Women’s World Road Race Championship

Marianne Vos won the 2012 Women’s World Road Race jumping away from a breakaway on the last passage of the Cauberg. Rachel Neyland (Australia) came in second, just before Italian Elisa Longo-Borghini.

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A massive crash after the second ascend of the Cauberg seemed to have a disastrous effect on the race. At least fifty riders hit the asphalt, with Dutch time trialist Ellen van Dijk as the main casualty. Van Dijk tried to close the gap to the bunch, but gave up after a 32 kilometer pursuit.

Until the end of lap 5 that is. Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands), Amber Neben (USA), Charlotte Becker (Germany), Rossela Ratto (Italy) and Rachel Neyland (Australia) took off and nobody seemed eager to bridge the gap. That seemed to be the sign for Dutch favorite Marianne Vos to unleash her agression. Just one mighty jump on the Cauberg sufficed for her to get into the front group. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Italy) managed to make the jump too. Just before the second to last passage of the Cauberg, Vos tried again. Only Ratto en Becker was dropped but three times worked a charm, exploding out of the group at three kilometers from the finish was too much for the other riders.

Marianne Vos, Netherlands, gold medal: When asked how she felt about being World Champion said “I knew how it felt after 2006 but then after my five silvers, it feels good. This year has been amazing with the World Cyclo–Cross and winning the World Cup overall then breaking my collar bone and to come back and ride the Giro d’Italia… and win it, then getting Gold in London.”

“In the past few weeks I have felt good and I knew I needed to keep myself in shape, my team did a good job to keep me motivated and in training mode, it was a good day we had a strong team and a good plan that worked, it was just amazing”.

When asked about her attack on the Cauberg Marianne said “I knew the Cauberg was hard and when you have done it seven times, its going to hurt, but I knew I could attack from this break so I waited till the steepest part then gave it all I had. It also helps when you have ridden the Cauberg a thousand times, but I had two and a half kilometres to ride alone with a head wind so it was tough.”

“The break that got away was a nice group and it helped to have Anna Van Der Breggen in the break but to jump across, we needed to keep it at 30/40 seconds so my team mates keep the pace high and did not let the break get any more time than that.”

Silver medallist Rachel Neylan (Australia) said “I am so proud and honoured to have been selected to ride for my country in the World Championships, and to get a medal is amazing, I just seemed to be in the right place at the right time, it was no surprise to me to see Marianne come across to the break I never thought she would allow us to gain more than one minute. With two Dutch girls and two Italians my role in the breakaway changed. I was supposed to assist Tiffany Cromwell and with two laps to go I got the all clear. As for Marianne’s attack, I knew she wouldn’t wait until the finish-line. It’s been a rough season and I was quite surprised and honored to be selected. So this medal is a shock. It’s my first worlds ever you know.”

Bronze Medal winner Elisa Borghini Longo (Italy) said “It’s great to win a medal in my first World championships. Two years ago I wasn’t even racing in European Championships. The best rider won the race she deserves it, but I gave it my all right up to the last moment and I am very pleased”.

“I was always riding in the front of the group, keeping an eye on Marianne, so I wasn’t involved in the crash. The second attack by Marianne, I could still keep her wheel. I’m not afraid of her, you just have to give everything. The last attack however was way too much. I was worn-out. After the Cauberg I gave everything and this is the result. If you had told me two years ago I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Thanks to Paul Burgoine for his quotes from the press conference

Women’s Elite
1 VOS Marianne Holland
2 NEYLAN Rachel Australia +10
3 LONGO Elisa Italy +18

15 POOLEY Emma Great Britain @4.37
39 LAWS Sharon Great Britain @4.58
60 COOKE Nicole Great Britain
66 HARRIS Nikki Great Britain


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