Garner sprints to win in junior women's road race

Lucy Garner (Great Britain) became the first female junior to claim back-to-back world road race championships since her fellow countrywoman Nicole Cooke, producing a powerful sprint to retain her rainbow jersey in Valkenburg.

Although Eline Brustad (Norway) put up the fiercest resistance in the 20-rider group sprint that decided the medals, she ultimately had to settle for silver behind Garner, while Anna Stricker (Italy) came home in third.

“I was training for this course all year, and I’ve been doing a lot of more hill efforts than normal,” said Garner, who had already showcased her speed in taking gold on a decidedly flatter course twelve months ago.

As was the case in Copenhagen, Garner was the figurehead of a well-drilled British squad, and she was able to rely on newly-crowned junior time trial champion Elinor Barker to lead her out in the finale. Barker hit the front shortly after passing underneath the red kite and she stayed there all the way to the final 300 metres, providing a pitch-perfect lead-out for her teammate.

“The whole team deserve this twice as much as I do,” Garner said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better lead-out than having the world time trial champion help me. When she went to the front, none of the other teams could come past.”

The bronze medallist Stricker admitted that there was little to be done against the collective force of the British team. “They were very strong, they even had the world time trial champion to do the lead-out,” the Italian said. “But in any case, my legs weren’t so great after five climbs of the Cauberg and you really feel that in a sprint.”

For Brustad, meanwhile, her medal-winning ride came as a surprise. A strong mountain biker, the Norwegian is now looking to devote more of her focus to the road. “It was not expected at all, but I’ll concentrate on road racing from now on,” she said.

More crashes than successful attacks

The 81-kilometre junior women’s race saw the peloton tackle five laps of a circuit that included the Bemelerberg and Cauberg, but for the most part, the selection was made at the rear of the peloton rather than at the front. On the final lap, Garner and her British squad found allies of circumstance in the shape of the Italian team, who deployed Alice Arzuffi on the front, and her efforts discouraged attacks and whittled down the leading group.

“Honestly, I built up the course a bit and maybe thought it would be tougher than it actually was,” Garner said. “There were small groups pushing hard over the top of Cauberg, not just on the way up it, but the most important thing was to position yourself well.”

Indeed, perhaps the greatest threat to Garner’s chances came from the spate of crashes that afflicted the nervous opening laps of the race, while the final sprint itself was marred by a crash that brought down Dutch rider Janine Van Der Meer.

Garner was ahead of the crash and proved to be the strongest in the sprint to the line, completing the first successful title defence since Nicole Cooke took her second junior rainbow jersey in Lisbon in 2001.

“Considering the results she’s had since, it’s incredible to be able to do something that Nicole has done,” said Garner.

For all of British cycling’s success this season, however, the sobering reality is that Garner will now have to move abroad in 2013 in order to continue her road career at elite level, as she leaves the junior ranks.

“I definitely want to try to move to Europe next year,” said Garner. “It would be great (if there were a British professional women’s team) because women’s cycling is becoming more and more popular. But we’ll have to see what the future holds.”

Full Results

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Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucy Garner (Great Britain)2:11:26
2Eline Gleditsch Brustad (Norway)
3Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Italy)
4Sophie Williamson (New Zealand)
5Jessy Druyts (Belgium)
6Rasa Pocyte (Lithuania)
7Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)
8Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)
9Emily Roper (Australia)
10Alicja Ratajczak (Poland)
11Kirsten Coppens (Netherlands)
12Kaat Van Der Meulen (Belgium)
13Eider Merino Cortazar (Spain)
14Lucja Pietrzak (Poland)
15Urska Kalan (Slovenia)
16Christina Siggaard (Denmark)
17Alexandra Nessmar (Sweden)
18Anastasiia Iakovenko (Russian Federation)
19Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
20Elinor Barker (Great Britain)0:00:03
21Yao Pang (Hong Kong, China)0:00:08
22Katarzyna Kirchenstein (Poland)0:00:18
23Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spain)
24Milda Jankauskaite (Lithuania)
25Segolene Leberon (France)
26Kelly Van Den Steen (Belgium)
27Corinna Lechner (Germany)
28Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy)
29Jessica Mundy (Australia)
30Claudia Buitrago Calderon (Colombia)
31Jessie Walker (Great Britain)
32Madelaine Ortmueller (Germany)
33Ilaria Sanguineti (Italy)0:00:21
34Asja Paladin (Italy)
35Addyson Albershardt (United States Of America)0:00:28
36Katsiaryna Piatrouskaya (Belarus)
37Anna Knauer (Germany)0:00:32
38Olha Shekel (Ukraine)
39Reda Kaulinskaite (Lithuania)
40Caroline Baur (Switzerland)
41Ann-Leonie Weichmann (Germany)
42Elisabeth Riegler (Austria)
43Audrey Labrie (Canada)
44Felicia Ferner (Sweden)
45Molly Weaver (Great Britain)
46Manon Bourdiaux (France)
47Demi De Jong (Netherlands)0:00:36
48Antonela Ferencic (Croatia)0:00:43
49Lotte Kopecky (Belgium)0:00:45
50Stefanie Bochsler (Switzerland)0:00:59
51Corine Van Der Zijden (Netherlands)0:01:06
52Janine Van Der Meer (Netherlands)0:01:21
53Olena Demydova (Ukraine)0:01:33
54Louise Marie Olsen (Denmark)0:01:46
55Severine Eraud (France)0:03:04
56Larisa Kristiansen (Norway)0:03:09
57Ramona Forchini (Switzerland)0:03:20
58Hanna Helamb (Sweden)0:03:27
59Allison Rice (Australia)
60Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spain)0:03:34
61Georgia Baker (Australia)0:04:37
62Svetlana Vasilieva (Russian Federation)0:05:26
63Emily Kay (Great Britain)0:06:15
64Vira Shvarchuk (Ukraine)0:08:41
65Alexis Ryan (United States Of America)0:08:46
66Gulnaz Badykova (Russian Federation)
67Grace Alexander (United States Of America)0:08:48
68Allyson Gillard (Canada)0:09:02
69Ariane Bonhomme (Canada)
70Nikola Hlubinkova (Czech Republic)0:09:15
71Aliaksandra Kazlova (Belarus)0:18:04
72Cindi Magali Dinatale (Argentina)0:18:19
73Erin Donohue (United States Of America)0:20:18
74Aranza Villalon (Chile)
75Kristina Savelieva (Russian Federation)0:20:20
76Heidi Dalton (South Africa)0:20:46
77Regisleyne Dos Santos Rodrigues W. (Brazil)0:32:02
DNFErika Varela Huerta (Mexico)
DNFKseniya Tuhai (Belarus)
DNFZavinta Titenyte (Lithuania)
DNFEva Mottet (France)
DNSSaskia Kowalchuk (Canada)


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