September 22, 2012 (Valkenburg, NED) – The Elite Women’s road race at the 2012 Road World Championships is now underway with 132 starters in sunny conditions. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) is the defending champ but local favourite and Olympic gold medalist, Marianne Vos (Netherlands), is hoping to finally win the rainbow jersey after placing 2nd the last five times at the Road Worlds (she won in 2006). The USA’s Evelyn Stevens and Shelly Olds are keen to podium as are Great Britain riders, Emma Pooley and Nicole Cooke. Racing for Canada are Joelle Numainville, Leah Kirchmann, Karol-Ann Canuel, Lex Albrecht and Veronique Labonte… the women will complete 8 laps (16.1km) for 128.8km…
The peloton has stayed together as the Americans have been active at the front. The first lap was completed in 24:38 and then a huge crash on lap 2 took down about 30-40 riders including big names like Judith Arndt (GER). The crash caused by an Italian and Czech rider split the peloton and lots of riders are all over the road trying to catch back on… there were no serious injuries.
Vos and Pooley escaped the crash… Canada’s Numainville, Labonte and Kirchman were also clear of the carnage. Arndt is now back with the lead. Eleonora van Dijk (Ned) was caught in the crash and may be out.
The Dutch are pushing the pace at the front… along with the Germans.
The riders caught in the crash are trying to catch back on weaving in between the cars behind the lead group of about 60 riders.
A Dutch rider attacks… they’ll be looking to put the hurt to the other teams and test the legs of the other teams.
Now Trixi Worrack (Ger) and Kirsten Wild (Ned) bridge up and the 3 have a few seconds on the peloton.
Many riders have bridged back to the main pack… all together.
Lucinda Brand (Ned) just before the climb… the Germans and Italians are chasing. Brand is caught and now Arndt is at the front. Correction Arndt and an American have joined Brand leading the peloton.
Now 3-4 more riders have bridged to the leaders and this break looks dangerous – 6 riders are out front with Italy, Netherlands, Germany, USA, Russia. Pooley is leading the peloton and seems to have hesistated and let the break open a gap.
More riders have bridged to the leaders now 10-strong… the peloton is chasing them down lead by Norway.
Back together… but likely not for long.
Pooley, Vos, Stevens and Olds are all at the front… now an Australian takes the lead as the riders are strung out behind.
Up the Bemelerberg it’s groupo compacto.
The US attacks and Italy responds… it’s Amber Stevens now with 4 riders out front with a little gap.
Another rider joins them and it’s a 5-strong break with Stevens, Charlotte Becker (Ger), Rossella Ratto (Italy) a Dutch rider and an Australian – they’ve got 15s.
Now 28s gap… no Brits in the break.
An Aussie and Dutch rider now try to bridge to the break… the peloton is reacting.
The two are caught as they hit the Cauberg.
The break includes Neben (USA), Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands), Becker (Germany), Ratto (Italy) and Rachel Neylan (Australia).
The 5 leaders begin lap 6 at 2:03:32… the gap to the chasing peloton is 27s.
The gap extends to 32s… this is a dangerous break as the time left to catch them is dwindling.
Two riders escape from the peloton…a Belgium and French rider.
Neben is pushing the pace in the lead group – van der Breggen is sitting on the back of the lead group biding her time.
They hit the Bemelerberg… the gap is 37s.
Great Britain is now at the front trying to bring down the gap as the Cauberg approaches – 35s is the gap.
Shelly Olds (USA) and Eleonora van Dijk (Ned) both caught in the early crash are out – a total of 29 riders have abandoned so far.
Vos attacks on the Cauberg… Pooley reacts.
Vos has bridged to the leaders as well as an Italian rider and Emma Johanssen (Swe) – the time is 2:28:19 with two to go.
Russia’s Pankova is on her own trying to bridge to the leaders – Worrack needs a bike change.
Pankova is at 58s – the peloton is at 1:22… the other Italian rider is Elissa Longo Borghini – so 2 Italians, 2 Dutch riders are in the break.
Chasing behind are Pooley and the Belgians with Canada’s Numainville and Canuel in the chase group with Kirchmann, Labonte and Albrecht further back – the break is not likely to be caught.
Correction – Emma Johanssen (Swe) is NOT in the lead break of 7 riders.
Vos attacks…Borghini is with her and Neylan – they’ve gapped the four others in the break.
Neben and van der Breggen catch on – Becker and Ratto have been dropped.
Lap 8 FINAL
Vos is leading as five riders begin the bell lap at 2:51:44…
Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands)
Amber Neben (USA)
Rachel Neylan (Australia)
Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
Is Vos pushing too hard or can she continue to push the pace up the Cauberg and finally claim the prize she’s after?
The peloton is at 3:32…
The two Dutch riders are leading and the others are just sitting on up the Bemelerberg.
Longo Borghini may have problem and wants to chat with her team car with 7.5km to go.
Vos is out front with Longo Borghini on her wheel and Neylan as well.
Neylan attacks on the Cauberg… now Vos counters and kicks ahead.
Vos is on her own as Neylan holds on to second as Longo Borghini has run out of gas.
Vos looks behind and knows she’s on her own… finally after winning in 2006 she’ll reclaim the title.
Vos wins GOLD…
1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3:14:29
2. Rachel Neylan (Australia) 0:10
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) 0:18
4. Amber Neben (United States of America) 0:33
5. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) 0:55
6. Rossella Ratto (Italy) 3:40
7. Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) 4:37
8. Judith Arndt (Germany)
9. Emma Johansson (Sweden)
10. Paulina Brzezna-Bentkowska (Poland)
11. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands)
12. Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa)
13. Joelle Numainville (Canada)
14. Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)
15. Emma Pooley (Great Britain)
16. Evelyn Stevens (United States of America)
17. Jessie Daams (Belgium)
18. Liesbet De Vocht (Belgium)
19. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) 4:49
20. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
21. Leah Kirchmann (Canada)
22. Inga Cilvinaite (Lithuania)
23. Ceclie Gotaas Johnsen (Norway)
24. Oxana Kozonchuk (Russian Federation)
25. Yevgeniya Vysotska (Ukraine)
26. Ivanna Borovichenko (Ukraine)
27. Larisa Pankova (Russian Federation)
28. Anna Sanchis Chafer (Spain)
29. Carmen Small (United States of America)
30. Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada)
31. Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) 4:52
32. Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation) 4:54
33. Megan Guarnier (United States of America)
34. Charlotte Becker (Germany)
35. Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria Mazaga (Spain) 4:58
36. Clemilda Fernandes Silva (Brazil)
37. Edwige Pitel (France)
38. Elena Cecchini (Italy)
39. Sharon Laws (Great Britain)
40. Sofie De Vuyst (Belgium)
41. Kelly Druyts (Belgium)
42. Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic)
43. Annelies Van Doorslaer (Belgium)
44. Kristin McGrath (United States of America)
45. Claudia Hausler (Germany)
46. Aleksandra Burchenkova (Russian Federation)
47. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 5:03
48. Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)
49. Olena Sharga (Ukraine)
50. Cherise Taylor (South Africa)
51. Lise Nostvold (Norway)
52. Malgorzta Jasinska (Poland)
53. Shara Gillow (Australia)
54. Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spain)
55. Amelie Rivat (France)
56. Katazina Sosna (Lithuania)
57. Trixi Worrack (Germany)
58. Andrea Dvorak (United States of America)
59. Olivia Dillon (Ireland) 5:39
60. Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)
61. Petra Zrimsek (Slovenia)
62. Jennifer Hohl (Switzerland)
63. Edita Janeliunaite (Lithuania)
64. Francesca Cauz (Italy)
65. Claudia Veronica Leal Balderas (Mexico)
66. Nikki Harris (Great Britain)
67. Veronique Labonte (Canada)
68. Amanda Spratt (Australia)
69. Adrie Visser (Netherlands) 5:41
70. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany)
71. Jessie MacLean (Australia) 6:04
72. Gracie Elvin (Australia)
73. Marta Tagliaferro (Italy)
74. Noemi Cantele (Italy)
75. Hanna Nilsson (Sweden)
76. Evelyn Arys (Belgium)
77. Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)
78. Sandrine Bideau (France) 6:22
79. Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 7:01
80. Lilibeth Chacon Garcia (Venezuela) 8:24
HD Lex Albrecht (Canada)
HD Miriam Bjørnsrud (Norway)
DNF Romy Kasper (Germany)
DNF Loren Rowney (Australia)
DNF Siobhan Horgan (Ireland)
DNF Aleksandra Sosenko (Lithuania)
DNF Serika Guluma Ortiz (Colombia)
DNF Doris Schweizer (Switzerland)
DNF Daniela Pintarelli (Austria)
DNF Lise Olivier (South Africa)
DNF Alexandra Chekina (Russian Federation)
DNF Martina Ritter (Austria)
DNF Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan)
DNF Maria Briceno (Venezuela)
DNF Rimma Luchshenko (Kazakhstan)
DNF Audrey Cordon (France)
DNF Sara Mustonen (Sweden)
DNF Jessica Kihlbom (Sweden)
DNF Patricia Schwager (Switzerland)
DNF Sophie Creux (France)
DNF Joanna Van De Winkel (South Africa)
DNF Katie Colclough (Great Britain)
DNF Shelley Olds (United States of America)
DNF Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
DNF Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)
DNF Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands)
DNF Emily Collins (New Zealand)
DNF Eugenia Bujak (Poland)
DNF Olena Pavlukhina (Ukraine)
DNF Anna Nahirna (Ukraine)
DNF Semra Yetis (Turkey)
DNF Rotem Gafinovitz (Israel)
DNF Mia Radotic (Croatia)
DNF Mayra Del Rocio Rocha (Mexico)
DNF Kathryn Bertine (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
DNF Kaat Hannes (Belgium)
DNF Robyn De Groot (South Africa)
DNF An-Li Pretorius (South Africa)
DNF Sari Saarelainen (Finland)
DNF Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)
DNF Roberta Monaldini (San Marino)
DNF Isabelle Soderberg (Sweden)
DNF Lenore Pipes (Guam)
DNF Julia Martisova (Russian Federation)
DNF Andrea Graus (Austria)
DNF Yennifer Cesar (Venezuela)
DNF Emma Crum (New Zealand)
DNF Kate Chilcott (New Zealand)
DNF Martina Sablikova (Czech Republic)
DNF Agne Silinyte (Lithuania)
DNF Ursa Pintar (Slovenia)
DNF Pavlina Sulcova (Czech Republic)