Amalie Dideriksen joined Marianne Vos, Nicole Cooke and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot as one of the few riders to win both the junior and elite women's road races at the World Championships. Dideriksen has matched Vos in converting her junior title into an elite one in just two years.
At 20, she is also the youngest winner of the elite competition in almost a decade, after Marta Bastianelli won it at the same age in 2007. Dideriksen had gone into the race with modest ambitions compared to some of her rivals, and she was left surprised by the fact she was sat in the post-race press conference in her new rainbow jersey.
"It's unbelievable," a stunned Dideriksen told the press. "I'm only 20 years old and it was a goal of the future to win this race and to be able to take it now is unbelievable. I'm just really happy."
"Of course I always go into a race wanting to have the best result. I hoped for a top-10 if it went well. I didn't know how I would handle the heat. I managed to keep eating and drinking and in the end I was ok and to be able to take gold is a dream come true. I can't believe my luck."
Dideriksen had already signalled her potential a few years ago by becoming one of only three riders to have won the junior title on two separate occasions. Her first title came on the hilly Florence course in 2013, and she backed that up in Ponferrada the following season. Dideriksen's performances were enough to attract the attention of the Boels Dolmans team and she turned professional last season, winning her first race at the Lotto Belgium Tour later in the season.
She came into the race under the radar with Kirsten Wild, and Chloe Hosking touted as the pre-race favourites. Aside from an early crash, Dideriksen was kept largely out of trouble by her two teammates. She had to freelance it at the finish, however, jumping onto Wild's wheel as the Dutchwoman wound up her sprint. Dideriksen had just enough power left at the end to pass her and win by less than a wheel.
"I had a really hard time trying to get her wheel because everybody wanted it. Everybody knew that it was the sprinter to beat. I think holding her wheel was the hardest thing," explained Dideriksen.
Dideriksen's future is secure after adding two more years to her contract with the Boels Dolmans team in May of this year.
"I'm only 20 years old, and I hoped that in the future I would win the rainbow stripes," said Dideriksen. "I've got it all ready but I can still improve a lot, and I can be more consistent. I want to be a top class sprinter, and in the future I want to be able to take as many big results as possible."
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