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Gallery: Looking back at the women's World Championship road race

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Joy for Marianne Vos after winning her third world title in 2013

Joy for Marianne Vos after winning her third world title in 2013
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Judith Arndt with the German flag after winning in 2004

Judith Arndt with the German flag after winning in 2004
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The peloton of the 1985 road race

The peloton of the 1985 road race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The top 3 at the 2014 road race, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Lisa Brennauer and Emma Johansson

The top 3 at the 2014 road race, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Lisa Brennauer and Emma Johansson
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The peloton ride by during the 2014 road race

The peloton ride by during the 2014 road race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Pauline Ferrand Prevot lifted up by her teammates after winning the 2014 World Championships

Pauline Ferrand Prevot lifted up by her teammates after winning the 2014 World Championships
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Lizzie Armistead would be bitterly disappointed to miss out on a medal in 2014

Lizzie Armistead would be bitterly disappointed to miss out on a medal in 2014
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Marianne Vos checks behind to see where her rivals are during the 2013 race

Marianne Vos checks behind to see where her rivals are during the 2013 race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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A fan watches the 2013 road race go by

A fan watches the 2013 road race go by
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Jeannie Longo winning one of her five titles in 1987

Jeannie Longo winning one of her five titles in 1987
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Coppi is never far from a race in Italy

Coppi is never far from a race in Italy
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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 Zinaida Stahurskaia kisses her gold after the 2000 road race

Zinaida Stahurskaia kisses her gold after the 2000 road race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1997 road race winner Alessandra Cappellotto gets large bottle of wine for her efforts, and a rainbow jersey

1997 road race winner Alessandra Cappellotto gets large bottle of wine for her efforts, and a rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The sprint for the line was close in 1997

The sprint for the line was close in 1997
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Barbara Heeb winning the 1996 road race

Barbara Heeb winning the 1996 road race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The fashion was different in 1996

The fashion was different in 1996
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Leontien van Moorsel celebrates her 1993 win

Leontien van Moorsel celebrates her 1993 win
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The 1993 podium

The 1993 podium
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Leontien van Moorsel wears her new rainbow jersey

Leontien van Moorsel wears her new rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The ever-strong Dutch team take the start for the 2013 road race

The ever-strong Dutch team take the start for the 2013 road race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Emma Pooley heads the peloton in 2012

Emma Pooley heads the peloton in 2012
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Kristin Armstrong leads the peloton in the 2008 road race

Kristin Armstrong leads the peloton in the 2008 road race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Italy got two riders on the podium in 2007

Italy got two riders on the podium in 2007
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Marta Bastianelli cries with joy after winning in 2007

Marta Bastianelli cries with joy after winning in 2007
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Trixi Worrack gathers her energy after securing silver in the 2006 road race

Trixi Worrack gathers her energy after securing silver in the 2006 road race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Marianne Vos wins her first elite world title in 2006, it would be a while before she took her next

Marianne Vos wins her first elite world title in 2006, it would be a while before she took her next
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Nicole Cooke awaits the start of the 2006 road race

Nicole Cooke awaits the start of the 2006 road race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Nicole Cooke inspects her medal after winning in 2008

Nicole Cooke inspects her medal after winning in 2008
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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A happy Nicole Cooke her 2008 win next to a disappointed looking Marianne Vos

A happy Nicole Cooke her 2008 win next to a disappointed looking Marianne Vos
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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An emotional Rachel Neylan after winning silver in 2012

An emotional Rachel Neylan after winning silver in 2012
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Joy for Giorgia Bronzini and dejection for Marianne Vos in 2011

Joy for Giorgia Bronzini and dejection for Marianne Vos in 2011
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Giorgia Bronzini celebrates her 2011 victory with her teammates

Giorgia Bronzini celebrates her 2011 victory with her teammates
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Giorgia Bronzini didn't expect to win in 2010

Giorgia Bronzini didn't expect to win in 2010
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The peloton go along the coast in the 2010 race

The peloton go along the coast in the 2010 race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The 2010 peloton

The 2010 peloton
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tatiana Guderzo wins the 2009 world title

Tatiana Guderzo wins the 2009 world title
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The top three at the 2009 World Championships

The top three at the 2009 World Championships
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The Spanish team at the 2003 road race

The Spanish team at the 2003 road race
(Image credit: Sirotti)

The women’s road race has been a part of the World Championships set-up since 1958 when Luxembourg’s Elsy Jacobs became the first woman to win the rainbow jersey. Since then, we’ve seen a total of 53 world champion’s jerseys awarded. Jeannie Longo’s five world titles on the road mean that France lead the way with 10 gold medals.

Italy have surged forward in recent times with four world champions in the last 10 years, while Marinne Vos’ success has helped the Netherlands into second in the all-time winners list. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot brought the jersey back to France last year but she will face some stiff competition from Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead if she wants to take her second.

Women’s cycling has been on an up and down road since that first jersey was handed out - much like the one they face on Saturday. Like the finish in Richmond, women’s cycling is currently on a high and the field is as strong as its ever been.

Flick through the gallery above to see photos from women’s road races gone by and click here to see our men's road race gallery

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