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Gallery: Best of the Worlds 2012

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Lucy Garner (Great Britain)

Lucy Garner (Great Britain)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Norwegian fans turned out in force to cheer on their riders

The Norwegian fans turned out in force to cheer on their riders
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The finishline photo from the U23 men's race

The finishline photo from the U23 men's race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lucy Garner (Great Britain) retains her world title

Lucy Garner (Great Britain) retains her world title
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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An emotional Lucy Garner (Great Britain) after crossing the line

An emotional Lucy Garner (Great Britain) after crossing the line
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A crash in the junior women's sprint

A crash in the junior women's sprint
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) wins the 2012 Worlds after attacking on the Cauberg

Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) wins the 2012 Worlds after attacking on the Cauberg
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) in the rainbow jersey after what has been an difficult year on the bike

Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) in the rainbow jersey after what has been an difficult year on the bike
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador (Spain) was often sent on the attack to try and soften up the opposition

Alberto Contador (Spain) was often sent on the attack to try and soften up the opposition
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) launches his winning attack on the final climb

Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) launches his winning attack on the final climb
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Boonen and Gilbert talk tactics during the race

Boonen and Gilbert talk tactics during the race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2012 Under 23 world champion Alexey Lutsenko

2012 Under 23 world champion Alexey Lutsenko
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) can't believe he's won the junior men's title

Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) can't believe he's won the junior men's title
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish set the pace in the opening few laps

Mark Cavendish set the pace in the opening few laps
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Gilbert attacks and looks to see if anyone can match his acceleration

Gilbert attacks and looks to see if anyone can match his acceleration
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Oscar Freire's career ending without a famous win

Oscar Freire's career ending without a famous win
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Boonen after the finish line in the men's road race

Tom Boonen after the finish line in the men's road race
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Mrs Gilbert after her husband won the rainbow jersey

Mrs Gilbert after her husband won the rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Pat McQuaid and Alberto Contador at the start of the men's road race

Pat McQuaid and Alberto Contador at the start of the men's road race
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Great Britain take to the start line for the men's road race

Great Britain take to the start line for the men's road race
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Pure ecstasy for Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and the Dutch fans as she adds a world championship to her remarkable 2012 season.

Pure ecstasy for Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and the Dutch fans as she adds a world championship to her remarkable 2012 season.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Boonen is put under the microscope before the men’s road race

Tom Boonen is put under the microscope before the men’s road race
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The podium in the junior men's road race: Caleb Ewan (Australia), Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) and Josip Rumac (Croatia)

The podium in the junior men's road race: Caleb Ewan (Australia), Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) and Josip Rumac (Croatia)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mens road race podium: Boasson Hagen, Gilbert and Valverde

Mens road race podium: Boasson Hagen, Gilbert and Valverde
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marianne Vos (Netherlands) gave the home fans something to cheer for in the women's road race

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) gave the home fans something to cheer for in the women's road race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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After so many second places Marianne Vos (Netherlands) regained her world title

After so many second places Marianne Vos (Netherlands) regained her world title
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Stevens leads the Specialized-lululemon team to victory in the women's team time trial

Stevens leads the Specialized-lululemon team to victory in the women's team time trial
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team Sky were missing the big names for their team time trial

Team Sky were missing the big names for their team time trial
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Omega Pharma - Quick Step were in control in the team time trial and came away with the gold

Omega Pharma - Quick Step were in control in the team time trial and came away with the gold
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liquigas-Cannondale had to settle for fourth despite even leading the race

Liquigas-Cannondale had to settle for fourth despite even leading the race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Liquigas Cannondale team have a nervous wait but BMC, Orica and Omega would eventually take the medals

The Liquigas Cannondale team have a nervous wait but BMC, Orica and Omega would eventually take the medals
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A ragged BMC team cross the line for second

A ragged BMC team cross the line for second
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Specialized - lululemon were in command in the women's time trial

Specialized - lululemon were in command in the women's time trial
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Movistar train motor along in the team time trial

The Movistar train motor along in the team time trial
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Orica-GreenEdge squad had trained on the course throughout the week and took bronze

The Orica-GreenEdge squad had trained on the course throughout the week and took bronze
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The BMC team on the podium after narrowly missing out to Omega Pharma - Quick Step

The BMC team on the podium after narrowly missing out to Omega Pharma - Quick Step
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Judith Arndt (Germany) closed out her TT career with another world title

Judith Arndt (Germany) closed out her TT career with another world title
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Emma Pooley (Great Britain) was pushed into fourth in the women's race against the clock

Emma Pooley (Great Britain) was pushed into fourth in the women's race against the clock
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A huge crash in the women's race

A huge crash in the women's race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) tries to navigate through the bikes and riders

Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) tries to navigate through the bikes and riders
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The women's road race podium: Neylan, Vos and Borghini

The women's road race podium: Neylan, Vos and Borghini
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Borghini heads for the podium while Vos watches on

Borghini heads for the podium while Vos watches on
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Taylor Phinney was leading at the first time check in the men's TT but had to give way for Tony Martin

Taylor Phinney was leading at the first time check in the men's TT but had to give way for Tony Martin
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador (Spain) suffered throughout the TT

Alberto Contador (Spain) suffered throughout the TT
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tony Martin (Germany) as he crosses the line and defends his time trial title

Tony Martin (Germany) as he crosses the line and defends his time trial title
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Pinotti was in the running for bronze before a crash left him with a broken collar bone

Marco Pinotti was in the running for bronze before a crash left him with a broken collar bone
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tony Martin (Germany) lies on the ground in disbelief

Tony Martin (Germany) lies on the ground in disbelief
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Evelyn Stevens (USA) powers to silver in the women's TT

Evelyn Stevens (USA) powers to silver in the women's TT
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Boonen leads the celebrations for Omega Pharma Quick Step

Tom Boonen leads the celebrations for Omega Pharma Quick Step
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Be it the newly-integrated team time trial, the individual races against the clock or the road races - the last couple of weeks at the World Championships in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, have provided cycling fans around the world with some amazing races and stunning results.

From Philippe Gilbert's (Belgium) stunning win in the men's road race, to Marianne Vos (Netherlands) sending the home crowds into ecstasy in the women's race, the Valkenburg Worlds have provided some of the most thrilling racing this season.

It hasn't just been about the top-level professionals. Matej Mohoric, Alexey Lutsenko, and Lucy Garner have all marked themselves as riders to watch in the coming years.

Cyclingnews has put together some of the greatest moments captured by the world's best cycling photographers for our readers to enjoy.