilibeth Chacon Garcia (Venezuela)    
DNF Belen Lopez Morales (Spain)    
DNF Vita Heine (Latvia)    
DNF Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)    
DNF Sari Saarelainen (Finland)    
DNF Ingrid Drexel (Mexico)    
DNF Jessie Daams (Belgium)    
DNF Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)    
DNF Katie Colclough (Great Britain)    
DNF Nikki Harris (Great Britain)    
DNF Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands)    
DNF Lelizaveta Oshurkova (Ukraine)    
DNF Silvija Latozaite (Lithuania)    
DNF Ivanna Borovychenko (Ukraine)    
DNF Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)    
DNF Lauren Kitchen (Australia)    
DNF Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic)    
DNF Ana Teresa Casas Bonilla (Mexico)    
DNF Edith Guillen (Costa Rica)    
DNF Diána Szurominé Pulsfort (Hungary)    
DNF Nontasin Chanpeng (Thailand)    
DNF Jutatip Maneephan (Thailand)    
DNF Antonela Ferencic (Croatia)    
DNF Clemilda Fernandes Silva (Brazil)    
DNF Supaksorn Nuntana (Thailand)    
DNF Kathryn Bertine (Saint Kitts and Nevis)    
DNF Véronique Fortin (Canada)    
DNF Katazina Sosna (Lithuania)    
DNF Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France)    
DNF Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)    
DNF Jessica Kihlbom (Sweden)    
DNF Céline Van Severen (Belgium)    
DNF Svetlana Stolbova (Russian Federation)    
DNF Hanna Nilsson (Sweden)    
DNF Martina Thomasson (Sweden)    
DNF Elke Gebhardt (Germany)    
DNF Karen Doljak (Paraguay)    
DNF Carmen Small (United States of America)    
DNF Jade Wilcoxson (United States of America)    
DNF Lucy Garner (Great Britain)    
DNF Emily Collins (New Zealand)    
DNF Tereza Trefná (Czech Republic)    
DNF Lotta Lepistö (Finland)    
DNF Samah Khaled (Jordan)    
DNF Cindi Magali Dinatale (Argentina)    
DNF Dragana Kovacevic (Serbia)    

For more about this week's racing see Cycling News HD

Wattie More than 1 year ago
Why did I bother watching that? It was like a detective show where you already know who the culprit was before it started. This is the problem Cookson et al will have in trying to build the profile of the women's sport: how do you market something where it seems that one competitor can effectively win anything she chooses to? Catch 22: the field is simply not strong enough in sufficient depth to make the racing competitive and if you cannot show a competitive sport to the world people are not going to want to watch it and so the necessary money will not come in and so the depth of talent will not develop. Vos is a remarkable athlete of that there is no doubt, but to be able to dominate in more or less any form of the sport from track to cycle-cross to road speaks sadly of a weak level of performance below her.
Bmo012 More than 1 year ago
...and after 20 min, this is still the only comment. By now some LA news would have generated a lot more interest than the winner of this race.
Reg Oakley More than 1 year ago
A great race with numerous attempts at breaking the presumed dominance by Vos, who put in a decisive attack when it mattered. What was there not to like? Great ride by Emma Johanson, virtually no team support, so kept a low profile and did well to take 2nd place.
Lightening Toke More than 1 year ago
Women's road racing is SO exciting!! Vos wins with a late race attack! Stellar!! This race is already better than the men's race tomorrow!
Uncle_Tod More than 1 year ago
You must be going silly.
IconKestrell More than 1 year ago
Surely you jest.
laflammerouge More than 1 year ago
I think we just need to appreciate what we're witnessing. Vos is the Eddy Merckx of women's cycling. How often does a rider like her come around?
Broth3r More than 1 year ago
Once in a lifetime is more than enough. Hegemonies of any sort are boring, period.
barthvos More than 1 year ago
Especially the French journalists were bored when Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France five times. Today's circuit obviously brought out the strongest on top after dropping more than half of the bunch by the American and Italian teams on the first climb and ten there was the tactical exchange of attacks. And then Marianne Vos attacked and proved to be the strongest. Not boring at all.
Wattie More than 1 year ago
I'm not convinced about the Merckx comparison in as afar as he was competing in an era where the sport had already reached a mature level. I think as a discipline women's road racing is still in its infancy and that there is simply not much depth to the field and that is what allows one rider to be so dominant.
Alan D More than 1 year ago
Her dominance is Merckxian (I love that word); in that she can and does win from anywhere. And make no bones about it.. there are other superb female cyclists at large so she does rate. But yes, the DNF-to-finishers ratio in the race is depressing reading. And some very good names. Here's a left-of-field thought; Bring on the Kenyan women and get the distance up to 170 km minimum i say... 10 years time the podium just may be Africanne.
WilGirod'Italia More than 1 year ago
I thought the race was quite enjoyable, actually. Vos has won 3 world's championship road races, many other times she's been beaten on a sprint. I think the other competitors deserve credit anyway - it was a tough and enjoyable race. Interestingly, Chris Boardman on BBC said after having seen not such tough selection having been made by the two climbs in the circuit in today's women and Under23 races (or at least not as tough selection as it had been expected), he views classics riders to be strongly favourites for tomorrow's men race... The rain will be a factor tomorrow - definitely raining, perhaps heavily and all day: the narrow descent from the Fiesole first climb might be a launchpad for some attacks (Nibali?)
Uncle_Tod More than 1 year ago
The favourites mentioned in previous posts here on CN are all good favourites... but what about Rui Costa, Dan Martin, Purito, et al? they all have a shot at this.
Chainstay99 More than 1 year ago
Unusually good write up from Cycling News....kudos
InterestedSpectator More than 1 year ago
Ooh, that's a bit unfair. I turn to CN for a good write-up, even if I've watched the event!
Chainstay99 More than 1 year ago
So you thought it was no better than their usual standard and you would not praise it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So women's cycling is boring because there is an amazing woman who wins most racing? Can't win on this site
Wattie More than 1 year ago
Well it all depends on how one looks at it. If one sees unpredictability of outcome as a necessary component of finding an event exciting to watch, then I think one could claim that when someone wins with such regularity many people will find it boring. I would add that one cannot blame Vos; she does what she is there for and wins, but I do think her dominance is an indicator of lack of depth in women's cycling.
Sam Birkinshaw More than 1 year ago
I don't understand women's cycling so much.. i enjoyed the race, but are there actually any pure sprinters, specialist climbers or outright time-triallers? In mens cycling you can tell who's what, but in womens cycling everyone can do everything on a level playing field.. great race, but I don't see a better future for women's cycling..unless more women step up and get better. no male cyclist would "break his pelvis in June and be in the selective group in the worlds" - impossible. Many women have started cycling just 2 years ago and are already pros.. for men that's impossible. Are these 'professionals' really professionals?
ellenbrook2001 More than 1 year ago
that very simple the girl knew where his going too hurt at the last lap to many had already burn they gun so when shes did applied pressure no one could follow in a such race you stay on the wheel you have no chance with 2 riders the AUSSIE girl was strong but idiot ride ,you do ride with legs also with your head some should know at every lap the peloton will be no more peloton just stay there then wait for the last hill
Chainstay99 More than 1 year ago
It was an exciting, very tactical race won by by a talented and experienced pro supported with a strong performance from her team-mate. These comparisons to men's cycling are pointless. Every race is different and that was a great race.
HappyJoe More than 1 year ago
The Women's race was good to watch but it will not attract the fans and sponsors when 70% of the bunch got dropped on the first climb and the leaders were riding at 15kph the last time up Frisole. When riders who are a minute down can rejoin the leaders on the past climb you know it is not hard. There are not enough high quality women to make a race exciting and it is all very predictable.