Worlds: Van Vleuten makes the impossible possible with 'crazy' 100km solo break

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) wins the world championship
Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) wins the world championship (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Annemiek van Vleuten's triumphant ride has been compared to Eddy Merckx's exploits as well as those of Alberto Contador and more recently, Chris Froome's jaw-dropping performance on the Finestre at the 2018 Giro d'Italia, but her victory in the women's elite road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire deserved its very own place in the history books.

The Dutch rider came into the race with her confidence knocked after a bruising defeat in the individual time trial but she categorically put that performance behind her with a solo 104km breakaway to claim the first road race world title of her career with a display that at points verged on the side of a procession.

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he 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 ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.