Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships elite women's road race.
Welcome back to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia, USA.
We've got the elite women's road race coming up soon. Riders are signing in right now.
The USA team signed in, with Megan Guarnier, Shelley Olds, Tayler Wiles, Coryn Rivera and Lauren Komanski all on the stage together getting big cheers from the crowd. They've also got Evelyn Stevens and Lauren Stephens here.
Komanski was a late addition to the team after she launched a formal complaint about the USA discretionary selection and won through arbitration. She replaced Allie Dragoo, her Twenty16 trade teammate.
France is on stage now wiht defending champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot the last to sign her name to the board.
Ferrand Prevot has to be the odds on favourite for the win today. She's been unbeatable in her last three Worlds, winning last year's road race in Ponderrada, then 'cross Worlds and MTB Cross Country rainbows this summer.
You can read more about her here.
The women have been immensely lucky to have the rains stop and the steep cobbled climbs start to dry out. This will improve the chances for everyone.
One rider who is in with a strong chance today is Guarnier, who won Strade Bianche and the US national championships, and led the Giro Rosa. She's on great form and ready to get the USA its first elite road race title since Beth Heiden in 1980. Read more about her here.
Italian Elisa Longo Borghini excels in these types of races - a slight, powerful rider, she can jump away on climbs like the final one up Governor Street as well as handle cobbles with ease.
We have a nice story on her teammate, double world champion Giorgia Bronzini, read it here.
Jolien D'Hoore is leading the Belgians, and she will be doing a rain dance. As a Flandrian from Gent, Belgium, she's well versed in riding cobbles and should fare well today.
We haven't managed to grab any of the Germans, but one can never discount Trixi Worrack. She's never been world champion except in the TTT, where she has all four trade team titles, and will be keen to add a rainbow jersey to her wardrobe. She has a strong team including Lisa Brennauer, who was the bronze medalist in the ITT.
The top name of many pundits list today is Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands. She won silver in the ITT and has only just emerged in the spotlight after riding in the shadow of Marianne Vos for several years.
128km remaining from 129km
The USA team stays front and center, leading out the peloton as they head out down Broad Street. It's a wide open, flat stretch that leads the riders to the trickier Monument Ave. That stretch is done with flat pavers rather than cobbles. It's rough but not as slow as the pavé.
The Norwegians are at the head of affairs, as are the Polish. The latter squad is stacked with talent, including Katarzyna Niewiadoma.
So far we have no view of any British riders, but Lizzie Armitstead is well suited to this course and as World Cup leader will be the most marked rider in the bunch. Several riders have noted they will need to have a hard race to get rid of her, or else she will just win the sprint.
USA have some American residents racing under different flags - Olivia Dillon in the green of Ireland lives in California, and Katheryn Bertine racing as Saint Kitts and Nevis. Dillon is near the front behind the USA team, being led by Lauren Stephens.
124km remaining from 129km
We're five kilometers into the race, and the peloton is still spread across the road, which is drying after a morning rain. We've got a slight attack from Colombia ahead of the descent down Main street.
Coryn Rivera is at the front, sitting behind Canada's Leah Kirchmann. We wonder if Rivera is being put in the early breakaway position.
We've had a minor spill between Sarah Rijkes (Austria) and another rider at the back of the field. The Austrian is getting a bike change and is really impatient about it. The mechanic was going for the wrong bike.
121km remaining from 129km
It will be a difficult chase for Rijkes becuase the Dutch are at the front of affairs stringing out the bunch.
Oh don't try this at home, folks - Rijkes gets a saddle adjustment on the fly, while holding on to the team car and sitting on her top tube.
They're making the turn onto 15th, heading down into Shockoe Slip past the fan fest.
Heading down Dock Street the peloton is back all together and spread across the road. It will soon be a fight for position for the Libby Hill climb with Italy at the front.
Lauren Stephens is back at the front with Komanski and Tayler Wiles leading toward Libby Hill.
117km remaining from 129km
They're on Libby Hill for the first time and we have an attack from Germany at the front - Brennauer is showing her power.
It's two Germans, Italians, Dutch and then Olds, Johansson and the rest of the bunch single file.
It's back together after the climb.
The USA is heading back to the front after being shuffled on Libby Hill. There's little time to recover before 23rd street.
They're on 23rd street for the first time with Olds, Guarnier up front, Prevot tucked in the first third. Stevens is way at the back.
Cyclingnews caught defending champ Prevot before the start. Here's what she had to say:
"I’m feeling okay. I had a bit of a cold in the last few days but I’ve tried to recover as best as possible and now we’ll just see what happens. When you’ve won a World title a few weeks before of course there’s attention but you just have to relax. There’s so much confidence though after our win yesterday in the U23 race and we want to keep the momentum and feeling going. As for my biggest rival today, that’s Lizzie Armitstead. For me she a favourite."
The peloton is mostly together after the pair of cobbled climbs - only seven more trips up them for the women. There is a lot of fighting for position from riders who were far back as they go from three lanes to two ahead of Governor Street.
114km remaining from 129km
Italy is controling the pace up the climb to the end of lap 1. There is a surge from Stevens, who had to come up from the very back of the bunch. We heard of a crash on Dock Street and wonder if maybe she had an incident.
Still Great Britain are hiding. They've got a young team behind Lizzie Armitstead, the World Cup winner.
How is Lizzie feeling? Cyclingnews caught her this morning.
"I’m just feeling ready and excited to go. It’s been a long wait since the team time trial but I’m feeling confident. At the end of the day this is just another bike race. The preparation has been perfect and I’m in the best shape possible. It’s now down to just how the race goes. There weren’t any major surprises from the earlier races in terms of how they played out but we know that every race is different. We might not read too much into the races we’ve seen before. As for the weather I think it’s perfect. We want the weather to be bad."
113km remaining from 129km
End of lap 1 and jsut about everyone is still in the bunch. It wasn't Stevens who crashed, Komanski is off the back so perhaps she went down. Molly Weaver (GB) and several others are yet to pass the finish line.
Just as we typed that, the live timing widget corrected itself and showed Komanski in the bunch. Phew.
Linda Villumsen is at the front, so far the pace is quite easy - the riders have a chance to chit chat.
Speaking of Villumsen, Cyclingnews talked to the ITT world champion today about what she's been up to since winning.
"It’s been a crazy week with not too much sleep but there’s been a little bit of training and then some hanging out in the hotel. I’ve kept focus because I knew that the Worlds didn’t end with the time trial. Everyone is still focused and the team are ready so I’m not going take that away from the other girls. Today is another day though and the course is different, the weather is different but I hope it’s a hard and fast race."
110km remaining from 129km
The riders are heading across the pavers of Monument Ave. Lauren Stephens is coming back up with Australians, a South African and Germans also moving forward.
The USA is really showing itself at the front, and the crowd shows its appreciation with thunderous cheers.
In case you missed it, we've got a video explaining our six riders to watch in this elite women's race.
Here comes Great Britain - they take charge on the trip back down Main Street. Stevens is sitting at the back of the bunch, tail-gunning it as we say in the USA>
It's a washing machine effect in the peloton, and the front constantly changes but nobody wants to attack yet. Dillon slides to the front ahead of Stephens, and now Stevens appears from nowhere, having used the false flat to mvoe up to the front.
Switzerland is now at the fore as they blast down Main Street, on the long, fast descent.
Cyclingnews asked Lauren Komanski how she was doing this morning. "I feel good. I’m excited to be a part of this team and I’m excited to race today."
Racing in front of thousands of rabid fans,s he said, was good for her form.
"I think you get a couple bonus watts for that and an extra gear that you didn’t know you had, which is nice."
Poland leads for Nieuwiadoma as they make the turn onto Dock St. Weaver makes it onto the back of the bunch after her long chase.
The peloton is flying along behind the power of Ellen van Dijk. They're passing a very nice protected bikeway.
The UCI has been encouraging host cities to invest in bike infrastructure and Richmond has added miles of bike lanes and paths. IT's been a real boost for cycling culture here.
101km remaining from 129km
Germany is leading the way toward Libby Hill - they'll be there shortly!
Staying front and centre are the Italians, but we also see Brennauer (Germany), Villumsen and Armitstead near the front.
Attack from Stevens as they make the turn onto Libby HIll.
That surge didn't give Stevens any space, but it did serve to string out the bunch. She is on the front again as they head to 23rd street.
The camera got in the way of an attack from a Russian rider, she's caught on 23rd street and they're all together.
Cyclingnews also spoke to Tayler Wiles this morning, who was excited to be in the race on home soil.
"I think it’s great. We’re really excited and really confident. Having Worlds in America is a huge boost for us. We’ really motivated to bring it home."
Riders were concerned that it would rain, but the Americans weren't concerned.
"We’re not worried about it. If it happens it happens, but we race in the rain all the time so it’s alright.
"Rain usually can make a breakaway stick easier because it’s harder to chase and go hard around the corners, so it’s definitely going to affect the race, for sure."
The team is behind Megan Guarnier today.
"She’s shown this year that she can win any kind of race on any kind of conditions, so I think we’re pretty confident."
@8aldwin Sat, 26th Sep 2015 17:42:41
Germany is in firm control on the second trip of eight up Governor Street. Charlotte Becker is back after her devastating last-minute DQ from the TTT because her bike measurements were outside the rules.
While they may have been lucky with the rain, the women are facing a stiff headwind on the finishing straight.
Tucked in the slipstream is RSA's Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. She's a dark horse favourite.
Laura Camilla Lozano was the rider attacking, but Doris Schweizer (Swi) and Stephani Pohl (Ger) shut it down. Once again, Wiles is back at the front heading back out.
Tatiana Guderzo is back at the team car, the former world champion getting advice from the coach.
96km remaining from 129km
Another attack from Colombia.
She has to weave around some of the recessed manhole covers. This may just spark a move as she's chased by two riders.
It was Diana Panuela, followed by a Ukrainian and German, but it's all back together. IF the race is not hard, it plays into the hands of riders like Armitstead, Olds, even Bronzini.
Speaking of Bronzini, she's another of the riders Cyclingnews interrupted at the start.
"I’m feeling good and I’m confident with the team. We have a number of options and the Italian team is ready to ride together, as we always do.
It’s going to be an interesting race. We learnt a lot from the road races we’ve seen already this week and this could be a final for a sprinter or a break as the French guy showed.
Women’s racing is unpredictable so you just don’t know if it’s going to be a sprint or not. There’s a number of situations and the weather could be key as it could split the race with crashes. I don’t the rain, I don’t like it at all but we must just race with whatever conditions we have and do our best."
93km remaining from 129km
We see the first glimpse of Belgium at the front. Jolien D'Hoore will also benefit from a race that's together like this.
It seems that most of the teams are reluctant to burn up riders too early, considering there are 24 significant climbs in the race.
They head around the Monument of the Confederacy and will have relief from the pavers as they turn off onto Lombardy St.
Shout out to the massive number of fans on the turn from Lombardy onto Main. The corner has been packed all week and the riders really appreciate the cheers.
@TrueBS Sat, 26th Sep 2015 17:59:23
@veloeur Sat, 26th Sep 2015 17:58:48
90km remaining from 129km
Congratulations to Austria's Felix Gall, who won the junior men's road race this morning by half a wheel.
@TourDeJose Sat, 26th Sep 2015 18:02:44
87km remaining from 129km
The bunch is down the white-knuckle descent of Main Street and streaming back under the Interstate, Rwandan rider Jeanne d'Arc Girubuntu tacked on at the back.
Poland is now raising the pace in the bunch.
Each lap, the riders pass through the gates of the Great Shiplock, part of an important shipping canal that was built in the 1850s.
They then head up Water Stret, turn around on Main and hit Libby Hill.
The Dutch lead the peloton again for Van der Breggen. Her team is looking very strong.
84km remaining from 129km
Lauren Stephens is losing contact at the back as the Dutch continue their hot pace, with Van der Breggen pushing her team to start hurting some legs.
83km remaining from 129km
Now on 23rd you can see Lucinda Brand keeping the effort strong - gaps are starting to open here and there and Guarnier is at the wrong end of it. No need to panic, yet.
One rider that has been under the radar is Joelle Numainville (Canada). Cyclingnews spoke to her this morning about the race.
"The climbs are so back-to-back, I think it’s going to be really hard. I think like the U23 race it’s gong to be very hard. But that’s good.
"I don’t think it’s going to be a big field sprint. I think it will be a small group and kind of one by one."
There is still a chance that showers can move in.
"I hope it doesn’t. That could be a real shit show with the cobbles. But if it stays like this it could be could.
"I think it’s the kind of race where you cannot hide with that kind of the finish. The girl who wins today is going to be the best one, for sure. So I think it’s a good time to show who’s in form and the best is going to win."
That effort from the Dutch has caused a lot of damage. Rivera is here for USA, but Stevens was on the wrong side of a big split, fractures happening all up and down the bunch.
Worrack is up here, Brennauer, Van Dijk, Armitstead. Numainville has made the front group.
The tempo at hte front is slowing as Rivera checks for her teammates. She's forced to mark a move from Kasper.
The race is getting much harder as the Dutch attack again.
80km remaining from 129km
It's a huge fight at the front as the Dutch throw in attack after attack ahead of the very fast feed zone.
But they think twice, slow up to get a feed.
Then, another attack.
Guarnier has made a split with about 12 riders with that attack, gaps are starting to open wider as they get a cross-tailwind.
Armitstead has made the bridge to that front split, but now the Dutch counter again. They're really punishing the Briton, throwing everything they can at her. This time Stevens marks the move for USA.
Armitstead has made the bridge to that front split, but now the Dutch counter again. They're really punishing the Briton, throwing everything they can at her. This time Stevens marks the move for USA.
79km remaining from 129km
That move was caught, now Australia attacks, with Guarnier and a Kiwi, possibly Villumsen, tacked on, but the Dutch close it down.
Poliand's Monika Brzesna attacks, and is marked by Garfoot, the fourth placed rider of the ITT. Tayler Wiles is in charge of closing that down, back together with 77.7km to go. Who will be the lucky one to breakaway?
After three laps of racing, the action is really starting to heat up, and another attack from Poland comes on the descent with 75km to go.
Monika Zur has 10m or so on the bunch, but the pace and repeated attacks over the last 8km has really hurt the peloton.
Komanski is earning her place in the team by chasing down the Pole.
Another feed zone and it's way too fast for anyone to get a bottle. One rider tries but drops hers into the bunch forcing Armitstead to bunny hop it.
Zur still has a gap, and Komanski hasn't been able to close it down.
Germany decides to close down the gap to Zur as they hurtle down Main street heading back toward the James River.
Oh no, crash - a rider looks to have lost her brakes and it's Olds who crashed. She has a problem with her bike and is in pain.
72km remaining from 129km
I think it was a Russian rider who took the inside line, too fast, and cut into the bunch. Prevot was caught up in the crash but remounted very quickly and stayed in the bunch.
The pace has slowed in the bunch as riders look around for their leaders and assess the situation. Olds is in a group - a second group that is chasing. Two French riders are in there, but it looks like it's not Ferrand Prevot.
That corner was one we thought might cause problems because the inside line exits into a manhole cover that can be slippery when wet.
Nerves are really starting to kick in, too, for the women, because crux time is coming and mistakes will be very costly.
Back into Libby Hill, the Belgians lead - D'Hoore avoids trouble by going up in first position. Emma Johansson (Sweden) is up front, too, as is an Australian, Armitstead, and we see a Frencwoman who looks like Ferrand Prevot in sixth wheel. Rivera is in there, as is Van der Breggen, albeit quite a bit far back. The Olds group is almost on the back.
Olds is in the cars but having to use a lot of power to get back on, that could hurt her sprint later.
The front group is on the fast descent toward the 23rd street climb.
67km remaining from 129km
The French lead up 23rd street -COrdon leading. Guarnier is mid-pack looking more relaxed than before. D'Hoore is now at the back after her effort on Libby Hill, looking less than comfortable.
66km remaining from 129km
10 riders hve split off the front after the climb, but the gap is minimal. The fast descent favoring the risk-takers.
Back under I-95, Worrack is at the front with Numainville, and an attack comes from the front by Russia.
Svetlana Vasilieva (Russia) has a good gap heading up Governor Street. The peloton for now are letting her burn herself up.
At the end of four laps, this is the first successful attack of the race from Vasilieva. Meanwhile the groups behind are coming together.
64km remaining from 129km
18 seconds for the Russian as the peloton crosses the line.
It doesn't look good for Olds at this stage. She not with any teammates and is still losing ground on her rivals. Svetlana Vasilieva (Russian Federation) leads by 17 seconds with 62km to go. She has a long flat section at this point as the peloton ease back at this point.
The Russian rides in the gutter, avoiding the paved section of the road as she tries to find the best line and stay out of the wind. The peloton are down to around 50 riders as Svetlana Vasilieva rather gingerly takes a left hand corner before accelerating out of the bend.
60km remaining from 129km
Lauren Stephens (USA) has pulled out of the race and we can see the NRC rider off her bike. 60km to go and the gap has moved to 23 seconds .
There's still no complete control at the front of the peloton but the Germans look to be well represented. Armitstead is near the front too, taking a bottle, although she is a little isolated from her teammates.
The rain has also held off so far but as we saw in the men's U23 race, even a few spots of rain can turn the race on its head. There's now a bit more pace in the peloton as riders start to attack before the next set of climbs. It's the Dutch who once again go on the move and the Italians are wise to it. There are reports of rain on Libby Hill.
There's a crash for Paola Munoz (Chile) but she's quickly back on her bike and chasing but up ahead the Dutch put the hammer down again - for the second time in this year's race. It looks like they have a really clear strategy up upping the pace every time there's the slightest of lulls. America are trying to close down this move but there are a flurry of other attacks from the main field as the race stretches out.
Nine riders briefly have a gap but that's closed but as soon as the move is shut down Australia - who have nine in the race - go on the attack with Garfoot on the move. She was 4th in the TT, while Svetlana Vasilieva has been caught.
Garfoot only has a few bike lengths but she keeps on pushing as the US and Germany try and close the move down.
54km remaining from 129km
Garfoot now has 10 seconds on the field and she does look strong out there, although she's out there on her own. 54km to go. If a handful of riders can bridge over to the Australian this could be a dangerous move but....
she's caught on Libby Hill and it's Stevens who sets the pace.
The American has the peloton strung out and riders are really starting to struggle. It's still Stevens on the front as the peloton head over the climb and on the descent towards the next climb.
Onto 23rd street and they hit it at full throttle with Stevens still setting the pace along with the defending champion and Armitstead both in attendance.
And now theres rain at the finish line too as Lizzie Williams (Australia) ups the pace but now it's the Dutch who are front as we approach the final climb of this lap. Everyone keeps looking back, checking to see where their leaders are.
We see Bronzini in the pack and she looks very relaxed but now Australia attack again with Garfoot going clear just before the finishline.
Black is leading the peloton after Garfoot though and it's all back together with 48km to go.
There's a gap and the US are the ones that need to shut this down as they've missed it. There are two Australians present and they've really upped the pace in this small break.
The danger is shut down though and we're all back together with three laps of racing still to go.
Olds is out of the race, having pulled out with 46km to go. She crashed earlier in the race and just wasn't able to come back.
There's another attack from the Dutch with Blaak again on the move. She has a gap this time as the rain continues to fall.
She has five seconds but it's moving out to around 10 on the flat section of the course. These wet corners could be critical as the Polish women's team set the pace at the front of the peloton.
The wind is picking up as well as the Australians set the pace. They still have strength in numbers but Blaak is still out in front and she's moved her advantage out to 20 seconds.
22 seconds now for Blaak as she takes the corner that saw Olds come down.
The rest of the Dutch riders in the back can sit back now and just wait for the next set of moves. Blaak has 28 seconds at this point with Anna Van Der Breggen and Ellen Van Dijk sitting in.
Onto Libby Hill for Blaak who won a stage of the Emakumeen Euskal Bira from a breakaway, and beat Van der Breggen in Le Samyn des Dames in March.
There are splits in the field as Trixi Worrack (Germany) kicks on. This is the first time we've seen a number of the favourites surge forward like this. Wiles is now dropped from the peloton and Blaak holds her advantage over the top of the climb.
Emma Johansson, who has been on the podium for the last two years, is also near the front of the peloton as Blaak hits 23rd street but here come the bunch with the gap now down to 18 seconds.
Armitstead, Emma Johansson, Cromwell are up there along with Ferrand Prevot. Blaack is still clear though as she descents towards the final climb of the lap.
Blaack has just 12 seconds and we've just over two laps to go. All the main favourites are still in the mix as the Dutch continue to animate the race.
Blaack is starting to climb now and she's struggling up the lower slopes as she lurches out of he saddle as Australia lead the chase.
The gap is down to just a couple of seconds but still no attacks. There are some major splits in the field though with Ferrand Prevot and Emma Johansson near the front but it's Stevens who attacks.
33km remaining from 129km
The American goes with a huge attack with just over two laps to go. She moved just on the crest of the climb and she has a gap. The peloton can't let the American ride away like this. Bronzini knows it's a dangerous move and tries to get a chase going.
Rivera has joined the leader and we have four or five leaders in the front group. It's Italy and Australia chasing. It's Cordon who is in the lead group along with Stevens and Rivera.
Four more riders are coming across and we now have nine riders in the front group, which includes Armitstead but it's all back together now. And Australia go with another attack.
Amy Pieters (Netherlands) is the next rider to try and get a move going but it's not sticking but Australia do manage to create a gap with one single rider. It's Rachel Neylan (Australia) but the gap has to only be a couple of seconds, five if you're being generous.
Rachel Neylan (Australia) was second in 2012 at the Worlds and won the Trophée d'Or Féminin overall and a stage in August.
@emoryball Sat, 26th Sep 2015 19:30:33
26km remaining from 129km
Now there's a group clear and a lot of major nations are represented. Neylan has 20 seconds on the peloton as we see that Rivera has made this second group on the road.
Ktichen is in the second group so she will not chase as we go under the 25km to go point. Fahlin is also there.
And Neylan has been caught so we have nine riders up the road with around 20 seconds on the peloton. Who will chase this? The Belgians or British?
The leaders as we have them are Cordon (Fra), Kitchen and Neylan (Aus), Fahlin (Swe), Rivera (USA), Scandolara (Italy), Kasper. The gap is at 30 seconds with 23km to go.
21km remaining from 129km
The full group consists of Audrey Cordon (France), Lauren Kitchen and Rachel Neylan (Ausralia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Coryn Rivera (USA), Valentina Scandolara (Italy), Amy Pieters (Ned), Romy Kasper (Germany) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland) and they have 46 seconds with 21km to go.
Is this the winning move as we see Australia just sit on the bunch and shut the race down. Meanwhile Rivera is just sitting at the back of the women's break.
Belgian, Canada are the only nations with the strength to chase this down as Rivera hits the front on Libby Hill.
The gap has now moved out to a minute with the American on the front and setting the pace.
The Germans are looking to bring the move back but the lead is still at one minute with 19km to go.
Armitstead is fourth wheel at the moment with Cromwell on her wheel.
And Rivera is setting the pace on 23rd street too with Scandolara on the Ameican's left. The gap is at 55 seconds and now Armitstead goes on the attack on 23rd street.
No one will work with the British rider though and the main field are probably going to come back together as the gap holds at 47 seconds.
Onto the final climb of this penultimate lap and this time Rivera is just sitting at the back of the group. The gap is still at 43 seconds though as Jasinska attacks.
It's Rivera who starts the chase. She won on this course during the test event - the collegiate nationals but right now it's Jasinska who has a gap of around 10 seconds with one lap to go.
There's no real chase from the peloton but there are a few attacks. With 15km to go Jasinska has ten seconds on the chase group but the main field further back.
It's the Australians who need to chase this move down from the Polish rider. The main field is still at 40 seconds.
12km remaining from 129km
The gap to the peloton is at one minute, surely it's over for the pre-race favourites as Jasinska holds her eight second lead. 12km to go.
10km remaining from 129km
10km go and Jasinska is still out there and the chase is starting to splinter. The peloton meanwhile have the gap at 45 seconds.
The cohesion is gone from this second group so the race is still wide open as Jasinska starts to really struggle on this false flat.
Now the chasers are starting to look at each other and two riders have gone clear from that group and it's Kitchen and Scandolara.
And now it's all back together with the lead group consisting of Audrey Cordon (France), Lauren Kitchen and Rachel Neylan (Ausralia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Coryn Rivera (USA), Valentina Scandolara (Italy), Amy Pieters (Ned), Romy Kasper (Germany) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland).
The gap according to race radio is at 40 seconds with 8km to go and it's Ktichen who goes this time with Scandolara on her wheel. The Italian is marking all the important moves.
The peloton are at 36 seconds and the Dutch are leading the chase. They have a rider in the break but they're still chasing.
6km remaining from 129km
6km to go and Scandolara and Kitchen have a slim lead before the start of Libby Hill.
The race is still wide open but the peloton need to close the gap on the break if they're to have any chance of deciding this race.
The gap is less than 30 seconds between the groups as Cordon attacks from the second group.
It looks like the Dutch have eased off as Scandolara sets the pace with Ktichen on her wheel as we start Libby Hill for the final time.
And the bunch have caught the chase group at the foot of the climb.
It's the Germans who are leading the peloton and the gap is probably less than 15 seconds.
Armitstead is near the front but still hasn't made a move yet.
Over the top of the climb and it's perfect for the Italians who have sprinters in the main field. The gap is 14 seconds on the descent. Two climbs to go.
3km remaining from 129km
And now onto 23rd street and Scandolara is on the front.
And Armitstead has attacked and gone clear with Niewiadoma.
But it's not enough and there are number of riders have gone with them and Cromwell has attacked on the descent. Armitstead closes that gap.
Cromwell on the front with Armitstead on her wheel but there are still around 15 riders in with a chance as we close in on the last climb.
And it's Brand who attacks and Guarnier leads the chase and shuts it down.
Onto the last climb and Bronzini is still there.
And Armitstead goes with a huge attack.
She can't create a gap though and it's going to be a sprint. the defending champion and Bronzini are there.
Armitstead is forced to lead it out.
And Armistead takes the world title.
She had to lead it out from the front and she simply had too much for the other riders around her.
Anna Van Der Breggen looked like she was on even terms at one point with around 150 to go and Guarnier came from a long way back to take third.
1 Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) 3:23:56
2 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands)
3 Megan Guarinier (United States)
4 Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
5 Emma Johansson (Sweden)
6 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)
7 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
8 Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)
9 Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)
10 Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) 0:00:09
The podium celebrations now and Armitstead has the jersey she has worked all year for. Pauline Ferrand Prevot just didn't have the legs in the end, perhaps a result of her recent cold. Longo Borghini also misses out on the podium finishing fourth. Johansson keeps her consistency in this competition with another top five performance.
From images we have it looks like Bronzini had a mechanical as she was forced to walk over the line.
The winner's press conference is about to begin but you can find our report, results and photos, right here. Thanks for joining us today for another exciting day at the Worlds. We'll be back tomorrow for complete coverage of the men's race.
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