Coryn Rivera came to the 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire with high hopes after turning around a difficult start to the season with a string of victories in September, but the American's road race never truly ignited and she was left scrambling for minor places after Annemiek van Vleuten produced a sensational 104km solo win.
Rivera came into the race as one of the USA's two protected riders alongside time trial world champion Chloe Dygert Owen and when the latter jumped into a chase group in pursuit of van Vleuten the US team looked to be in a position of strength.
But as the race wore on and it became clear that van Vleuten would not be caught, Rivera and the rest of the peloton were left isolated and eventually redundant by the time the race reached Harrogate.
Several key nations were represented in the break and with so many team leaders up the road Rivera was left twiddling her thumbs for most of the afternoon.
The former Tour of Flanders winner would eventually take 10th on the line, while Dygert grabbed a well-deserved fourth, but for Rivera there was a certain element of frustration.
"I was the protected sprinter for the day. It was a hard course do to that but we had Chloe represented in the break and I was in the front group," Rivera told Cyclingnews at the finish.
"It was really how the race played out. Lofthouse climb was hard enough where those riders could really get that kind of a gap. It takes a while for everyone to get organized on the descent and it's really narrow and technical. It took a while for the chase to get started it was just a hard course. I knew that it could play out like this but everyone also knew that it was still 100km until the finish. There's a balance and it depended on the nature of the group."
"We had Chloe in there. It's not like we missed something. If everyone was going to be in that group and stick it out then it was going to be here. That's how the cards fell and it's a shame that without radio you don't know what's going on at all."
The radio issue appeared to be part of Rivera's frustration. She added that without immediate information the attacking riders were able to establish healthy leads while the main peloton were left unsure of the situation.
"I don't really think it [racing without radios. ed] makes it exciting. I actually think it makes things pretty boring. Everyone sits up and doesn't know what to do."
"It's hard to make a call on the fly and you don't really know what's going on if someone got dropped. There's no overview at all, it's really hard to see on the boards at times and they don't float all the way back to the group, so only those at the front see them. It just makes everything an unknown. For me I don't like racing without radios. If you know who was in and who was out right away, you could chase faster."
Fourth and tenth still represent a decent showing for the US women but Rivera's hands were simply tied by how the race unfolded.
"It's too bad that I couldn't play my card fully. I still went for the sprint and gave it my best."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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