Canadian Cyclist


September 27/08 3:59 am - Road World Championships: Women's RR photos, report and results

Posted by Editoress on 09/27/08

Road World Championships - Women's Road Race Varese, ITA


Great Britain's Nicole Cooke completed an extremely rare double on Saturday, when she won the women's road title at the world championships in the same year as winning the Olympic title. Cooke out kicked former world champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and Judith Arndt (Germany) at the end of an extremely hard-fought 139 kilometre race through the streets of Varese. Canada's Alex Wrubleski was the top North American finisher, equaling the ninth place she recorded last year.

The 17.35 kilometre circuit doesn't have one race-defining section; instead it is made up of endless corners and two undulating climbs that are made for multiple attacks. The women covered eight laps of the circuit under cloudy and cool conditions - a marked difference from the sun and heat the Under-23 men faced the day before.

The opening couple of kilometres were marred by a crash near the front of the field. No one was seriously hurt, but it did allow a group of 13 to get clear. In the break were: Kristin Armstrong (United States), Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain), Luise Keller (Germany), Charlotte Becker (Germany), Diana Ziliute (Lithuania), Grace Verbeke (Belgium), Maryline Salvetat (France), Nikki Egyed (Australia), Angela Brodtka (Germany), Anna Sanchis Chafer (Spain), Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lithuania), Monia Baccaille (Italy) and Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mexico).

Olympic time trial champion Armstrong took control of the breakaway, driving it on the climbs and pushing the gap to over a minute by the second lap. The Dutch and the Canadians, neither of whom had riders in the break, did the majority of work to keep the time gap to a manageable level, with Erinne Willock (Canada) making a major effort on lap four, and her team mate Anne Samplonius attacking a lap later. The gap remained stable at just under 90 seconds.

On lap six, at the three quarter mark of the race, the gap started to fall when Armstrong backed off from driving the lead group, and Great Britain upped the tempo over the top of the second climb. The British surge split the field and brought the time difference down to 45 seconds.

Olympic silver medalist Emma Pooley (Great Britain) attacked on the seventh ascent, taking Emma Johansson (Sweden), Trixi Worrick (Germany) and Vos with her. A group of approximately 30 reassembled over the top of the climb, and were bearing down on the disintegrating lead group. Egyed tried to stay away solo as the rest of the break was scooped up, but was caught on the first climb of the final lap.

Vos immediately launched an attack, and was followed by Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden), Cooke, Trixie Worrack (Germany), Arndt and Emma Johansson (Sweden). Ljungskog had the misfortune of flatting shortly afterwards, which must have relieved the others in the lead group, given the two-time world champion's history in sprints at the Worlds.

At this point, the numerical advantage was with the Germans, and they began to try and cut down the odds. Worrack launched the first attack, with Vos leading the group back up to her. Arndt then attacked on the second climb, but Vos and Cooke were both immediately on top of her, with Johansson following and Worrack dropped.

"It was a good race, a positive race," said Arndt "and the German team was always on top of things. We had two riders in the final five, so we were in a good position, but we knew they are better sprinters. We tried everything we could, and attacked and attacked, but we could not get away."

While the Germans, Vos and Cooke were all eying each other warily, Johansson, the Olympic silver medalist, attacked with less than two kilometres to go. The move was perfectly timed as the group hesitated, and it looked like the Swede might pull off an upset. But Arndt, Vos and Cooke got themselves organized and swept by Johansson with 350 metres to go.

Vos led out, with Cooke on her wheel and Arndt out of contention. It looked like Vos might take her second world title in three years until Cooke came by on her right to win by a couple of bike lengths. Johansson and Worrack hung on for fourth and fifth, while Diana Ziliute (Lithuania) won the field sprint for sixth.

"I was feeling very strong on the last lap," explained Vos "and so I tried to attack. Then in the sprint, I could see Nicole on my wheel, but I couldn't go any faster. She had a better sprint."

For Cooke, it is the conclusion to a dream season, winning the title which has eluded her for so long after winning the Olympic gold medal. "I'm very, very, very happy," said the beaming Welshwoman. "When we started the race I was very relaxed, because I had already achieved my main goal for the season. The team didn't come in with any complicated plans, we were just going to try our best and see what developed. The team rode very well, and brought me to the point where I could be in the final selection. When it came to the sprint, I was doing it on instinct; you must give everything right to the finish line, which is what I did."

Wrubleski, who has been sick in the days leading up to the race, was pleased to finish in the top-10.

"The tactic was just to watch the best riders, make sure I stayed in a good position, and do the best that I could in the final laps. After the break got away when the crash happened, the [Canadian] girls chased to bring the gap down as much as they could."

"We started to get close [to the leaders] on the last lap, so I wanted to be in the top-15 on the last climb when the attacking would start. I got dropped just before the top, but was able to get back on in the descent. I knew a top-15 result was still possible, so I attacked as hard as I could in the final 500 metres and passed a lot of riders."

"I think it's good; it's the best I could have hoped for after being sick."

Race Note:

Wrubleski revealed that she will be joining the world number one team of Judith Arndt next year - Team Columbia. She says that while final plans are not yet decided, she expects to spend much of the season racing in Europe.

8 laps, 138.8 km

1 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)3:42:11
2 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
3 Judith Arndt (Germany)both s.t.
4 Emma Johansson (Sweden)0:05
5 Trixi Worrack (Germany)0:11
6 Diana Ziliute (Lithuania)1:47
7 Marta Vilajosana Andreu (Spain)
8 Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)
9 Alex Wrubleski (Canada)
10 Julia Martisova (Russian Federation)
11 Claudia Häusler (Germany)
12 Chantal Beltman (Netherlands)
13 Linda Villumsen (Denmark)
14 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
15 Nikki Egyed (Australia)
16 Grace Verbeke (Belgium)
17 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France)
18 Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania)
19 Christiane Soeder (Austria)
20 Maryline Salvetat (France)
21 Kaytee Boyd (New Zealand)
22 Amber Neben (United States)
23 Malgorzta Jasinska (Poland)
24 Siobhan Dervan (Ireland)
25 Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mexico)
26 Monia Baccaille (Italy)
27 Rasa Polikeviciute (Lithuania)
28 Sharon Laws (Great Britain)
29 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)
30 Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel (Netherlands)
31 Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden)
32 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lithuania)all s.t.
33 Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian Federation)1:56
34 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lithuania)
35 Emma Pooley (Great Britain)
36 Anna Sanchis Chafer (Spain)all s.t.
37 Noemi Cantele (Italy)1:59
38 Zinaida Stahurskaya (Belarus)4:54
39 Kristin Armstrong (United States)4:56
40 Alexandra Burchenkova (Russian Federation)5:24
41 Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) s.t.
42 Rosane Kirch (Brazil)6:08
43 Grete Treier (Estonia)6:11
44 Maja Adamsen (Denmark)
45 Oxana Kozonchuk (Russian Federation)
46 Clemilda Fernandes Silva (Brazil)
47 Karine Gautard (France)
48 Erinne Willock (Canada)
49 Lieselot Decroix (Belgium)
50 Sereina Trachsel (Switzerland)
51 Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic)
52 Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria Mazaga (Spain)
53 Vicki Whitelaw (Australia)
54 Edwige Pitel (France)
55 Paulina Brzezna (Poland)
56 Marissa van der Merwe (South Africa)
57 Monika Grzebinoga (Poland)
58 Liesbet De Vocht (Belgium)
59 Daniela Pintarelli (Austria)
60 Julie Beveridge (Canada)
61 Jessica Allen (Great Britain)
62 Suzanne De Goede (Netherlands)
63 Oenone Wood (Australia)
64 Carla Ryan (Australia)
65 Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation)
66 Patricia Schwager (Switzerland)
67 Kori Kelley Seehafer (United States)all s.t.
68 Monika Schachl (Austria)6:16
69 Rosara Joseph (New Zealand)
70 Fabiana Luperini (Italy)
71 Charlotte Becker (Germany
72 Luise Keller (Germany)all s.t.
73 Oksana Kashchyshyna (Ukraine)9:22
74 Verónica Leal Balderas (Mexico)
75 Sylwia Kapusta (Poland)12:14
76 Anriette Schoeman (South Africa)13:17
77 Sigrid Corneo (Slovenia)
78 Felicia Gomez (Canada)
79 Jennifer Hohl (Switzerland)
80 Elodie Touffet (France)
81 Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)all s.t.
82 Miho Oki (Japan)17:50
83 Yevgeniya Vysotska (Ukraine)20:20
84 Laure Werner (Belgium)22:02
85 Mirjam Hauser-Senn (Switzerland) s.t.
86 Julie Krasniak (France)27:51
87 Chrissie Viljoen (South Africa)28:39
88 Lynette Burger (South Africa)
89 Magdalena Zamolska (Poland)
90 Inga Cilvinaite (Lithuania)
91 Alona Andruk (Ukraine)all s.t.
DNF Eva Lechner (Italy)
DNF Regina Bruins (Netherlands)
DNF Irene van Den Broek (Netherlands)
DNF Angela Brodtka (Germany)
DNF Katheryn Curi Mattis (United States)
DNF Brooke Miller (United States)
DNF Christine Thorburn (United States)
DNF Karin Aune (Sweden)
DNF Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
DNF Monica Holler (Sweden)
DNF Marie Lindberg (Sweden)
DNF Andrea Thürig (Switzerland)
DNF Karin Thürig (Switzerland)
DNF Nathalie Bates (Australia)
DNF Rochelle Gilmore (Australia)
DNF Emma Rickards (Australia)
DNF Yulia Blindyuk (Russian Federation)
DNF Anne Samplonius (Canada)
DNF Maria Briceno Jimenez (Venezuela)
DNF Danielys Garcia Buittrago (Venezuela)
DNF Adriana Lovera Varela (Venezuela)
DNF Robyn de Groot (South Africa)
DNF Yolandi du Toit (South Africa)
DNF Cherise Taylor (South Africa)
DNF Leticia Gil Parra (Spain)
DNF Iosune Murillo Elkano (Spain)
DNF Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain)
DNF Anna Harkowska (Poland)
DNF Uenia Fernandes Da Souza (Brazil)
DNF Janildes Fernandes Silva (Brazil)
DNF Yuka Yamashima (Japan)
DNF Laura Lepasalu (Estonia)
DNF Mariya Slokotovich (Kazakhstan)
DNF Nathalie Lamborelle (Luxembourg)
DNF Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)
DNF Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic)
DNF Alena Sits Ko (Belarus)
DNF Hanna Taukanitsa (Belarus)
DNF Anita Valen De Vries (Norway)
DNF Olivia Dillon (Ireland)
DNF Louise Moriarty (Ireland)
DNF Heather Wilson (Ireland)
DNF Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)
DNF Kathryn Bertine (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
DNF Katarina Uhlarikova (Slovakia)
DNS Giuseppina Grassi Herrera (Mexico)
DSQ Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan)



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