Elite Women Road Race: Herning - Herning
Marianne Vos (Netherlands) won her third European road race title at the 2017 championships in Herning, Denmark, beating Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) with a powerful and well-timed sprint into a headwind.
Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) took the bronze medal after also being part of a break of seven riders that formed with 25km to go. The move reduced in numbers during the final lap due to a crash that took out Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland), with Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) also distanced when Zabelinskaya attacked with a kilometre to go.
Bronzini was on Vos' wheel into the headwind sprint but was unable to come past her long-time rivals as Vos used every drop of her energy and strength to hit the line first and take her first ever European road race title.
Vos, previously the European champion in 2006 and 2007, has endured a difficult 2017 season, fracturing her collarbone at Women's Tour and so missing the Giro Rosa. She returned to win the BeNe Ladies Tour in mid-July and showed she is back to her best with her perfectly executed sprint finish.
"I'm very happy. We had a really strong team here. We knew we had the pressure, but we were ready to make it a tough race. We tried several times to get a breakaway, I was finally the lucky one to end up in a group with some strong riders," she explained.
"It's a flat race, but the circumstances made it harder and there was a top class field so it was always going to be difficult to get into a good breakaway. I'm very happy to be European champion."
A seven-rider attack
The six laps of the 20km circuit around Herning were pan-flat but the strong crosswinds and early rain made it a hard race, with the rivalry between the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and France adding an extra layer of tactics and intrigue.
Several attacks went clear in the first half of the race, including a strong nine-rider move. However, the combination of team leaders and strong nations was never right, with the peloton coming back together for the final two laps.
Zabelinskaya sparked the decisive seven-rider attack with 30km to go and Vos quickly committed. So too did Italy, with Longo Borghini sacrificing her own chances to work on the front and make sure they stayed away as France and Belgium led the chase behind. The gap on the peloton quickly opened to 20 seconds and then went up to 40 seconds as Italy and the Netherlands tried to slow any chase.
Sheyla Gutierrez (Spain) was the first to be dropped from the attack with 10km to go as the speed and crosswinds caused a fight for the best position. Then Pawlowska touched wheels and crashed hard, scattering the break. Charlotte Becker (Germany) lost contact as a result, reducing the attack to just four riders with four kilometres to go.
The peloton was only 28 seconds behind but Longo Borghini gave her all to ensure the move stayed away. She was dropped when Zabelinskaya accelerated with a kilometre to go and was cruelly caught by the peloton just before the line.
The trio left up front stayed out of reach and fought for the medals. Zabelinskaya did a long turn to ensure she took at least the bronze medal and then Vos and Bronzini fought for victory. The Italian seemed perfectly placed on Vos' wheel but the former three-time world champion knows how to take on a sprinter in a headwind. She waited late before coming off Zabelinskaya's wheel and then gave everything she had close to the barriers. Bronzini tried to come up alongside but never got more than halfway and began to fade into the wind. Vos had enough time and strength to sit up and celebrate her victory at the line.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marianne Vos (Netherlands)||2:51:13|
|2||Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)|
|3||Olga Zabelinskaya (Russian Federation)||0:00:02|
|4||Roxane Fournier (France)||0:00:15|
|5||Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)|
|6||Jolien D'hoore (Belgium)|
|7||Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)|
|8||Lotta Lepistö (Finland)|
|9||Maria Confalonieri (Italy)|
|10||Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)|
|11||Marta Bastianelli (Italy)|
|12||Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)|
|13||Christina Perchtold (Austria)|
|14||Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)|
|15||Emilie Moberg (Norway)|
|16||Eugenia Bujak (Poland)|
|17||Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)|
|18||Alzbeta Pavlendova (Slovakia)|
|19||Jessy Druyts (Belgium)|
|20||Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)|
|21||Martina Ritter (Austria)|
|22||Daniela Reis (Portugal)|
|23||Amy Pieters (Netherlands)|
|24||Sara Penton (Sweden)|
|25||Sandra Weiss (Switzerland)|
|26||Ganna Solovei (Ukraine)|
|27||Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania)|
|28||Katarzyna Wilkos (Poland)|
|29||Beate Zanner (Germany)|
|30||Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland)|
|31||Désirée Ehrler (Switzerland)|
|32||Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)|
|33||Romy Kasper (Germany)|
|34||Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spain)|
|35||Olena Pavlukhina (Azerbaijan)|
|36||Janneke Ensing (Netherlands)|
|37||Karolina Karasiewicz (Poland)|
|38||Lydia Boylan (Ireland)|
|39||Julie Leth (Denmark)|
|40||Elizaveta Oshurkova (Russian Federation)|
|41||Camilla Møllebro Pedersen (Denmark)|
|42||Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)|
|43||Ewelina Szybiak (Poland)|
|44||Rotem Gafinovitz (Israel)|
|45||Kseniia Dobrynina (Russian Federation)|
|46||Sarah Inghelbrecht (Belgium)|
|47||Laura Vainionpää (Finland)|
|48||Thea Thorsen (Norway)|
|49||Kathrin Hammes (Germany)|
|50||Ana Maria Covrig (Romania)|
|51||Mette Fischer Therkelsen (Denmark)|
|52||Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spain)|
|53||Olga Shekel (Ukraine)|
|54||Ingrid Moe (Norway)|
|55||Monika Brzezna (Poland)|
|56||Nicole Hanselmann (Switzerland)|
|57||Shani Bloch-Davidov (Israel)|
|58||Line Marie Gulliksen (Norway)|
|59||Corinna Lechner (Germany)|
|60||Eugénie Duval (France)|
|61||Christina Malling Siggaard (Denmark)|
|62||Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)|
|63||Chantal Blaak (Netherlands)|
|64||Ann-Sophie Duyck (Belgium)|
|65||Kim De Baat (Belgium)|
|66||Kaat Hannes (Belgium)|
|67||Ilaria Sanguineti (Italy)|
|68||Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukraine)|
|69||Chantal Hoffmann (Luxembourg)|
|70||Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands)||0:00:24|
|71||Michelle Lauge Quaade (Denmark)|
|72||Aude Biannic (France)|
|73||Hanna Nilsson (Sweden)|
|74||Audrey Cordon (France)|
|75||Charlotte Bravard (France)|
|76||Trine Schmidt (Denmark)|
|77||Louise Holm Houbak (Denmark)|
|78||Anna Plichta (Poland)|
|79||Elise Delzenne (France)|
|80||Roxane Knetemann (Netherlands)|
|81||Sanne Cant (Belgium)|
|82||Simona Frapporti (Italy)|
|83||Anna Stricker (Italy)|
|84||Valerie Demey (Belgium)||0:03:09|
|85||Soraya Paladin (Italy)||0:00:44|
|86||Yevgeniya Vysotska (Ukraine)||0:03:09|
|87||Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)||0:06:22|
|DNF||Charlotte Becker (Germany)|
|DNF||Antonia Gröndahl (Finland)|
|DNF||Minna-Maria Kangas (Finland)|
|DNF||Rosa Törmänen (Finland)|
|DNF||Ida Erngren (Sweden)|
|DNF||Mia Radotic (Croatia)|
|DNF||Mónika Király (Hungary)|
|DNF||Avital Gez (Israel)|
|DNF||Omer Shapira (Israel)|
|DNF||Agusta Bjornsdottir (Iceland)|
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