Marianne Vos (Netherlands) confirmed that she is the absolute best athlete in women’s cycling – and maybe in all cycling - with yet another dominant performance that gave her the world title on home roads in the Netherlands.
Vos won the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics and has also won the 2012 cyclocross world title, the women’s Giro d’Italia and the UCI Women’s World Cup. Victory on home roads completed a perfect season for Vos and ended five years of silver medals since she won her first world title in Salzburg, Austria in 2006.
Vos won with her usual aggressive style. She powered across to the breakaway of the race with a solo move on the Cauberg. She then attacked again on the Cauberg on the last lap and opened a big enough gap to win alone and wave a Netherlands’ flag as she crossed the line.
Australia’s Rachel Neylan finished 10 seconds behind Vos, with Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini third at 18 seconds and the USA’s Amber Neben fourth at 33 seconds. Vos’ loyal teammate Anna Van Der Breggen was fifth at 55 seconds, with the chasers finishing 3:40 behind. Highest Canadian was Joëlle Numainville who finished 13th at 4:37 back.
“It is so special to race in your own country,” Vos said. “I knew it could be the decisive break and it was great to see the gap growing, from one, to two and then to three minutes. When we got to the last lap I thought this is the moment when I could be world champion.”
“I knew how having the jersey felt from a long time ago, but I almost forgot after 2006. But this year has been very special, after the Olympics I focused really hard on this. And I felt good and knew I had to profit from that.”
The weeklong 2012 UCI Road World Championships end on Sunday with the Elite men road race over 267km. Several riders will be hoping to emulate Vos’ successful late attack. Others will be trying to win in a sprint as Alexey Lutsenko of Kazakhstan did in the Under 23 men race.
1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3:14:29
2. Rachel Neylan (Australia) +00:10
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) +00:18
4. Amber Neben (United States of America) +00:33
5. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) +00:55
13. Joelle Numainville (Canada) +04:37
16. Evelyn Stevens (United States of America)
21. Leah Kirchmann (Canada) +04:49
29. Carmen Small (United States of America)
30. Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada) +04:54
33. Megan Guarnier (United States of America)
44. Kristin McGrath (United States of America) +04:58
58. Andrea Dvorak (United States of America) +05:03
67. Veronique Labonte (Canada) +05:39
HD Lex Albrecht (Canada)
DNF Shelley Olds (United States of America)