World Championships: Laura Stigger wins junior women's road race

Austrian grabs gold for host nation

Laura Stigger (Austria) triumphed on home roads to become the junior women’s world champion in Innsbruck. A mountain biker by background, Stigger showed both nous and strength to win the four-up sprint at the finish, beating Marie Le Net (France) into second place while Simone Boilard (Canada) took the bronze medal. 

Stigger is no stranger to the rainbow jersey, given that she won her second successive junior cross country world title in Switzerland earlier this month, but she is a relative notice on the road. This was, she said, only her second road race – she placed 14th on the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in March – but any lack of experience was countered by her local knowledge of the tough circuit.

“No, I didn’t expect to win, I just wanted to have fun on the course because it’s my second road race,” Stigger said afterwards. “It’s incredible. Thanks to all the people on the roadside who pushed me to the limit. It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe it. I know the course, but I am from mountain biking, it’s unbelievable.”

The 70km race saw the peloton set out from Rattenberg and take on the climb of Gnadenwald before tackling one lap of the so-called Olympic circuit, built around the demanding ascent of Igls. Forcing from the Russian squad helped to split the bunch irretrievably on Gnadenwald, and they continued their forcing on the lower slope of Igls, with Aigul Gareeva and Iulia Gallimunina particularly prominent.

Stigger, however, proved to be the strongest on the climb. She sparked the winning move with a vicious acceleration on the upper slopes of Igls, having bided her time during the Russian onslaught earlier on.

Barbara Malcotti (Italy) was the first to bridge across to Stigger, followed shortly afterwards by Boilard, and that trio hit the summit of the climb with 15km to go holding an advantage of almost half a minute over the fragmented chasing group.

Boilard and Stigger collaborated smoothly on the descent with Maclotti becoming increasingly reluctant to push on the pace, mindful, no doubt, that her teammates Camilla Alessio and Vittoria Guazzini were attempting to bridge across.

That Italian tandem came within sight of the leaders as the road flattened out, but ultimately, only France’s Marie Le Net succeeded in making contact with the leaders, with a shade over 5km remaining.

Le Net’s reputation as a fast finisher – she is a Madison world champion on the track – preceded her, and Stigger attempted to shake the Frenchwoman from the group when she launched another stinging acceleration on a short rise as the break entered the city of Innsbruck.

Le Net, however, proved a redoubtable foe. After fighting her way back on, she attempted to clip away from the group just outside the flamme rouge, only for Boilard to snuff out the move.

By that point, it was clear that the winner would come from this group of four, despite a spirited chase by Guazzini and Jade Wiel (France). Malcotti, eager to secure a medal at least, led out the sprint, but had nothing left come the final 50 metres and had to settle for fourth.

Stigger, meanwhile, waited as late as possible to open her effort, and she pipped Le Net to claim a well-received home gold medal – and yet another rainbow jersey for her collection. “We were very close, my legs were burning. I gave everything I had,” Stigger said. “It’s crazy.”

This performance will surely alert WorldTour teams to Stigger’s potential on the road, though her immediate target is the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, while the mountain bike race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is a longstanding goal.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) Result
1Laura Stigger (Austria)1:56:26 
2Marie Le Net (France)  
3Simone Boilard (Canada)  
4Barbara Malcotti (Italy)  
5Jade Wiel (France)0:00:14 
6Vittoria Guazzini (Italy)  
7Camilla Alessio (Italy)0:00:29 
8Aigul Gareeva (Russian Federation)0:00:56 
9Mie Saabye (Denmark)0:01:52 
10Maina Galand (France)  
11Pfeiffer Georgi (Great Britain)  
12Erika Milena Lopez Botero (Colombia)  
13Iuliia Galimullina (Russian Federation)  
14Olha Kulynych (Ukraine)  
15Anna Baidak (Russian Federation)  
16Veronika Jandova (Czech Republic)  
17Marta Jaskulska (Poland)0:01:57 
18Eva Jonkers (Netherlands)  
19Hannah Ludwig (Germany)  
20Rozemarijn Ammerlaan (Netherlands)0:02:02 
21Lea Curinier (France)0:04:03 
22Desiet Tekeste (Eritrea)  
23Urara Kawaguchi (Japan)0:04:07 
24Alena Rytseva (Russian Federation)0:04:14 
25Katie Clouse (United States Of America)0:04:47 
26Maeve Gallagher (Ireland)0:04:56 
27Marketa Hajkova (Czech Republic)  
28Catalina Anais Campos Soto (Chile)  
29Jasmine Soh (United States Of America)  
30Elynor Backstedt (Great Britain)  
31Abigail Youngwerth (United States Of America)  
32Anastasiya Kolesava (Belarus)  
33Kelsey Van Schoor (South Africa)  
34Matilde Vitillo (Italy)  
35Alina Abramenko (Belarus)  
36Niamh Fisher-Black (New Zealand)  
37Emeline Eustache (France)  
38Magdeleine Vallieres Mill (Canada)  
39Mireia Trias Jordan (Spain)  
40Amaia Lartitegi Ormazabal (Spain)  
41Lina Svarinska (Latvia)  
42Marina Uvarova (Russian Federation)0:04:59 
43Shari Bossuyt (Belgium)0:05:47 
44Martine Gjos (Norway)  
45Amalie Lutro (Norway)  
46Nika Jancic (Slovenia)  
47Sylvie Swinkels (Netherlands)  
48Kaitlyn Rauwerda (Canada)  
49Akvile Gedraityte (Lithuania)  
50Silje Mathisen (Norway)  
51Tina Zuger (Switzerland)  
52Dorothea Heitzmann (Germany)  
53Femke Gerritse (Netherlands)  
54Lara Gillespie (Ireland)  
55Anya Louw (Australia)  
56Daniela Leitane (Latvia)0:06:04 
57Ricarda Bauernfeind (Germany)0:06:28 
58Sarah Gigante (Australia)  
59Petra Machalkova (Slovakia)  
60Tetyana Yaschenko (Ukraine)0:07:30 
61Silke Smulders (Netherlands)  
62Noemi Ruegg (Switzerland)  
63Caroline Andersson (Sweden)0:07:32 
64Tereza Saskova (Czech Republic)0:07:34 
65Julia Borgstrom (Sweden)  
66Svetlana Pachshenko (Kazakhstan)0:07:50 
67Ariana Gilabert Vilaplana (Spain)0:08:11 
68Lara Stehli (Switzerland)0:08:42 
69Katharina Hechler (Germany)0:08:45 
70Dominika Wlodarczyk (Poland)0:09:51 
71Radka Paulechova (Slovakia)  
72Lorena De La Fuente Alcalde (Spain)  
73Elizabeth Gin (Canada)  
74Danait Tsegay (Eritrea)  
75Julia Hrtankova (Slovakia)  
76Gabrielle Lehnert (United States Of America)  
77Vivien Chiu (Hong Kong, China)  
78Sofie Kielland Bjerk (Norway)  
79Tatyana Bogdanova (Kazakhstan)  
80Vita Movrin (Slovenia)0:11:52 
81Britney Kerr (New Zealand)  
82Hannah Streicher (Austria)0:11:54 
83April Tacey (Great Britain)0:13:03 
84Anzhela Solovyeva (Kazakhstan)0:14:24 
85Mette Egtoft Jensen (Denmark)0:15:05 
86Natalia Szymczak (Poland)0:15:46 
87Shoko Nakatomi (Japan)  
88Emma Christensen (Denmark)  
89Karla Kozic (Croatia)0:17:50 
90Nina Berton (Luxembourg)  
91Paulina Pastuszek (Poland)0:17:54 
92Amy Monkhouse (Great Britain)  
93Amelia Sharpe (Great Britain)  
DNFAzulde Britz (South Africa)  
DNFMarina Kurnossova (Kazakhstan)  
DNFSze Wing Lee (Hong Kong, China)  
DNFEllen Hjollund Klinge (Denmark)  
DNFTina Berger-Schauer (Austria)  
DNFDorotea Cargonja (Croatia)  
DNFKatharina Kreidl (Austria)  
DNFShira Biran (Israel)  
DNFHoi Ian Au (Macao, China)  

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