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UCI Road World Championships 2017: Elite Women - Road Race


We're just under 15 minutes from the start of the elite women's road race at the World Championships in Bergen. The peloton faces eight laps of the 19.1km circuit for a total of 152.8 kilometres as Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) puts her title on the line.

Sadhbh O'Shea has put together this considered overview of the principal contenders for victory on a course that is open to an array of different interpretations. You'll just have time to watch it in full before the elite women roll out at 1.30pm local time.


152km remaining from 152km

The peloton rolls away from the start line and almost immediately there is a touch of the wheels at the rear of the bunch as they ride through a tunnel in the opening kilometre. A number of riders come down, but it does not seem as though anybody has suffered serious injury. The pace is relatively sedate at the head of the bunch for the time being, so the fallers all ought to get back in touch.


149km remaining from 152km

The peloton seems content to take the measure of this course on the opening lap, and the relatively gentle speed seems to have allowed the early fallers to latch back on. The bunch has safely navigated the short climb of Solheimsviken and is now heading towards the main climb of Salmon Hill.


147km remaining from 152km

Salmon Hill is officially 1.5km in length, but in truth, the road drags upwards for the bones of five kilometres. In and of itself, it's far from the toughest climb, but the repeated ascents are sure to take their toll.


146km remaining from 152km

The bunch hits Salmon Hill proper for the first time, and Hayley Simmonds (Great Britain) hits the front and injects a bit of urgency into proceedings.The British team, of course, is built around the challenge of 2015 world champion Lizzie Deignan, who was optimistic about his prospects despite her appendix operation in the build-up to the race.


144km remaining from 152km

Some riders are already in difficulty on the first ascent of Salmon Hill as the Dutch and British squads dictate terms on the front. As ever at the Worlds, the selection will come from the back on these early laps.


Norway were prominent on that first ascent of Salmon Hill, but Hayley Simmonds (Great Britain) takes over the pace-making once again on the descent. As the road flattens out, Lizzie Deignan comes to the front and has a word with Simmonds, and the pace drops slightly.


141km remaining from 152km

That first ascent of Salmon Hill was perhaps more full blooded than many riders in this peloton would have liked, but as the terrain flattens out, there is a detente of sorts and the bunch spreads across the road. We can expect something of a stop-start rhythm on these opening laps as riders try to gauge precisely where they can make the difference on the final two laps.


Coryn Rivera (USA) has been one of the outstanding riders of 2017, with victories in the Tour of Flanders, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and last Sunday's Worlds team time trial. She is confident, too, that she can withstand the climbing and be in the mix for victory this afternoon. "[Salmon Hill is] a pretty decent hill and thinking about doing that eight times, it will be pretty straining on some riders' legs. It's a pretty challenging course, similar to the team time trial where it is constantly changing in terrain, left and rights and everything. I'm not really sure what the team tactic is or how the race will go down, but it will probably be a reduced bunch sprint or a small breakaway," said Rivera. Read the full story here.


137km remaining from 152km

The pace picks up once again as the bunch clatters across a brief cobbled section. The German squad has taken up the reins and strung things out once again.


136km remaining from 152km

The first attack of the day comes from Sara Penton (Sweden). She was probably hoping for some company, but after opening a small gap, the Swede presses on alone.


135km remaining from 152km

The Polish team sets a steady tempo on the front of the bunch as Penton stretches her lead out to 20 seconds.


134km remaining from 152km

Sara Penton covered the first lap at an average speed of 37.905kph. She crosses the line with a lead of 37 seconds over the peloton. There are seven laps of the course remaining.


The Netherlands come to these Worlds with something of a dream team. Marianne Vos lines out as something of a deluxe domestique - though who would ever bet against Vos adding to her running tally of three elite world titles on the road? Annemiek van Vleuten, Anna van der Breggen, Amy Pieters, Ellen van Dijk, Chantal Blaak, Lucina Brand and Janneke Ensing give the Dutch firepower like no other country.


"I think that we’re a super strong team so a lot of teams will look to us to make the race," Van Dijk said before the start. "We have some really strong women in the team but I’d like to see how far into the race that I can go. It’s a very hard climb, especially after eight laps, and I think that only the strongest will be there in the end. An early break would be good as long as there are some of us there."


130km remaining from 152km

For now, however, the early break contains just one rider. Sara Penton (Sweden) continues alone, and is defending an advantage of 45 seconds over the peloton.


Penton maintains the bulk of her advantage over the short climb of Solheimsviken. The Swedish champion seems fully committed to her solo raid, while Switzerland set the tempo in the main bunch.


126km remaining from 152km

Penton hits the Salmon Hill for the second time with a lead of 30 seconds over the peloton. Conditions are dry and the course is bathed in pleasant sunshine, though the headwind on the flat run towards the finish could dissuade late attackers. That said, Julius Johansen (Denmark) was in no way impeded by the breeze as he soloed to fine victory in the junior men's race earlier today.


125km remaining from 152km

Penton's lead begins to drop significantly as she grinds against the stiffest gradients of Salmon Hill. 21 seconds the gap.


124km remaining from 152km

Penton crests the summit of Salmon Hill with a lead of just 17 seconds over the peloton. The pace seemed a little steadier in the main bunch on this second ascent, with fewer riders struggling at the rear this time around.


Defending champion Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) is among those hoping for a sprint finish this afternoon. Dan Benson caught up with her on the start line. "It’s good to see all the medals that Denmark have taken so far in the Championships. It’s makes us proud and we’d like to do a good result today, also," Dideriksen said. "As defending champion I’m nervous but also excited. I’ll just treat it like any other race and see what I can do. We have seven riders this year and last time we had three so I hope that we can race well. I hope to be there in the end and that it’s a sprint. It’s hard to say how it will go but for sure the Dutch will try and blow the race up. I hope that I can be there in the final."


118km remaining from 152km

Penton's lead had dropped to 15 seconds on the base of the descent of Mount Salmon, but no one team is yet willing to take responsibility in the bunch, and as the road flattens out, she extends her advantage once again to 32 seconds.


116km remaining from 152km

Reinforcements on the way... Melissa Lowther (Great Britain) attacks from the main peloton and sets off in lone pursuit of Penton, who waves to the crowds as she approaches the finish line for the second time.


114km remaining from 152km

Six laps to go for Penton, who has a lead of 18 seconds over Lowther. The bunch, led by Kirsti Lay (Canada) crosses the line 56 seconds back.


112km remaining from 152km

Lowther catches Penton at the head of the race. This duo has a little under a minute in hand on the peloton.


110km remaining from 152km

Lowther and Penton make light work of the ascent of Solheimsviken, and maintain their lead of one minute over the bunch.


109km remaining from 152km

Lowther and Penton hit the lower slopes of Salmon Hill, and almost immediately, the Briton has opened a lead over her breakaway companion. Penton is content to follow her own pace and is losing contact with Lowther.


108km remaining from 152km

This is a rather ambitious effort from Lowther, who seemed to ride away from Penton without even realising, but is showing no signs of knocking off her effort. She has 10 seconds or so in hand on Penton as she continues to climb, and 50 seconds on the peloton.


Penton has been irretrievably distanced on Salmon Hill proper, and the Swede is about to be caught by the peloton. Lowther's lead has also been pegged back on this ascent, and now stands at 31 seconds.


106km remaining from 152km

Lowther hits the top of the third climb of Salmon Hill with a lead of 24 seconds over the peloton. There are already plenty of tired legs visible near the rear of the bunch, and we can expect the whittling down process to begin in earnest in a lap or two.


One would expect the weight of controlling the peloton to fall upon the shoulders of the star-studded Netherlands team, but the Dutch have done comparatively little work on the front thus far, with Germany, Poland and others seemingly more than content to contribute to the pace-making in the bunch.


100km remaining from 152km

Lowther hits the final 100 kilometres and heads towards the end of the third lap of the race with a lead of 15 seconds over the bunch.


99km remaining from 152km

And at that, a Dutch rider jumps across the gap to join Lowther at the front. Lowther, perhaps sagely, opts not to collaborate, and they are brought to heel by the bunch.


97km remaining from 152km

Immediately after Lowther is brought back, Romy Kasper (Germany) accelerates, but she is quickly reeled in by the Dutch. Gruppo compatto.


95km remaining from 152km

Five laps to go and the bunch is still together as it crosses the line for the third time. Sara Penton and Melissa Lowther have provided some early animation, but this remains a tightly-locked race for the time being.


The peloton average 36.126kph for the third lap of the race. The average speed for the race so far is 36.443kph.


92km remaining from 152km

The bunch stretches out once again on the short, sharp climb of Solheimsviken, and a number of riders are again in difficulty at the back. We are still at a point where the selection is being made at the rear of the race.


90km remaining from 152km

Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland) gets tangled up with a Norwegian rider and hits the ground, but the Pole is quickly back on her bike. Amber Neben (USA) was also forced to a halt, but the American managed to avoid falling.


90km remaining from 152km

Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland) gets tangled up with a Norwegian rider and hits the ground, but the Pole is quickly back on her bike. Amber Neben (USA) was also forced to a halt, but the American managed to avoid falling.


88km remaining from 152km

The peloton hits Salmon Hill for the fourth time. The pace is brisk rather than excessive, and once again, riders are being jettisoned out the back. 

85km remaining from 152km

Alice Barnes (Great Britain) leads the peloton on the sweeping descent off Salmon Hill. Lizzie Deignan still has plenty of her supporting cast around her on this, the fourth lap of eight laps.


This is a race still waiting to ignite, but that is so often the very essence of the World Championships. It is interesting to note that the Vos, Van Vleuten, Van der Breggen and the Dutch squad have enjoyed a relative free ride thus far. The less work they do now, the more genuine options they will have in the finale.


80km remaining from 152km

Alice Barnes and Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) set such a brisk tempo over the flat cobbled section that they briefly force a gap over the main peloton. The race is strung out into a long line, and there are some sizeable gaps beginning to form in this peloton...


None of those gaps have quite calcified into a split, but a lot of riders have been forced to use a lot of energy just to stay in contention and we haven't even reached halfway.


77km remaining from 152km

Raucous cheers from the home crowds on the roadsides as Susanne Andersen (Norway) slips clear near the end of the fourth lap of the race. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) is prominent towards the head of the bunch just behind her.


76km remaining from 152km

Susanne Andersen (Norway) leads the race to the midway point at the end of lap 4. She has a gap of 10 seconds on the peloton. The average speed on lap 4 was 36.545kph.


74km remaining from 152km

As Andersen stretches her lead out to 20 seconds, Marianne Vos moves promptly to neutralise a German counter-attack.


Andersen's lone rally won't last long. Her cadence drops dramatically as she hits the short climb of Solheimsviken, and her lead is back to 6 seconds.


Andersen remains in front over the top of the climb, but her lead is just 9 seconds. The Dutch have been policing things quietly but firmly thus far, without ever having to work as a unit on the front.


71km remaining from 152km

Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) bridges across to Andersen and brings the front of the bunch with her. The Norwegian's move is over.


Amy Pieters (Netherlands) accelerates fiercely from the peloton on the lower slopes of Salmon Hill. This is the first show of force from the Dutch in this race. Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) and Rachel Neylan (Australia) give chase.


70km remaining from 152km

Neylan and Hannah Barnes join Pieters at the head of the race. This is a very strong breakaway group indeed, and they have opened a lead of 19 seconds over the peloton, which is now being led by the United States. At the rear of the bunch, meanwhile, Jolien d'Hoore (Belgium) is among those struggling...


69km remaining from 152km

Amy Pieter (Netherlands), Rachel Neylan (Australia) and Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) hit the slopes of Salmon Hill proper with a lead of 19 seconds on the bunch. This a strong combination and all three are pedalling smoothly.


A lot of riders are struggling on Salmon Hill. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) is among those distanced. There is still time to chase back on over the top, but with almost half the race still to come, it does not augur will for the Italian.


68km remaining from 152km

This has the feel of the first pivotal moment of this race. A lot of big names are struggling at the back, the Dutch squad have played the first of their many cards, and the United States have been forced to chase as a unit on the front, with Katie Hall prominent.


Pieters, Barnes and Neylan crest the top of Salmon Hill with a lead of 10 seconds over the front of the peloton, but their attack has wreaked greater damage further back the road.


67km remaining from 152km

Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain) is well placed towards the front of the bunch as it drops down the other side of Salmon Hill...


A crash on the descent of Salmon Hill. Megan Guarnier (USA), Elisa Balsamo, Elena Cecchini (Italy), Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) and Kirsti Lay (Canada) are among those to come down. It looks as though Guarnier's race is over.


Italy and the United States were leading the pursuit at the time of the crash, and as a result, Pieters, Barnes and Neylan have stretched their lead out to 41 seconds.


Balsamo, one of the fallers, is giving chase alone, but it seems unlikely that she will see the front of the race again this afternoon. Chantal Blaak remounted a little sooner, and she is in the convoy of cars behind the main peloton.


62km remaining from 152km

Neylan, Pieters and Barnes have a lead of 37 seconds over the peloton. Olga Shekel (Ukraine) is making an ambitious lone attempt to bridge across.


Katie Hall is back on the front of the bunch for USA, and trying to keep tabs on the lead of Pieters, Barnes and Neylan. 


Blaak, meanwhile, has caught Longo Borghini and a group of riders who were dropped on the climb of Salmon Hill, and they are on the cusp of rejoining the main peloton.


60km remaining from 152km

Pieters, Neylan and Hannah Barnes are smoothly exchanging turns on the front of the race, and they have a lead of 33 seconds on the reduced peloton. An Italian delegation leads a chasing group of riders who were either dropped on Salmon Hill or who crashed on the descent.


58km remaining from 152km

With the Netherlands, Britain and Australia represented on the front, and Italy's firepower in the chasing group, the USA are having to perform the bulk of the heavy lifting in the main peloton.


57km remaining from 152km

Pieters, Barnes and Neylan reach the end of lap 5 with a lead of 35 seconds over the peloton, which is still being led by Katie Hall. The average speed on lap 5 was 36.723kph.


There are still 76 riders in the main peloton. Chantal Blaak is 15 seconds down on the bunch, but the chasing group of which she was a part is beginning to fragment.


Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Leah Kirchmann (Canada), Coryn Rivera (USA) and Chloe Hosking (Australia) are among the fast finishers all still in the main peloton.


54km remaining from 152km

The sixth ascent of Solheimsviken sees more riders dropped from the rear of the peloton as the Dutch squad ups the ante. Pieters, Barnes and Neylan's lead is down to 19 seconds.


Pieters, Neylan and Barnes hit the preamble to Salmon Hill with a lead of 22 seconds on the bunch. Pieters has been the most generous in her efforts at the front, but all three are contributing well to this move.


51km remaining from 152km

Deignan is pedalling smoothly towards the head of the main peloton, where Lauren Stephens (USA) sets a brisk tempo on the front.


It appears that Megan Guarnier (USA) has abandoned the race, though we await confirmation. 


50km remaining from 152km

The American chase effort on Salmon Hill is helping to claw back Pieters, Barnes and Neylan. Their lead is down to just 10 seconds.


49km remaining from 152km

Elinor Barker (Great Britain) attacks from the peloton and bridges across to Pieter, Barnes and Neylan. The Welsh rider immediately hits the front of the break and her added impetus helps the quartet to maintain their advantage over the bunch.


48km remaining from 152km

The bunch is almost upon the esapees as Neylan leads them over the top of Salmon Hill for the sixth time. The race should come back together on the descent.


Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa) has been increasingly visible towards the front in recent kilometres. "The course really suits me and I think that it’s really nice. We’re lucky to have some great weather. Today I’m very much out-numbered so it’s going to be a game of patience and trying to be smart. I’m very happy with my form and I think it’s the best form I’ve had at a World Championships. It’s a shame I come from a small nation as it would be great to have more team support but that’s not the case. I’m just going to try my best and see what that brings," Moolman-Pasio said before the start. "How selective the climb is depends on how it’s raced. I can’t take control of that because I don’t have a team but it’s also an opportunist’s course."


47km remaining from 152km

Another breath of life for the breakaway on the descent. Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) accelerates from the peloton and immediately hits the front of the break. Her added impetus sees them stretch their lead over the bunch once again.


46km remaining from 152km

Gracie Elvin (Australia) also bridged across to the front, while Neylan and Barker have both dropped back to the peloton on this sweeping descent. 


44km remaining from 152km

Lucinda Brand, Amy Pieters (Netherlands), Gracie Elvin (Australia) and Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) reach the bottom of the descent with a lead of 18 seconds over the main peloton.


43km remaining from 152km

There is a strong delegation from Great Britain near the front of the bunch, while Denmark is now driving the pursuit of the four leaders with a shade over two laps remaining. 


42km remaining from 152km

Despite the loss of Guarnier, the American chase effort has been resolute thus far. Coryn Rivera is, of course, one of the favourites for victory this afternoon. "I think it’s situational," Rivera said of the American tactical approach. "We can win today with a couple of different riders and with a couple of different options. It’s just a matter of covering our bases."


40km remaining from 152km

Denmark and the United States lead the pursuit in the reduced peloton. WIth two riders in the break, the Dutch squad can maintain a watching brief. 


The Danish effort has helped to claw back the leading quartet. The gap is down to just a handful of seconds as they reach the end of lap 6 of this World Championships road race.


Hannah Barnes and the escapees are swept up in the final kilometre of lap 6. And so the race begins all over again...


38km remaining from 152km

Leah Kirchmann (Canada) leads a reduced peloton of 69 riders through the finish line with two more laps to go. The average speed on lap 6 was 36.816kph.


35km remaining from 152km

Dani King (Great Britain) attacks viciously on the climb of Solheimsviken. Marianne Vos tries to follow but has to relent, and the Briton goes clear alone.


Janneke Ensing (Netherlands) sets off in pursuit as part of a small counter-attack over the top of the climb, but King is alone at the head of the race.


A crash on the descent of the climb, meanwhile, sees Hayley Simmonds (Great Britain) and Ashley Moolman-Pasio among the fallers. They will struggle to get back on as the intensity rises in the main peloton.


As Dani King approaches the base of Salmon Hill, she has a lead of 5 seconds over Janneke Ensing (Netherlands), Elise Delzenne (France) and Amanda Spratt (Australia), and 12 seconds in hand on the peloton.


King is joined at the front by Ensing, Spratt and Delzenne. This quartet has opened a decent gap over the peloton as they continue the climb.


32km remaining from 152km

King, Ensing, Delzenne and Spratt have a lead of 27 seconds on the peloton. Hanna Nilsson (Sweden) is in lone pursuit, meanwhile, just 8 seconds down on the leaders.


Deignan is represented by King, Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen have Ensing as a proxy, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot has Delzenne, Chloe Hosking and Australia have Spratt... There is a shortage of teams with motivation to chase in the main peloton, and the break's lead stands solid at 30 seconds.


31km remaining from 152km

Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) accelerates as the bunch hits Salmon Hill proper, and her attack has formed a potentially decisive split. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland), Prevot, Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France), Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) and Katrin Garfoot (Australia) follow.


Van der Breggen's acceleration has helped to close the gap to the leaders near the top of Salmon Hill. Van Vleuten, Prevot, Niewiadoma, Cecelie Ludwig (Denmark), King, Garfoot, Ensing, Nilsson, Guderzo and Spratt are on her wheel. They have 23 seconds on the bunch as they begin the descent. This could be the crucial move...


Lizzie Deignan was among the big names to miss the move, but she is making a spirited solo descent and is on the cusp of catching the leaders.


There are 13 riders in this leading group: Anna van der Breggen, Janneke Ensing, Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), Dani King, Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Katrin Garfoot, Amanda Spratt (Australia), Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Elise Delzenne (France), Hanna Nilsson (Sweden), Cecilie Ludwig (Denmark), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland) and Tatiana Guderzo (Italy). They have 10 seconds in hand on the peloton.


23km remaining from 152km

Despite the firepower, this was a most unwieldy break. Nobody, it seemed, wanted to collaborate with the Dutch trio, and the peloton is about to reel them back in.


23km remaining from 152km

As soon as the escapees are swept up, Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) attacks off the front and opens a small gap. 


22km remaining from 152km

Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) and Audrey Cordon (France) join Blaak at the front. This trio has a lead of 8 seconds over the peloton.


This is a fine effort from Blaak, who was a faller earlier in the race and had to make a spirited effort to latch back on. 


20km remaining from 152km

Cordon, Blaak and Barnes have a lead of 15 seconds over the peloton. Sarah Roy (Australia) sets off from the bunch in lone pursuit of the trio.


20km remaining from 152km

Blaak, Cordon and Barnes are stretching out their advantage. The gap now stands at 24 seconds. The onus is on the United States once again to chase on behalf of Coryn Rivera.


19km remaining from 152km

Barnes leads Blaak and Cordon across the line to take the bell. They have 11 seconds in hand on Sarah Roy (Australia) and 31 on a severely reduced peloton.


18km remaining from 152km

Roy is losing ground on the leaders, and is about to be swept up by the main peloton. 


17km remaining from 152km

The bunch closes to within 18 seconds of the escapees ahead of the climb of Solheimsviken.


Blaak, Barnes and Cordon hit Solheimsviken for the final time with a lead of 15 seconds on Roy and 30 seconds on the peloton.


16km remaining from 152km

Cordon sets the tempo on the climb. This leading trio are still collaborating well. Sarah Roy, meanwhile, is still making her solo effort to bridge across. The pace has dropped visibly, meanwhile in the main peloton. The Dutch ride on the front but they have no interest in bringing the race back up to Blaak just yet. 


15km remaining from 152km

Cordon, Blaak and Barnes are over the top of the penultimate climb with a lead of 15 seconds over Roy and 40 over the peloton. This trio are starting to believe they might go the distance, as the impasse continues in the main peloton.


14km remaining from 152km

It seemed as though the Dutch were waiting for the United States to take up the reins once again, but the women in orange are now beginning to up the pace on the approach to the final ascent of Salmon Hill.


The bunch fragments on the lower slopes of Salmon Hill. Van der Breggen, Van Vleuten, Niewiadoma and Ferrand-Prevot have formed an elite chasing group, while Deignan is among those distanced.


13km remaining from 152km

Cordon accelerates on the preamble to Salmon Hill, but Blaak and Barnes are able to follow. Roy is at 20 seconds. The Van der Breggen-Van Vleuten group has relented once again, however, and has been subsumed by the main peloton, 40 seconds behind the three leaders.


Barnes leads Blaak and Cordon towards the final ascent of Salmon Hill proper. 1.4km of climbing await. Roy is at 25 seconds. The reduced peloton - which again includes Deignan and Rivera - is at a shade under 40 seconds.


12km remaining from 152km

Annemiek van Vleuten launches a fierce attack but Niewiadoma goes past her and opens a small gap... 


Niewiadoma has Van Vleuten, Garfoot and Van der Breggen on her wheel. This is the move, but can they catch the trio of leaders?


11km remaining from 152km

Blaak, Cordon and Barnes approach the top of Salmon Hill, but Van Vleuten, Van der Breggen, Niewiadoma and Garfoot look set to catch them before the top. They have already caught and passed Sarah Roy...


What an effort from Van Vleuten, who has dragged Van der Breggen, Niewiadoma and Garfoot up to the three leaders...


10km remaining from 152km

Van Vleuten leads over the top of Salmon Hill for the final time, with Niewiadoma, Van der Breggen, Blaak, Garfoot, Cordon and Hannah Barnes on her wheel. The world champion should come from this seven, unless a chase organises itself from the fractured bunch behind.


9km remaining from 152km

Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak, Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), Katrin Garfoot (Australia), Audrey Cordon (France), Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) and Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland) have a lead of 45 seconds over the splintered peloton on the descent off Salmon Hill.


8km remaining from 152km

Three Dutch riders in a leading group of seven. Van Vleuten is the first to attack, and as soon as she is pegged back, Blaak makes a dig of her own.


7km remaining from 152km

Chantal Blaak has opened a decent lead. Hannah Barnes tries to chase, but neither Niewiadoma nor Garfoot want to help her chase...


7km remaining from 152km

Chantal Blaak looks to have established a winning gap. The life has ebbed away from the chase, and she has 18 seconds in hand...


Barnes, Niewiadoma, Cordon and Garfoot watch one another, which is playing into the hands of the Dutch. Blaak augments her lead while Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen police the rest of the break.


5km remaining from 152km

Blaak has 22 seconds in hand on the chasers, and looks increasingly like the world champion in waiting.


5km remaining from 152km

Cordon, Barnes and Niewiadoma are finally marshalling something of a chase, but it looks to be too little, too late.


4km remaining from 152km

Blaak hurtles across the 600-metre section of cobbles for the final time with 25 seconds in hand on the chasers.


4km remaining from 152km

Blaak's lead yawns out to 25 seconds. Coryn Rivera is in the third group on the road with Linda Villumsen, and might just claw her way into contention for a medal, though it seems a stretch...


4km remaining from 152km

Niewiadoma accelerates from the chasing group and opens a small gap. Van Vleuten follows...


3km remaining from 152km

Blaak's lead is down to just 12 seconds over Van der Breggen, Van Vleuten, Garfoot and Niewiadoma. 


Barnes and Cordon were briefly distanced, but as soon as they catch back up, Barnes takes a flyer. Her defiance doesn't last long, however, and she is pegged back.


2km remaining from 152km

17 seconds for Blaak, who surely can't let this world title slip through her fingers, as the chasers begin to watch one another once again.


1km remaining from 152km

25 seconds for Chantal Blaak. Barnes is having to do all of the work in a chasing group, where all thoughts have already turned to the race for silver and bronze.


1km remaining from 152km

Into the final kilometre for Chantal Blaak, who has 32 seconds in hand as shadows lengthen over Bergen.


Chantal Blaak shakes her head as she looks over her shoulder. The world title is going to be hers.


Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) is elite women's world champion for 2017.


The peloton, meanwhile, has come up on the chasers inside the final kilometre...


Katrin Garfoot (Australia) takes the silver medal. Last year's champion Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) claims bronze. They came in 28 seconds down on Blaak.


The Dutch squad barely put a pedal stroke askew all afternoon, even if it was Blaak rather than their expected leaders Van der Breggen or Van Vleuten who carried off the rainbow jersey. Once Blaak opened a winning gap, however, Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten selflessly policed the chase to ensure a Dutch rainbow jersey.


Garfoot won't have made too many friends in the chasing group, and she made little effort to claw back Blaak, preferring to save herself for a sprint. The tactic paid some dividends - she was fresh enough to sprint even when the peloton subsumed the chasing group in the breathless final kilometre.


Van Vleuten took fourth, ahead of Niewiadoma. Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) was 6th, ahead of Norway's Susanne Andersen.





1 Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) 4:06:30
2 Katrin Garfoot (Australia) 0:00:28
3 Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)
4 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands)
5 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
6 Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)
7 Susanne Andersen (Norway)
8 Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands)
9 Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
10 Elena Cecchini (Italy)


Chantal Blaak's win is all the more remarkable considering her crash and long chase back midway through the race. "I can’t believe it. Everything happened in the race and actually it took pretty long to get back up, I was in a lot of pain on that moment I thought my race was over," Blaak says. "I thought I’d try to come back and see what I could do but it was not really the plan that I should win the race. I just wanted to make it as good as possible for the team. Then I came in the good break, that was a good thing because I could get over the climb in front. After that, I just followed my heart and I stayed away."


With three riders out of seven in the leading group, the Dutch had a distinct numerical advantage, and they made it count. "We didn’t really talk to each other but we knew what to do," Blaak says. "There were three of us in a group of seven, and that meant we should attack and not wait for the sprint. Annemiek attacked first. Everyone react and I thought ‘this is a good moment.’ I don’t know what happened then, but they didn’t follow or they waited too long. It’s really a dream and I can’t believe it.


"We had really good teamwork. Everything was as planned. Everyone was strong and we raced aggressively. It’s also a lot of pressure because when you are in the break you have to win."


Chantal Blaak is presented with the rainbow jersey by newly-elected UCI president David Lappartient. The 27-year-old was already Dutch champion this season, but this is, by some distance, the biggest win of her career. "I was already super happy that I had the national champion’s jersey this year, now I have the rainbow - it’s a dream come true," Blaak said before mounting the podium.







1 Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) 4:06:30
2 Katrin Garfoot (Australia) 0:00:28
3 Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)
4 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands)
5 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
6 Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)
7 Susanne Andersen (Norway)
8 Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands)
9 Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
10 Elena Cecchini (Italy)


A full report, results and pictures are available here.


Thanks for following our live coverage on Cyclingnews this afternoon, we'll be back with more tomorrow from start to finish of the elite men's road race.


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