Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark won the elite women's road race at the World Championships in a close sprint, beating favourite Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) to the line. Third place went to Finland's Lotta Lepisto in a predicted sprint finish after nearly 135km of racing in Doha.
The Dutch team controlled the race with a series of attacks, while defending champion Lizzie Deignan and her Great Britain team looked to keep the peloton together before riding aggressively on the final lap.
It was the Dutch team that dominated the final kilometres, with their entire team leading the peloton into the final five kilometres. Pre-race favourite, Wild, opened the sprint after a lead-out from Marianne Vos but Dideriksen fought hard to be on Wild's rear wheel and came around the Dutch rider inside the final 25 metres.
Deignan could not match the best pure sprinters and was forced to settle for fourth, while another favourite, Chloe Hosking (Australia), finished in seventh.
A late attack by American Amber Neben, who won the time trial title, had earlier given hopes of a double rainbow jersey, but it was not to be and, Dideriksen, just 20 years old, claimed the biggest win of her young professional career. She put in a perfect and mature race, and even though she was involved in a crash, she timed her effort and only rode in the wind once. Just when it mattered most.
"I dreamed of this. But today I had such good teammates, who even brought me back too after a crash. I chose Wild's wheel in the sprint. Winning here is a surprise for me too," she said at the finish.
For Wild there was only heartbreak: "I am actually pretty disappointed. We rode a very good race, we had it under control," the Dutch rider said before admitting she had sprinted too soon.
How it unfolded
Temperatures of 35° Celsius at the start saw a number of riders take to the road with ice vests. One of the top favourites was missing with Giorgia Bronzini, Italy's two-time world champion (2011 and 2012), ruled out through illness.
The women took on 28 kilometres through Doha before starting on seven laps of The Pearl, for a total of 134.5km.
The first attack came as the flag was dropped, with Olympic rider Eri Yonamine of Japan taking off. She took a lead of over 30 seconds on to the first lap of the circuit course, with Great Britain leading the chase.
The Japanese rider held on to an 18-second gap as she started the second lap as a variety of nations shared the chase work, but it remained a subdued affair. Wild was involved in a crash shortly after the lap started, but a teammate was quickly there to bring her back to the field.
Swiss rider Nicole Hanselmann jumped from the field and joined Yonamine on the next lap, and the duo were able to increase the gap to some 50 seconds.
The Dutch made their first move of the day with Amy Pieters attacking on lap two. She was quickly brought back, but the action served to bring down the gap to the two leaders.
The action then started, with Paz Bash (Israel) giving chase to the two leaders. She too was brought back, but the pace had picked up and the gap dropped. Dutch riders Marianne Vos and Pieters were at the front of the field, forcing the tempo and posing a major threat if they would get away.
With 70km to go, the break was over, and the Dutch riders continued to put the pressure on the rest of the field. Time trial world champion Amber Neben (USA) gave it a try but was not allowed to get away.
Anna van der Breggen was the next to put in a strong dig, as the Dutch used their usual tactics to break up the field and attempt to demonstrate their dominance. But at this point they were still satisfied to let things stay more or less together.
It was a significantly reduced group that finished the fourth lap, with the Dutch pressure having paid off. Unluckily for Australia, Tiffany Cromwell crashed during one of the tempo increases, and the wait for help threw her back.
Neben went again with 43km to go and she used her proven time trial skills to slowly build up a decent gap. The Dutch reacted when it got up to over 40 seconds, unwilling to let the time trial champion simply run away with the race. None other than Marianne Vos led the chase. But the gap did not fall and even increased.
During the lap, Olga Zabelinskaya was removed from the race after being disqualified for an illegal bike change – or more accurately, the jury tried to remove her. The Russian simply kept on going.
With 34km to go, Neben's gap had moved up to nearly 50 seconds, and Belgium joined in on the chase. She took a gap of 36 seconds into the penultimate lap, with 30km to go. From there the gap kept dropping gradually, and the final lap started with the American only six seconds up. She was caught shortly after crossing the line.
Further attacks came as soon as the feed zone was passed, with Danielle King (Great Britain) being the first to go. A small group formed but was then joined by the field again.
Attack followed attack, and the pace skyrocketed, only to calm again, with the orange-clad Dutch riders firmly at the front of things. The field continued on sedately towards the finish line.
Seven Dutch riders led the field into the final four kilometres, keeping the pace high to eliminate the chances of any more escapes. The formation continued on into the final kilometre, with Wild on third wheel.
The Italians, Americans and Canadians made moves, but couldn't break through. It looked as if Wild would waltz to the title, but went early into the wind. At the last second she was caught by Denmark's Amalie Dideriksen. Wild looked on unbelievingly as she crossed the line as second.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)||3:10:27|
|2||Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)|
|3||Lotta Lepistö (Finland)|
|4||Elizabeth Deignan (Great Britain)|
|5||Marta Bastianelli (Italy)|
|6||Roxane Fournier (France)|
|7||Chloe Hosking (Australia)|
|8||Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)|
|9||Joelle Numainville (Canada)|
|10||Jolien D'hoore (Belgium)|
|11||Emilie Moberg (Norway)|
|12||Lisa Brennauer (Germany)|
|13||Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)|
|14||Leah Kirchmann (Canada)|
|15||Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)|
|16||Coryn Rivera (United States Of America)|
|17||Sara Mustonen (Sweden)|
|18||Mia Radotic (Croatia)|
|19||Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)|
|20||Barbara Guarischi (Italy)||0:00:04|
|21||Miho Yoshikawa (Japan)|
|22||Marianne Vos (Netherlands)|
|23||Alison Jackson (Canada)|
|24||Jelena Eric (Serbia)|
|25||Barbora Prudkova (Czech Republic)|
|26||Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa)|
|27||Megan Guarnier (United States Of America)|
|28||Christina Perchtold (Austria)|
|29||Carmen Small (United States Of America)|
|30||Alexis Ryan (United States Of America)|
|31||Eugenia Bujak (Poland)|
|32||Amy Pieters (Netherlands)|
|33||Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)|
|34||Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)|
|35||Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)|
|36||Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Italy)|
|37||Aude Biannic (France)||0:00:12|
|38||Nicolle Bruderer (Guatemala)|
|39||Katrine Aalerud (Norway)|
|40||Olena Pavlukhina (Azerbaijan)|
|41||Samantha Sanders (South Africa)|
|42||Diana Peñuela (Colombia)|
|43||Ganna Solovei (Ukraine)|
|44||Yusseli Mendivil (Mexico)|
|45||Ursa Pintar (Slovenia)|
|46||Alice Barnes (Great Britain)|
|47||Julie Leth (Denmark)|
|48||Tiffany Cromwell (Australia)|
|49||Emma Johansson (Sweden)|
|50||Chantal Blaak (Netherlands)|
|51||Katrin Garfoot (Australia)|
|52||Stephanie Pohl (Germany)|
|53||Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands)|
|54||Natalya Saifutdinova (Kazakhstan)|
|55||Sara Penton (Sweden)||0:00:18|
|56||Dani King (Great Britain)|
|57||Eileen Roe (Great Britain)|
|58||Heidi Dalton (South Africa)|
|59||Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Norway)|
|60||Ting Ying Huang (Chinese Taipei)|
|61||Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)|
|62||Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)|
|63||Sarah Rijkes (Austria)|
|64||Yumi Kajihara (Japan)|
|65||Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spain)|
|66||Kaat Van Der Meulen (Belgium)|
|67||Chantal Hoffmann (Luxembourg)|
|68||Valerie Demey (Belgium)|
|69||Lauren Kitchen (Australia)||0:00:22|
|70||Romy Kasper (Germany)|
|71||Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada)|
|72||Mieke Kroeger (Germany)|
|73||Trixi Worrack (Germany)||0:00:27|
|74||Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)|
|75||Lotte Kopecky (Belgium)||0:00:30|
|76||Hannah Barnes (Great Britain)||0:00:39|
|77||Olga Shekel (Ukraine)|
|78||Rosa Törmänen (Finland)|
|79||Abby-Mae Parkinson (Great Britain)|
|80||Lisa Klein (Germany)|
|81||Elise Maes (Luxembourg)|
|82||Annasley Park (Great Britain)|
|83||Lauren Stephens (United States Of America)|
|84||Anna Plichta (Poland)|
|85||Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)|
|86||Eri Yonamine (Japan)|
|87||Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands)||0:01:00|
|88||Audrey Cordon (France)|
|89||Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)|
|90||Elena Cecchini (Italy)|
|91||Sara Bergen (Canada)|
|92||Gracie Elvin (Australia)|
|93||Roxane Knetemann (Netherlands)||0:01:43|
|94||Sofie De Vuyst (Belgium)|
|95||Anisha Vekemans (Belgium)||0:02:30|
|96||Wehazit Kidane (Eritrea)||0:03:42|
|97||Zhao Juan Meng (Hong Kong, China)|
|98||Amber Neben (United States Of America)||0:06:46|
|99||Sarah Roy (Australia)|
|100||Eugénie Duval (France)|
|101||Nicole Hanselmann (Switzerland)||0:10:31|
|102||Alba Teruel Ribes (Spain)|
|103||Paz Bash (Israel)||0:11:48|
|DNF||Annie Foreman-Mackey (Canada)|
|DNF||Loren Rowney (Australia)|
|DNF||Rotem Gafinovitz (Israel)|
|DNF||Alexandra Nessmar (Sweden)|
|DNF||Varvara Fasoi (Greece)|
|DNF||Allie Dragoo (United States Of America)|
|DNF||Marta Lach (Poland)|
|DNF||Laura Vainionpää (Finland)|
|DNF||Alexandra Chekina (Russian Federation)|
|DNF||Hong Guo (People's Republic of China)|
|DNF||Jaruwan Somrat (Thailand)|
|DNF||Anriette Schoeman (South Africa)|
|DNF||Thi That Nguyen (Vietnam)|
|DNF||Coralie Demay (France)|
|DNF||Laura Massey (Great Britain)|
|DNF||Valeriya Kononenko (Ukraine)|
|DNF||Nikola Noskova (Czech Republic)|
|DNF||Anastasiia Iakovenko (Russian Federation)|
|DNF||Svetlana Vasilieva (Russian Federation)|
|DNF||Pascale Jeuland (France)|
|DNF||Margarita Syrodoeva (Russian Federation)|
|DNF||Antonia Grondahl (Finland)|
|DNF||Makhabbat Umutzhanova (Kazakhstan)|
|DNF||Wogahta Gebrehiwet (Eritrea)|
|DNF||Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed Mohamed (Egypt)|
|DNF||Mossana Debesai (Eritrea)|
|DNF||Sofia Arreola (Mexico)|
|DNF||Silvija Latozaite (Lithuania)|
|DNF||Kelly Kalm (Estonia)|
|DNF||Alicja Ratajczak (Poland)|
|DNF||Eden Bekele (Ethiopia)|
|DNF||Carla Oberholzer (South Africa)|
|DNF||Tsega Beyene (Ethiopia)|
|DNF||Najla Aljuraiwi (Kuweit)|
|DNF||Zanele Tshoko (South Africa)|
|DNF||Jiajun Sun (People's Republic of China)|
|DNF||Noura Alameeri (Kuweit)|
|DNF||Nada Aljuraiwi (Kuweit)|
|DSQ||Olga Zabelinskaya (Russian Federation)|
|DNS||Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)|
|DNS||Qianyu Yang (Hong Kong, China)|
|DNS||Beatha Ingabire (Rwanda)|
|DNS||Eyeru Tesfoam (Ethiopia)|
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