News: Historic Win for van Vleuten

Double Giro Rosa champion Annemiek van Vleuten stormed to her debut UCI Road Race World Championship following a staggering solo attack with more than 100-kilometres to go in Yorkshire.

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

News: Historic Win for van Vleuten

Twice a former World Time Trial Champion, Annemiek van Vleuten used her skills at riding solo to storm to her debut UCI Road Race World Championship following a staggering attack with more than 100-kilometres to go in Yorkshire.

Annemiek van Vleuten: Photo – Yorkshire2019

Disappointed with her third-place finish in the Elite Women Time Trial earlier in the week, the Netherlands’ Annemiek van Vleuten made up for it in a huge way today, racing for over 100km in a solo breakaway to take the Elite Women Road Race world title.

152 riders from 50 different nations took to the roads of Yorkshire and as the race rolled into Lizzie Deignan’s home town of Otley, right past the 2015 World Road Race Champion’s front door, the peloton slowed and allowed Deignan to ride through the town with her teammate and Yorkshire compatriot Lizzy Banks – and what a welcome they received.

After that though it was the Dutch who dominated proceedings. Made up of multiple world champions, the team was filled with household names such as reigning champion and current Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen, three-time world and one-time Olympic champion Marianne Vos, 2017 world champion Chantal Blaak and of course, the time trial specialist and new road race world champion Annemiek van Vleuten.

Annemiek van Vleuten: Photo – Yorkshire2019

As soon as the peloton approached the first climb, the Dutch’s game plan kicked into action. Demi Vollering hit the front as they road up Norwood Edge and blew the bunch apart, the chase managed to reel her back in and then Floortje Mackaij counter attacked. The Netherlands had come to play, and they had so many cards in their hand just waiting to be played.

As they approached Lofthouse for the 3.5km climb at 7.6%, they played their ace – Annemiek van Vleuten attacked and left the rest of the riders in her wake. A chase group featuring some very strong riders formed and they went to work on cutting down van Vleuten’s 1.25 advantage. The group included Deignan (GB), van der Breggen (Ned), Longo Borghini (Ita), Dygert (USA), Amanda Spratt (Aus), Paladin (Italy), Ludwig (Den) and Kloppenburg (Ger).

The 36-year-old Annemiek van Vleuten  didn’t ease up on the exposed ascent and stretched her advantage out to over one minute over the summit, while her trade teammate Spratt formed part of a select chase group behind with Lizzie Deignan and the others.

However, that chasing group struggled to work together and as they faltered, Van Vleuten continued to extend her lead. The chasers got within in 45-seconds of bridging across, but as they reached the finishing circuit in Harrogate the gap stood at two-minutes. The attacks played perfectly into the hands of Van Vleuten as the moves disrupted the tempo behind and the gap held steady at two-minutes. Nobody could make inroads into the advantage and the difference remained over two-minutes as Van Vleuten raced onto the final lap.

Chloé Dygert, the winner of the Time Trial title a few days ago, tried to go solo to chase Annemiek van Vleuten down but ran out of legs and was caught and dropped by two of her former breakaway companions, Anna van der Breggen and Spratt. The Aussie Spratt was eventually distanced in the race for the runners-up spot, but there was no catching Van Vleuten as she pulled off the unthinkable and finished off her mammoth solo attack to claim the rainbow jersey in style.

… continued after advert

Deignan meanwhile had missed the move after trying to chase down an attack only for other riders to attack over the top of her and gap her for the final time and she was eventually caught by the peloton.

Lizzie Deignan leading the chase group: Photo – Yorkshire2019


Annemiek van Vleuten: “It was a 100-kilometre time trial. It was crazy plan, it actually was not planned. I wanted to go hard on the climb. Then I had a gap…and my coach said just continue now, so it was a crazy plan. This was really crazy, and I’m a little bit crazy. I train a lot and I think that also helped me today to be ready for such a big effort, because people who know me, know I train a lot of hours on the bike, that helped me today.”

“So many emotions, my mother was here, that’s really special for me. It was such a big dream for me to be world champion, I’ve been world champion in the time trial, but on the road you can wear it so much more often. I was really enjoying the moment on the finish line, I really enjoyed all the people, they were crazy today here in Yorkshire, everyone was cheering for me, goose bumps!

Chloé Dygert: Photo – Yorkshire2019

Great Britain rider Lizzie Deignan said: “Today was absolutely phenomenal and a massive privilege to be able to experience. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to ride a home World Championships and I just want to say thank you to all those people who supported me. It’s a day I’ll never forget and I’m so proud of Yorkshire. Congratulations to Annemiek too, she was in a class of her own today.”

“I’m exhausted, but super proud of the team effort. The team put on an incredible performance – Anna Henderson had a phenomenal ride, Nikki Juniper put us in a superb position early on as well. Everyone gave their all. We came here for gold and we didn’t get it, but we gave it our best.”

Juniper added: “Lizzie is a year out from having her baby – that’s phenomenal, and to have that amount of pressure…we couldn’t go anywhere this week without her having a camera put in her face, and to deal with that is just amazing. She’s my world champion.”

Anna Henderson was Britain’s leading rider in the race at the finish in 22nd. “I was swinging with about 40k to go but my legs kept on giving and the crowds were amazing, I said to Nikki, I had goosebumps, it was pretty insane out there. The sprint at end was pretty hectic. I tried to move Lizzie up but both of us at the end had nothing to give and we just tried to fight our way to the line. Im dead proud of the team today, we all gave  as good as we had and we knew Lofthouse would be a key moment so we knew we had to be at the front there and Lizzie gave it her all. For me, it was a great day out.”

1 Annemiek van Vleuten Netherlands 04:06:05
2 Anna van der Breggen Netherlands @ 2:15
3 Amanda Spratt Australia @ 2:28
4 Chloé Dygert Owen USA @ 3:24
5 Elisa Longo Borghini Italy @ 4:45
6 Marianne Vos Netherlands @ 5:20
7 Marta Bastianelli Italy
8 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio South Africa
9 Lisa Brennauer Germany
10 Coryn Rivera USA

22 Anna Henderson Great Britain
31 Lizzie Deignan Great Britain
62 Hannah Barnes Great Britain @ 9:53
63 Alice Barnes Great Britain
80 Nicola Juniper Great Britain @ 23:472016_ShuttVeloRapideAdvert


Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK