World Championships: Balsamo wins junior women road race

Italy's Elisa Balsamo took a commanding victory in the junior women road race at the World Championships in Doha, beating her rivals by a clear margin.

Balsamo, who finished sixth in Richmond last year, capitalised on a strong lead-out from her Italian teammates to beat the USA's Skylar Schneider on the long drag to the finish line. Susanne Andersen made it another medal for Norway as she sprinted to third place.

The junior women had an early start to the day, setting off at 8:30 local time for four laps of the 15.2km circuit of the Pearl. A big crash in the opening kilometre caught out a lot of riders and set off a mad scramble for new bikes. After seven kilometres, a large group of 28 riders jumped clear but they couldn't hold it and the peloton came back together by the end of the first lap.

The fast pace made it difficult for anybody to make a successful breakaway bid, while riders were continuously dropped off the back. With two laps to go, what began as an 80-rider peloton was seriously reduced in numbers. More riders tried and failed to snap the elastic as the nations began gearing up for the bunch sprint. Germany and the United States of America did a lot of work on the front.

Going into the last lap, the Italians took to the front, causing the bunch to stretch out around the twisting course. Balsamo was brought into the perfect position on the front of the bunch by her teammates. She then kicked hard to move ahead of her rivals. Her advantage was sufficient that she could celebrate several metres before the line, thumping the air with delight.

The gold medal caps off a strong season for Balsamo, who finished second at the junior Gent-Wevelgem, won the junior national title and finished second to Liane Lippert at the European Championships. She is also the current Omnium and team pursuit world champion on the track.

"I've got to thank all my teammates, this world title is thanks to all their work, this win is ours, not only mine," she said after the Italian riders sung the national anthem together with pride. "The whole Italian team deserves this success and lets hope they other riders can do well tomorrow and the day after tomorrow."

Schneider, who had been a favourite going into the race, edged out Andersen for the silver medal.

"It was a very unique course. The technical aspect was a very big advantage for us," Schneider explained at the finish. "There were some very strong teams out there who were able to string it out and it was cool to look ahead and see the first rider all the way out there and look behind and see all the way back. In the finish, the Italians did a really great job of stringing it out, their lead-out was very impressive. They were able to deliver their rider first and I was happy to come in second. I gave it everything."

"I'm very happy with a silver medal. We came with a very strong team so we came with a lot of confidence. I tried to stay under the radar a little bit and tested my legs a bit in the time trial and really analysed the course. I think that played to my advantage today, especially in the last few kilometres. I'm really happy to win a medal for USA and silver is a nice colour."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country)Result
1Elisa Balsamo (Italy)1:53:04
2Skylar Schneider (United States Of America)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Susanne Andersen (Norway)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Karolina Perekitko (Poland)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Letizia Paternoster (Italy)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Emma Norsgaard (Denmark)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Franziska Brauße (Germany)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Sandra Alonso (Spain)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Liane Lippert (Germany)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Simone Eg (Denmark)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Karlijn Swinkels (Netherlands)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Nikola Rózynska (Poland)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Karin Penko (Slovenia)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Maggie Coles-Lyster (Canada)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Maaike Boogaard (Netherlands)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Fleur Nagengast (Netherlands)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Maja Perinovic (Croatia)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Léna Mettraux (Switzerland)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Kristina Stolbova (Russian Federation)Row 18 - Cell 2
20Claire Faber (Luxembourg)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Clara Copponi (France)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Ingvild Gåskjenn (Norway)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Andrea Ramírez (Mexico)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Devaney Collier (Canada)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Aurela Nerlo (Poland)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Typhaine Laurance (France)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Wiktoria Pikulik (Poland)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Mikayla Harvey (New Zealand)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Nina Hruzevych (Ukraine)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Tatiana Dueñas (Colombia)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Erin Attwell (Canada)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Julyn Aguila (Mexico)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Lea Lin Teutenberg (Germany)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Sara Martín (Spain)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Yumena Hosoya (Japan)Row 34 - Cell 2
36Pauline Roy (Switzerland)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Svenja Wüthrich (Switzerland)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Christa Riffel (Germany)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Laurie Jussaume (Canada)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Chiara Consonni (Italy)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Hannah Steffen (Germany)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Lotte Rotman (Belgium)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Clara Lundmark (Sweden)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Jaime Gunning (Australia)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Febe Schokkaert (Belgium)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Miriam Gardachal (Spain)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Summer Moak (United States Of America)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Irina Ivanova (Russian Federation)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Nicolene Marais (South Africa)Row 48 - Cell 2
50Juliette Labous (France)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Kanyarat Kesthonglang (Thailand)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Johanne Marcher (Denmark)Row 51 - Cell 2
53Pauline Clouard (France)Row 52 - Cell 2
54Megan Heath (United States Of America)0:00:12
55Anastasiia Muzalevskaia (Russian Federation)0:00:18
56Lisa Morzenti (Italy)0:00:45
57Yin Yin Li (Hong Kong, China)0:07:59
58Madeleine Fasnacht (Australia)Row 57 - Cell 2
59Jiahuan Yang (People's Republic of China)Row 58 - Cell 2
60Josipa Šintic (Croatia)Row 59 - Cell 2
61Arianna Pruisscher (Netherlands)0:10:02
62Karina Kasenova (Russian Federation)Row 61 - Cell 2
63Katja Kerpan (Slovenia)Row 62 - Cell 2
64Hajdi Zajc (Slovenia)Row 63 - Cell 2
65Hannah Arensman (United States Of America)Row 64 - Cell 2
66Yin Zhang (People's Republic of China)Row 65 - Cell 2
67Adela Safarova (Czech Republic)Row 66 - Cell 2
68Martina Fidanza (Italy)Row 67 - Cell 2
69Cinthya Covarrubias (Mexico)Row 68 - Cell 2
70Misuzu Shimoyama (Japan)Row 69 - Cell 2
71Chaniporn Batriya (Thailand)Row 70 - Cell 2
72Maialen Aramendia (Spain)Row 71 - Cell 2
73Hoi Wah Leung (Hong Kong, China)Row 72 - Cell 2
74Madeleine Park (New Zealand)Row 73 - Cell 2
DNFChloe Moran (Australia)Row 74 - Cell 2
DNFMaeva Paret Peintre (France)Row 75 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Steigenga (Netherlands)Row 76 - Cell 2
DNFLynette Benson (South Africa)Row 77 - Cell 2
DNFYue Chang (People's Republic of China)Row 78 - Cell 2
DNFAna Marina Herros (Mexico)Row 79 - Cell 2
DNSAnne-Sophie Harsch (Luxembourg)Row 80 - Cell 2

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