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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