Armitstead wins women's World Championship road race

Van der Breggen second, Guarnier third

Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) claimed a well-deserved title in the women’s elite race at the World Championships in Richmond, beating Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) into second and Megan Guarnier (United States of America) in third.

"It's all you dream about as a cyclist, and it's so strange that it's mine," she said. "I won't realise it until tomorrow morning for sure."

Armitstead had gone on the attack on 23rd Street and Governor Street but was unable to force a decisive gap. Coming into the finishing straight she was forced to lead out, but she used her track experience to allow Van der Breggen to move up before coming around the Dutch rider to take her first world title on the road.

"I knew that the sprint was going to be difficult," she said. "I knew I had to lead it out in that situation, so I took it to one side of the road and dictated the sprint. I knew that if I was on one side of the road, they would have to attack me from the other.

"That was a perfect lead-out, so thank you to Anna."

At one point in the race an Armitstead victory looked far from likely with a dangerous move including several top nations a minute clear with two laps to go.

It was Germany and the Netherlands who closed the gap on the last lap, however, despite both nations having riders in the main break.

Armitstead's first attack on 23rd Street came alongside Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland), but the pair were unable distance the main field. On the lower slopes of Governor – the final climb of the race – Armitstead kicked again, but once more Armitstead was foiled by her rivals.

"My plan was always to attack on Governor Street," Armitstead said. "Probably people thought I should wait for the sprint, but I knew I needed to get rid of Bronzini and Shelley [Olds], and that's what I did. I stuck to my plan."

There would be no mistakes in the sprint though as the leading group of less than 10 riders came onto the finishing straight. Armistead was on the front but was surrounded by a number of powerful sprinters, most of whom hadn’t been as aggressive in the race.

Van der Breggen was the first to flinch, while Guarnier came from too far back to contest for the rainbow jersey. Armitstead made no mistake, banishing her demons from last year with a sprint worthy of wining the world title. 

How it unfolded

The 129.6km race took place under threatening skies in Virginia’s capitol city, but the precipitation never really materialised and riders were spared the carnage that took place at the end of the men’s U23 race the day before.

The women circled the 16km course eight times, traversing the cobbled climbs of Libby Hill and 23rd Street each lap as they pounded up the cobbles and battled the attrition that was sure to take place.

The US squad suffered serious setbacks when Lauren Stephens withdrew from the race and Shelley Olds was involved in a crash. The diminutive sprinter was unable to regain contact and abandoned several laps later.

Multiple attacks went up the road in the early going, as the bunch seemed hesitant to give anyone too much leash on the tricky, technical course. Poland’s Monika Zur eventually sneaked away and stuck a move, but the Germans eventually came to the front and put an end to her move.

With four laps down Russia’s Svetlana Vasilieva got away next for a short-lived attack, followed by a solo move from Netherlands’ Chantal Blaak. The Dutch rider pressured the bunch with a 28 second gap with less than 40km to go. A concerted chase from US rider Evelyn Stevens eventually brought her back with about two laps remaining, and the deck was shuffled once more.

Stevens’ effort split the field, and a select group of half a dozen riders started to form that included her teammate Coryn Rivera. The move didn’t stick, but counter attacks created another move that would animate the race until the final four kilometres.

In the new group were Rivera, Audrey Cordon (France), Lauren Kitchen and Rachel Neylan (Australia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Valentina Scandolara (Italy), Amy Pieters (Netherlands), Romy Kasper (Germany) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland).

The gap moved out to over a minute, and the group looked like it might be in with a chance to go to the line, but Jasinska jumped away on the final lap and created a gap. The leaders worked together to pull back the Polish rider, prompting Scandolara and Kitchen to jump away. The duo worked well together, but the favourites caught their former breakaway companions and soon had them in their sights.

They made the catch at the bottom of the hill, and the final surge to the line was on. 

Scandolara said she really believed her move would work, but the aggression in the chase doomed their chances.

"I tried to stay on the wheels, but we were too tired to keep up. I'm really happy with my race. My teammate was third until the last meters then got fourth. It was a good race for Italy."

Italy's Giorgia Bronzini was in the mix in the end, but a broken bike cost her a chance for third title.

"It's a shame Giorgia broke her bike," Scandolara said. "It could have been much better for us, but that's bike racing."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain)3:23:56 
2Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands)  
3Megan Guarnier (United States Of America)  
4Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)  
5Emma Johansson (Sweden)  
6Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)  
7Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)  
8Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)  
9Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)  
10Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)0:00:09 
11Joelle Numainville (Canada)  
12Trixi Worrack (Germany)  
13Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada)  
14Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa)  
15Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)  
16Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)  
17Tiffany Cromwell (Australia)  
18Elena Cecchini (Italy)0:00:17 
19Rachel Neylan (Australia)  
20Lizzie Williams (Australia)  
21Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland)  
22Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand)  
23Valentina Scandolara (Italy)0:00:19 
24Evelyn Stevens (United States Of America)  
25Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)0:00:31 
26Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)  
27Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)0:00:36 
28Lauren Kitchen (Australia)0:00:46 
29Katrin Garfoot (Australia)  
30Lisa Brennauer (Germany)0:00:49 
31Romy Kasper (Germany)0:00:51 
32Leah Kirchmann (Canada)0:00:52 
33Ganna Solovei (Ukraine)  
34Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania)  
35Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)  
36Alison Jackson (Canada)  
37Emilie Moberg (Norway)  
38Diana Penuela (Colombia)  
39Coryn Rivera (United States Of America)  
40Lotta Lepisto (Finland)  
41Elena Kuchinskaya (Russian Federation)  
42Eugenia Bujak (Poland)  
43Ingrid Drexel (Mexico)  
44Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation)  
45Aude Biannic (France)  
46Amy Pieters (Netherlands)  
47An-Li Kachelhoffer (South Africa)  
48Amanda Spratt (Australia)  
49Jolien D'hoore (Belgium)  
50Loren Rowney (Australia)  
51Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spain)  
52Anna Plichta (Poland)  
53Audrey Cordon (France)  
54Rossella Ratto (Italy)  
55Lenore Pipes (Guam)  
56Olga Shekel (Ukraine)0:01:11 
57Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)0:01:16 
58Anna Potokina (Russian Federation)0:01:25 
59Oksana Kozonchuk (Russian Federation)  
60Gracie Elvin (Australia)  
61Chantal Blaak (Netherlands)0:01:37 
62Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)0:02:33 
63Eri Yonamine (Japan)0:03:33 
64Jelena Eric (Serbia)0:04:52 
65Monika Zur (Poland)0:05:41 
66Ursa Pintar (Slovenia)  
67Iris Slappendel (Netherlands)  
68Laura Camila Lozano Ramirez (Colombia)  
69Anisha Vekemans (Belgium)  
70Monika Brzezna (Poland)  
71Olivia Dillon (Ireland)  
72Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)  
73Serika Guluma Ortiz (Colombia)  
74Hanna Nilsson (Sweden)  
75Camilla Mollebro (Denmark)  
76Marta Bastianelli (Italy)  
77Tayler Wiles (United States Of America)  
78Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand)  
79Hayley Simmonds (Great Britain)  
80Doris Schweizer (Switzerland)  
81Roxane Knetemann (Netherlands)0:07:34 
82Svetlana Vasilieva (Russian Federation)0:10:11 
83Daniela Reis (Portugal)  
84Varela Erika (Mexico)  
85Paola Munoz (Chile)  
86Lauren Komanski (United States Of America)  
87Jeanne D'arc Girubuntu (Rwanda)0:11:37 
88Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)0:14:00 
DNFClaudia Lichtenberg (Germany)  
DNFSara Mustonen-Lichan (Sweden)  
DNFAlice Barnes (Great Britain)  
DNFIngrid Lorvik (Norway)  
DNFMartina Ritter (Austria)  
DNFAnna Sanchis Chafer (Spain)  
DNFAmélie Rivat (France)  
DNFStephanie Pohl (Germany)  
DNFLucy Garner (Great Britain)  
DNFEnkhjargal Tuvshinjargal (Mongolia)  
DNFLija Laizane (Latvia)  
DNFPaz Bash (Israel)  
DNFMiryan Nunez (Ecuador)  
DNFCecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Norway)  
DNFCharlotte Becker (Germany)  
DNFTetiana Riabchenko (Ukraine)  
DNFKathrin Hammes (Germany)  
DNFShelley Olds (United States Of America)  
DNFAnnelies Dom (Belgium)  
DNFPascale Jeuland (France)  
DNFRoxane Fournier (France)  
DNFNatalya Saifutdinova (Kazakhstan)  
DNFZuzana Neckarova (Czech Republic)  
DNFCherise Stander (South Africa)  
DNFElise Delzenne (France)  
DNFJessie Daams (Belgium)  
DNFKaat Hannes (Belgium)  
DNFJessie Walker (Great Britain)  
DNFLauren Stephens (United States Of America)  
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Switzerland)  
DNFKathryn Bertine (Saint Kitts and Nevis)  
DNFNontasin Chanpeng (Thailand)  
DNFSofie De Vuyst (Belgium)  
DNFDenise Ramsden (Canada)  
DNFMolly Weaver (Great Britain)  
DNFTereza Medvedova (Slovakia)  
DNFDaria Egorova (Russian Federation)  
DNFYennifer Cesar (Venezuela)  
DNFMilagro Mena (Costa Rica)  
DNFKatarzyna Wilkos (Poland)  
DNFFiona Meade (Ireland)  
DNFOlena Demydova (Ukraine)  
DNFMiriam Bjornsrud (Norway)  
DNFSarah Rijkes (Austria)  
DNFJutatip Maneephan (Thailand)  
DNFSolymar Rivera (Puerto Rico)  
DNSLaura Vainionpaa (Finland)  

Related Articles

Back to top