29/09/18 - 8:21 PM
Road race - Women
World Championships • Stage11

Road race - Women
World Championships - 29 September 2018

World Championships – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 20:21 on 29 September 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Van der Breggen receives her rainbow jersey as tears well up in her eyes and the three flags of the riders out on the podium are draped down from the skies.

Don't forget from tomorrow at 11.55am UK time we have the men's road race. That should be fun.

Thanks for your company. Stay on the site for more reaction, but for now, it's goodbye.


We're into the presentation ceremony now and three very serious-looking volunteers hand over the flowers.

There's a fine piece of jewellery to be handed out by one of the sponsors and now we will have the national anthem of the Netherlands.

Van der Breggen saours the moment

There's huge celebration among the Dutch raging on.

Here's the champ, and Van der Breggen looks somewhat overawed by her achievement.

"I didn't know the time and didn't know anything," she told Eurosport. "I just kept going until the finish line and it was only then when I could see it was possible.

"So many times already this season I've been caught, so I just tried to eat and drink as much as possible.

"I was doubting a bit if I went a bit early or not, but I took this opportunity and had to go.

"All I had to do was keep going. The World Championships are always the goal for the season. I'm really happy with this title."


What a day of racing it's been. Annamiek van Vleuten and team-mate Amy Pieters show their delight for Van der Breggen. Rivera ends up way back in the field, she's beating herself up over that but she gave her all.

What a day of racing

It what has been one of the most punishing World Championship courses, we have a very worthy champions. Congratulations, Anna Van Der Breggen.


Guderzo was not the one expected to medal from her team today but she crosses 5:26 after Van der Breggen to win the bronze.

What an effort from the Italian. Here comes the run for the line as Fahlin and Jasinksa go neck-and-neck.... and it's Fahlin who takes fourth!


Spratt crosses the line, 3:42 behind Van der Breggen. She will feel like a winner in her own right as she takes a warm embrace.


Meanwhile, we have a battle on our hands, but it's not for a medal. Once Van der Breggen had caught Spratt, there was only going to be one winner. The Australian is into the final kilometre of this race.



The possibility, indeed the certainty that she is going to be world champion is dawning on Van der Breggen. She keeps looking over her shoulder but she needn't worry. Greatness she deserves, and greatness is what she's delivered as she crosses the finish line. MAGNIFICENT!


Spratt takes a big gulp of water and she threads her way through the Old Town. She'll be happily popping a tinny later and knows she has a lead of 5:01 on the gap to third. We're going to have individual finishes here with Guderzo looking good for bronze.

There's a battle for fourth and fifth which is probably going to be our only sprint.


Frankly, don't be surprised if Van der Breggen catches that time from Marsal. These are remarkable gaps, but then we have a remarkable winner in waiting.

She was second in the team and individual time trial earlier in the week, but she's taking home a gold medal today.


It's so unusual to see this. Normally in the final lap of the World Championships, they're all clustered together but Van der Breggen is over three minutes ahead of Spratt. Further back, Guderzo has a 31-second advantage in the final podium spot.

The Italian is looking to complete the set. She won in 2009 after a runners-up medal in 2004.


Van der Breggen is 2:54 ahead. Is she aware of Catherine Marsal's winning time of 3:45 in 1990? Most probably not, but she is gaining strength from the supporters who are roaring her home.


We could be set for quite a sizeable winning margin. Van der Breggen is now 2:28 ahead of Spratt and she will now enjoy her descent. She is finally going to add a World title.

There hasn’t been a winning margin of more than a minute since the Belarusian Zinaida Stahurskaia won by 1:27 in 2000.

Innsbruck has looked resplendent this weekend

Spratt passes a signpost saying, "3km to the summit." That's going to sting, but she's looking good for silver having taken a tumble. You can see the scuffage on her elbow.

Here comes the break from Tatiana Guderzo and Jasinska can't keep with her. She's saying I want that bronze medal. She's feeling good with around 16km to go for that group.


Van der Breggen has already had a silver medal around her neck, but she has drawn out more and more of a gap. It's 2:17 on Spratt, consistently riding faster than those behind her.

Our winner and silver medallist is looking pretty clear, but Rivera and Pieters have been disengaged from the quartet gunning for the bronze medal.


Spratt has around a two-minute buffer on the nearest rider behind her, but that chasing group of the aforementioned trio competing for a bronze medal could soon be joined by Amy Pieters of the Netherlands.

She'll be giving herself a chance of a bronze medal, while Karol-Ann Canuel and Tatiana Guderzo are honest, pushing on...


The gap is now approaching two minutes, while Spratt is looking comfortable in second. But the battle for third is on.

Fahlin, Rivera and Jasinska are all in contention while the peloton is still in range.


This could be the most emphatic results here at World Championships this year. Van der Breggen holds 1:50 over Spratt and just needs to get her head down on this climb. The Dutch rider has around 5km of hurt ahead, and it's not over until it's over, but she will be now allowing herself to believe the rainbow jersey is hers.


It will take some collapse by the Dutch rider Van der Breggen from here who is 1:43 ahead of Spratt. She did this at La Course but was caught right on the line, but the pack probably won't chase her down this time.


Look at the gap van der Breggen has created. There's an engrossing battle for bronze as Rivera is onto the tails of Fahlin and Jasinksa.

Rivera, Fahlin and Jasinksa in a three-way battle for bronze

INTO LAP THREE! Are we going to see a Dutch one and two? Still one more climb ahead but Van der Breggen looks untroubled and she extends her lead to 1:12. 23km more to go before that rainbow jersey can become a reality.

What an incline!

A spectator's lens cover is strewn across the course as the riders swing round a corner.That needs to get cleared by the next lap as it could well cause a problem. Rivera keeps going as she looks to chase down the front two.

Spratt is 55 seconds down on Van der Breggen. Fahlin and Jasinksa are in fourth and fifth respectively.


Rivera has been so active today and is determined to get herself a World Championship medal. What colour it will be, if she does, will come down to how she takes this next climb. The young Italian Perrone is also having a storming ride.

Van der Breggen's lead is a significant 45 seconds ahead of Spratt. The Dutch fans are out, numerous and making themselves heard...


The chase to Spratt is down to around 17 seconds as Rivera is some 37 seconds behind the leader. Van der Breggen has been a runner-up three times at the World Championships, but she doesn't want to be the bridesmaid here.


Finally Spratt comes through almost begrudgingly, but Anna van der Breggen says 'nice try!' She continues this engrossing duel by putting her foot on the gas. The wind has picked up as Rivera remains the lone chaser, some 15 seconds behind. Van der Breggen has established a 23-second lead as she drops Spratt. What a brave ride!


Anna van der Breggen makes her move, and that is some pace from the Dutchwoman. The Olympic champion is out on her own, chasing down the leaders and moving to the front.

Amazing that Rivera is staying with this alongside Spratt. If she can get over the top with a 10-second deficit she can make that up on the descent, we've seen her do it before.


Lucinda Brand is on the attack from that main group of chasers as Ellen van Dijk drops out. You can throw a blanket over the strongest riders but Armanda Spratt is looking very controlled. This gets to be more and more of a grind as they go up the incline. The attrition rate is going to rise higher and higher.


Rivera's lead has been eaten up by that first group of chasers as Dutch duo Anna van der Breggen and Annamiek van Vleuten and Katarzyna Niewiadoma of Poland decide they want a part of the day.

We're seeing the chasing group strung out again as they head for another long climb. There's no doubt going to be many more rolling attacks.

van Dijk hits the front from Pirrono

ONE LAP DOWN! Rivera keeps looking over her shoulder almost in disbelief. There's that nasty climb with around 3.5km to go for her to look for to, as she gives herself the luxury of a big gulp of liquid. She has around 19 seconds now on this big chase.

It's a very strong group with two laps to go. Sweden's Fahlin, Pirrone, Ellen van Dijk, Jasinska and Spratt are the fighting force immediately chasing Rivera.


This is a drag now that is getting more and more testing, but so far out with still 50km to go. There's no let up as the chasing pack aggressively hunt down Rivera. The gap is now down to 10 seconds. I'd say Brand is looking the most threatening.

Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini attacks Rivera, with Anna van de Breggen and Amanda Spratt not far behind.


Spratt remains in the chasing group despite her crash, which is quite remarkable. The group of 20 riders are forming themselves into small pockets of fighting forces with Rivera around 28 seconds ahead now.

This is a big chase from Lucinda Brand who wants a piece of the action as the riders come back through the old town and over the tramlines.


I'm afraid to tell you that Spratt has taken a tumble... to the left-hand side of the road as they come down the mountain. Rivera is looking imperious on that decent, telling the Dutch: "Come and catch me!"

You don't want to anger that trio of Anna van de Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten, Lucinda Brand... has she gone too early? Kennedy looks like she's tiring after all the exertion on the climb.


What pace from America’s Coryn Rivera with 61.3km to go! She's out of sight and no-one is daring to take her on for now.

Anna van der Breggen has done well to recover from a puncture but it's not such good news for And Van Dijk, Guderzo and Ludwig, who have been caught by that hefty 25-strong leading group.


The elite group swells now to around 23 riders but the gap has closed to around 14 seconds. Lucy Kennedy has spearheaded that chasing group for quite some time, and Spratt remains a lively contender. Further back are the British pair Dani Rowe and Sophie Wright, who are dropping back in that group.


Lotta Lepisto has been near the front all race but the Finnish rider has now been dropped.

There's no real desire to retreat into the peloton, either, as she stands back up and aims to catch the chasers.

There's a chasing group of around 24 riders, with 63km to go.

This climb is no laughing matter as Amanda Spratt and Annemiek Van Vleuten are there, plus Dutch teammates Chantal Blaak and Lucinda Brand.

The leaders have a 20-sec lead.


The riders have negotiated the descent and are weaving their way towards the second climb.


The race has hit the first big climb and the pace is extraordinary. The peloton have already swallowed up the chasing pack and have just 30 seconds to make up to the lone leader. Riders are dropping off the back in large numbers, unable to keep up with the pace being set by the world's top climbers.


Van Vleuten is back in the peloton after that crash, but she's looking pretty shaken. That's a blow for the favourite, but she's got plenty of time to regather her composure.


The two leaders are losing time to the chasing pack, with the gap down to under a minute. The peloton are a further minute behind... but those big climbs are still to come and that will be where the race is won.


This time an attack has opened up a proper gap. The lead is over two minutes at the moment, but they're going to need a lot more than that before the big climbs later on.


Amen to that, Cecilie!


The excellent Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig summed up the view of the pro women in her blog about the issue, saying:

"My big question is, why can’t we do the same course as the men, and take on the final climb too?

"When people are talking about Innsbruck, everyone is talking about the spectacular course. But they are mainly talking about the final “wall” with a gradient that peaks at 28%. Vincenzo Nibali stated after his recon that – “The final climb looked like a mountain bike endurance race, it’s so hard”.

"I think it’s really sad the women are not racing it too.

"Why is there a huge difference between the genders? Is it because they think we are weak? Or not capable of racing these climbs?

"I know the men are clearly racing faster, but we are not completely lost. Last year in La Course for example Annemiek Van Vleuten managed to get the third fastest time on the Strava segment ‘last 5km’ of the Col d’Izoard, only beaten by Warren Barguil and Romain Bardet. I know the times are not completely comparable, but my point is that we can do some fine racing on hard climbs as well.

"I can’t think of another sport where there is such a big gender difference.

"It seems that cycling is clinging to old traditions. We need to change that. It’s frustrating that it feels like we are often a sideshow or a warm-up act for the men. I believe we need to have this discussion and I encourage everybody to participate."


Of course the big talking point ahead of this race was the difference between the men's and women's courses in this World Championships. Three laps of the climbing section compared to six for the men is justifiable, but the decision not to give the women a chance to take on the infamous Holl climb raised more than a few eyebrows.

Didi the devil

An early attack had seen Aurela Nerlo open up a gap of 40 seconds, but the first serious climb has hit her legs and the peloton are about to sweep her back up.


It's been an extraordinarily fast start, with the pace so high that a number of riders have already been dropped. The big names are all still in the pack, but the peloton are flying.

WCH 2017: Women's Road Race - Feature

It's a tough, tough day ahead for the riders. 2,413m of climbing awaits, with the majority of it coming in the second half of the route. Each of three laps of the closing circuit takes in a 7.9km climb at a 5.7% average gradient. It's going to be a good one.


The racing is underway in Austria as the world's elite women take on a tricky 156.2km route.