Marianne Vos wins European Championship road race

Dutchwoman tops Bronzini and Zabelinskaya in sprint

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) won her third European road race title at the 2017 championships in Herning, Denmark, beating Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) with a powerful and well-timed sprint into a headwind.

Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) took the bronze medal after also being part of a break of seven riders that formed with 25km to go. The move reduced in numbers during the final lap due to a crash that took out Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland), with Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) also distanced when Zabelinskaya attacked with a kilometre to go.

Bronzini was on Vos' wheel into the headwind sprint but was unable to come past her long-time rivals as Vos used every drop of her energy and strength to hit the line first and take her first ever European road race title.

Vos, previously the European champion in 2006 and 2007, has endured a difficult 2017 season, fracturing her collarbone at Women's Tour and so missing the Giro Rosa. She returned to win the BeNe Ladies Tour in mid-July and showed she is back to her best with her perfectly executed sprint finish.

"I'm very happy. We had a really strong team here. We knew we had the pressure, but we were ready to make it a tough race. We tried several times to get a breakaway, I was finally the lucky one to end up in a group with some strong riders," she explained.

"It's a flat race, but the circumstances made it harder and there was a top class field so it was always going to be difficult to get into a good breakaway. I'm very happy to be European champion."

A seven-rider attack

The six laps of the 20km circuit around Herning were pan-flat but the strong crosswinds and early rain made it a hard race, with the rivalry between the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and France adding an extra layer of tactics and intrigue.

Several attacks went clear in the first half of the race, including a strong nine-rider move. However, the combination of team leaders and strong nations was never right, with the peloton coming back together for the final two laps.

Zabelinskaya sparked the decisive seven-rider attack with 30km to go and Vos quickly committed. So too did Italy, with Longo Borghini sacrificing her own chances to work on the front and make sure they stayed away as France and Belgium led the chase behind. The gap on the peloton quickly opened to 20 seconds and then went up to 40 seconds as Italy and the Netherlands tried to slow any chase.

Sheyla Gutierrez (Spain) was the first to be dropped from the attack with 10km to go as the speed and crosswinds caused a fight for the best position. Then Pawlowska touched wheels and crashed hard, scattering the break. Charlotte Becker (Germany) lost contact as a result, reducing the attack to just four riders with four kilometres to go.

The peloton was only 28 seconds behind but Longo Borghini gave her all to ensure the move stayed away. She was dropped when Zabelinskaya accelerated with a kilometre to go and was cruelly caught by the peloton just before the line.

The trio left up front stayed out of reach and fought for the medals. Zabelinskaya did a long turn to ensure she took at least the bronze medal and then Vos and Bronzini fought for victory. The Italian seemed perfectly placed on Vos' wheel but the former three-time world champion knows how to take on a sprinter in a headwind. She waited late before coming off Zabelinskaya's wheel and then gave everything she had close to the barriers. Bronzini tried to come up alongside but never got more than halfway and began to fade into the wind. Vos had enough time and strength to sit up and celebrate her victory at the line.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marianne Vos (Netherlands)2:51:13 
2Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)  
3Olga Zabelinskaya (Russian Federation)0:00:02 
4Roxane Fournier (France)0:00:15 
5Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)  
6Jolien D'hoore (Belgium)  
7Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)  
8Lotta Lepistö (Finland)  
9Maria Confalonieri (Italy)  
10Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)  
11Marta Bastianelli (Italy)  
12Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)  
13Christina Perchtold (Austria)  
14Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)  
15Emilie Moberg (Norway)  
16Eugenia Bujak (Poland)  
17Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)  
18Alzbeta Pavlendova (Slovakia)  
19Jessy Druyts (Belgium)  
20Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)  
21Martina Ritter (Austria)  
22Daniela Reis (Portugal)  
23Amy Pieters (Netherlands)  
24Sara Penton (Sweden)  
25Sandra Weiss (Switzerland)  
26Ganna Solovei (Ukraine)  
27Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania)  
28Katarzyna Wilkos (Poland)  
29Beate Zanner (Germany)  
30Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland)  
31Désirée Ehrler (Switzerland)  
32Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)  
33Romy Kasper (Germany)  
34Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spain)  
35Olena Pavlukhina (Azerbaijan)  
36Janneke Ensing (Netherlands)  
37Karolina Karasiewicz (Poland)  
38Lydia Boylan (Ireland)  
39Julie Leth (Denmark)  
40Elizaveta Oshurkova (Russian Federation)  
41Camilla Møllebro Pedersen (Denmark)  
42Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)  
43Ewelina Szybiak (Poland)  
44Rotem Gafinovitz (Israel)  
45Kseniia Dobrynina (Russian Federation)  
46Sarah Inghelbrecht (Belgium)  
47Laura Vainionpää (Finland)  
48Thea Thorsen (Norway)  
49Kathrin Hammes (Germany)  
50Ana Maria Covrig (Romania)  
51Mette Fischer Therkelsen (Denmark)  
52Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spain)  
53Olga Shekel (Ukraine)  
54Ingrid Moe (Norway)  
55Monika Brzezna (Poland)  
56Nicole Hanselmann (Switzerland)  
57Shani Bloch-Davidov (Israel)  
58Line Marie Gulliksen (Norway)  
59Corinna Lechner (Germany)  
60Eugénie Duval (France)  
61Christina Malling Siggaard (Denmark)  
62Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)  
63Chantal Blaak (Netherlands)  
64Ann-Sophie Duyck (Belgium)  
65Kim De Baat (Belgium)  
66Kaat Hannes (Belgium)  
67Ilaria Sanguineti (Italy)  
68Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukraine)  
69Chantal Hoffmann (Luxembourg)  
70Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands)0:00:24 
71Michelle Lauge Quaade (Denmark)  
72Aude Biannic (France)  
73Hanna Nilsson (Sweden)  
74Audrey Cordon (France)  
75Charlotte Bravard (France)  
76Trine Schmidt (Denmark)  
77Louise Holm Houbak (Denmark)  
78Anna Plichta (Poland)  
79Elise Delzenne (France)  
80Roxane Knetemann (Netherlands)  
81Sanne Cant (Belgium)  
82Simona Frapporti (Italy)  
83Anna Stricker (Italy)  
84Valerie Demey (Belgium)0:03:09 
85Soraya Paladin (Italy)0:00:44 
86Yevgeniya Vysotska (Ukraine)0:03:09 
87Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)0:06:22 
DNFCharlotte Becker (Germany)  
DNFAntonia Gröndahl (Finland)  
DNFMinna-Maria Kangas (Finland)  
DNFRosa Törmänen (Finland)  
DNFIda Erngren (Sweden)  
DNFMia Radotic (Croatia)  
DNFMónika Király (Hungary)  
DNFAvital Gez (Israel)  
DNFOmer Shapira (Israel)  
DNFAgusta Bjornsdottir (Iceland)  

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