Thursday, January 20, 2022
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World Road Race Championships 2012 – U23 Men’s & Women’s Road Race for Marianne Vos

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It’s a nice afternoon in Limburg for bike racing, the sun is out, there’s not a lot of wind and The Netherlands’ Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos has just bridged up to the break at the Womens Road Race World Championships, so the crowd is happy.

Yes, yes, I’m watching another women’s race.

No report though, I’m just out of the press room. I had the report to write up and pictures to process for the U23 race from this morning.

It started at 09:00 am so I had to leave the camper at 07:30 to work the start area.

It was cold and grey as the 157 U23 riders lined up.

Womens Road Race
Damp conditions as the Mens’ U23 race gets underway.

An early break went to seven minutes for the first half of the race, but once it came back it was apparent that it was going to be a bunch sprint.

Womens Road Race
The sprint in full flow and Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan) is in command.

But going back to Ms. Vos for a moment, she just lead the five girl break through with three minutes on the field. No-one can accuse her of not racing – but maybe she’s just too keen?

She has a team mate in there to share the pace, but there’s also an Italian, Elisa Longho Borghini; an American, Amber Neven and an Aussie, Rachel Neylan – none of whom is contributing much.

Womens Road Race
The Dutch Team drill it on the front to make the break stick.

The circuit isn’t as selective as we all perhaps thought; the Cauberg is tough, for sure. But it’s superfast off the top all the way to the Bemelberg – well surfaced, downhill or flat and with only two 90 degree left handers before the climb.

From the top of the Cauberg to the Maastricht sign, where the parcours turns left, reminds us a lot of the stretch running into the last kilometre at last year’s Worlds in Copenhagen. Along the back of the circuit it’s not technical at all.

Really, what it needs tomorrow is for the weather to be grim – wind and rain – that would ensure a real selection, but since I’m walking the parcours, I’ll settle for sunshine.

Womens Road Race
Our pal Wessel van Keuk is a pro photog for Cor Vos.