Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeDiariesWorld Road Championships - Annemiek Van Vleuten solos to Victory in the...

World Road Championships – Annemiek Van Vleuten solos to Victory in the Womens’ Road Race


Annemiek Van Vleuten crosses the line after a 60 mile solo – local legend, the late, great Beryl Burton would be proud of this ride on her Yorkshire roads.

The Orange-woman is immediately mobbed by a pack of feral photogs.

Photo©Ed Hood
Annemiek Van Vleuten and her parents. Photo©Ed Hood

But instead of being led away by the UCI podium guys, she effects a tricky clamber over the barriers and into the arms of mum and dad for a huge embrace before a race official moves a barrier and lets her get back to her machine and then the podium.

Anna Van Der Breggen. Photo©Ed Hood

But not before she’s embraced team mate, Anna Van Der Breggen who’s next across the line, taking silver, last girl standing from a little group which pursued VV in vain.

Aussie girl Amanda Spratt takes the last medal and is congratulated by her team mates just past the line.

Chloe Dygert. Photo©Ed Hood

In fourth place is freshly crowned ladies time trial champion, Chloe Dygert of the USA; she’s tried to bridge from the Spratt/Ban Der Breggen tandem but her doors had blown off in no uncertain fashion and she was in a state of near collapse.

Former champions Borghini of Italy and yet another Dutch woman, Marianne Vos filled fifth and sixth slots.

Former champion of the world, local lass Lizzie Armitage had been in the group behind Van Vleuten entering the Harrogate finishing circuit but like Dygert was another who lost her doors – 31st was the final verdict.

The rain which had been dropping like a seeded Chinese cloud burst all morning stopped as we parked up with Bradford giving us bright sunshine on it’s interesting mix of Victorian and 21st architecture.

Jessica Allen. Photo©Ed Hood
Arlenis Sierra. Photo©Ed Hood

There was the usual warming up on turbos going on but so too time spent on essential “ladies stuff” like braiding ponytails.

Photo©Ed Hood

Up at the Danish bus former Six Day and road star, Tayeb Braika was keeping an eye on the bikes, is it tempting providence to have little rainbow jerseys on the ropes around the bikes?

‘Yes’ would be the eventual answer to that.

Photo©Ed Hood

Former world Junior and Senior Ladies Champion, reigning Danish Champion, Amalie Dideriksen meanwhile headed for the sign on – this wouldn’t be her day, unlucky 13th it would be. 

Sofie De Vuyst finished in 14th place. Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

On the subject of former champions, Thor Hushovd and Dag Otto Lauritzen went unrecognised at the Norwegian bus – but not by an old saddo like me…

Photo©Ed Hood

Yorkshire is wool country and a few of the moorland sheep had wandered into town.

Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

At the GB bus the multitudes had gathered, hoping for a glimpse of Queen Lizzie.

Julie Leth meets a friend at the start. Photo©Martin Williamson
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig gets the carbs in. Photo©Martin Williamson
Juliette Labous. Photo©Martin Williamson

And now, in this politically correct world we live in, a question for our readers, we need guidance….

Photo©Ed Hood

Pink thunder boxes for the ladies; we feel this perhaps should be filed under “gender stereotyping?”

Down at the sign on the favourites were showing themselves…

Elizabeth Deignan. Photo©Martin Williamson
Lisa Brennauer. Photo©Martin Williamson
Marianne Vos. Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

Line up time with The Netherlands called first as last year’s champions, courtesy Anna van der Breggen.

Lizzie didn’t line up with her team mates – just the way the line-up happened or a deliberate part of the focus process?

They’re off – and so are we but on slightly shorter hop than the girls up to Harrogate.

Photo©Martin Williamson

* * *

Photo©Ed Hood

It must have been a portent that the first ‘crazies’ we saw when we arrived in Harrogate were about as orange as you can get…

First stop, Betty’s famous tea room, two jam scones and a pot of tea, £9:95 – and very civilised it was too.

Photo©Martin Williamson

On Thursday there was no problem getting a spot on the barriers on the drag to the finish as the juniors battled through the rain.

Photo©Ed Hood

Not today, jam-packed with fans all the way up to – and beyond – the finish line. 

First sighting of Annemiek Van Vleuten. Photo©Martin Williamson

By the time we saw the race for the first time it was as good as won with Annemiek Van Vleuten way clear on her own.

Annemiek Van Vleuten. Photo©Martin Williamson

Martin went off to explore the circuit and do the ‘action shots’ whilst I did my usual ‘pit poaching’ thing but not before we’d said ‘hello’ to our splendid host for the weekend, Mr. Bill Danson who was on volunteer duties with the organisation

Anna Van Der Breggen. Photo©Martin Williamson
Amanda Spratt. Photo©Martin Williamson
Chloe Dygert. Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Martin Williamson
Elizabeth Deignan chases the leaders. Photo©Martin Williamson
Julie Leth leads eventual 13th place finisher Amalie Dideriksen. Photo©Martin Williamson
Eugenia Bujak. Photo©Martin Williamson
Jesse Vandenbulcke. Photo©Martin Williamson
Hannah Barnes. Photo©Martin Williamson
Anna Henderson. Photo©Martin Williamson
The drag up to the finish line. Photo©Martin Williamson
Kathrin Schweinberger. Photo©Ed Hood

The tough finish circuit saw the end of many hopes, Dygert’s and Deignan’s just two of them; there was a steady stream of girls heading back to their team buses.

Ingvild Gaskjennn. Photo©Ed Hood

And some of the girls were visibly upset that their performance didn’t match their expectations.

Jarmila Machacova, last woman on the road. Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

But not the Dutch girls, patently on a higher level than the rest with the winner happy to admit to a huge training load, much of it at altitude, in a season where she’s won Strade Bianche, Liege Bastogne Liege, her National TT Championship and the Giro. 

Photo©Ed Hood
Chloe Dygert. Photo©Ed Hood

Up until today the USA has had a hugely successful Worlds with wins in the Ladies TT, both Junior Road Races, not to mention silver and bronze in the u23 TT – but both of their race favourites, TT winner Chloe Dygert and serial podium finisher Coryn Rivera not riding the races they would have liked, finishing fourth and 10th respectively.

Happy Polish supporters. Photo©Martin Williamson
Ed Hood and Martin Williamson
Ed and Martin, our top team! They try to do the local Time Trials, the Grand Tours and the Classics together to get the great stories written, the quality photos taken, the driving done and the wifi wrestled with.

Related Articles

Katie Archibald – Olympic Team Pursuit Champion!

At an Edinburgh Book Festival event last week Chris Boardman was asked about his experiences commentating at the recent Olympics, and his standout moments and riders. Chris mentioned that he spent some time with one of the riders who he reckons is an amazing woman and a very interesting character. We've spoken to her enough times to agree with that and to add that she's also an incredible bike rider - and we had a feeling she'd do the business in Rio... of course, we're talking about Ms. Katie Archibald, Olympic Team Pursuit Champion.

Catharine Pendrel Takes Gold in the Commonwealth Games 2014 – Cross Country Mountain Bike, Elite Women

Three times the cross country mountain bike event has been in the Commonwealth Games (introduced in 2002, it didn't feature on the programme in Dehli four years ago) and three times Canada have topped the womens' podium. This time it was the turn of Catharine Pendrel, who took control of the race midway round the first of five laps and wasn't challenged again, soloing to a 70 second win over her teammate Emily Batty, with Australian rider Rebecca Henderson third a further 12 seconds back, after a race-long battle with Batty.

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – U23 Men, Sven Erik Bystrom Takes it Solo

Well, if there's a pizza place in Ponferrada, we can't find it. It's rude to criticise your host's abode but we're mystified by how the Worlds came to be here. The communications are terrible, it's four-and-a-half hours by road or rail out of Madrid or get transfer flights up to the North West and more driving.

World U23 Road Race Championship 2011 – A Young Braveheart in the Medals

Braveheart rider Andy Fenn took an excellent bronze medal in the World U23 Road Race Championship 2011 on a windy but dry day in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen. The French team proved best motivated and organised with a dazzling one-two. Let's hope that Arnaud Demare doesn't go the way of so many French amateur and U23 champions in the past - big hype, big contract then a gradual slide in to obscurity.

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – Elite Men. Michal Kwiatkowski Times it Perfectly

Spanish sports paper, Mundo Deportivo says; 'El Tigre, en la Lieja-Ponferrada-Lieja' comparing the race to an Ardennes Classic. 'A complete cyclist with a brilliant future,' they say of the 24 year-old Pole Michal Kwiatkowski. Despite a tiny box on the front cover, the race gets two-and-a-half pages with nice colour pictures.

The First Women’s Tour of Scotland – from the roadside

The first Women's Tour of Scotland had some great racing, a wonderful parcours and somewhat mixed fortunes, suffering a cancelled stage and lots of rain and wind. Still, it's Scotland in August and not unexpected. Ed and Martin took in the action from the roadside.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2010, Stage 13: Rodez-Revel; Vino’s Day

Bonjour from Le Tour de France in Rodez-Revel! Vino - he's a boy. Born 16-09-1973 in Petropavlosk, he was a stagiere with Casino in 1997; he won the Dunkirk Four Day in his first full season and finished that year with six wins - an impressive debut.

Gent Six Day 2012 – Saturday Night

There are tired legs in the bunch but on a wet and windy Saturday night at the Gent Six Day 2012 all roads again led to Het Kuipke for another sell out beer and bike racing fest.

Strange Days Indeed

I was a sceptic; one of the, “it’s only the blinkin’ flu, for goodness sake!” Brigade. It all seemed like an overreaction, these things happen in places like China with so many folks living on top of each other. Strange days indeed.

Bec CC Hill Climb: Preview of the 52nd Edition

The 2006 edition of the Bec CC Hill Climb was absolutely remarkable on several fronts. Firstly, for the very first time in the history of the event we had a dead heat for 1st place. Gary Dodd of Sigma Sport, and Bill Bell of the Gemini B.C. battled to the line, in atrocious weather to both record a time of 1.49.17. Neither of these 'Kings of the Hill' have, as yet, stuck their heads above the turret for this years event, and neither have they been spotted out reconoitering White Lane in prep for another crack at taking the honours.

John Archibald – On the Cusp of a New Adventure

The last time we spoke to John Archibald he’d just won the Scottish Road Race Championship; since then he’s won a medal in the inaugural ‘mixed’ TTT Worlds in Harrogate, ridden well in the individual Worlds TT, enjoyed a World Cup in Minsk which saw him bested only by Filippo Ganna in the individual pursuit...

Jack Carlin – Adding to his World Championship Medal Collection

Another one for Jack Carlin. Major championship silver medal, that is, this time in the UCI World Team Sprint Championship in Berlin. We caught up with him as he prepared to take a wee break from training and racing before the big build up for the competition which really matters to Team GB: the Olympic Games in Tokyo come late July/early August.