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