Thursday, May 30, 2024

World Road Championships – Annemiek Van Vleuten solos to Victory in the Womens’ Road Race


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Annemiek Van Vleuten crosses the line after a 60 mile solo – local legend, the late, great Beryl Burton would be proud of this ride on her Yorkshire roads.

The Orange-woman is immediately mobbed by a pack of feral photogs.

Photo©Ed Hood
Annemiek Van Vleuten and her parents. Photo©Ed Hood

But instead of being led away by the UCI podium guys, she effects a tricky clamber over the barriers and into the arms of mum and dad for a huge embrace before a race official moves a barrier and lets her get back to her machine and then the podium.

Anna Van Der Breggen. Photo©Ed Hood

But not before she’s embraced team mate, Anna Van Der Breggen who’s next across the line, taking silver, last girl standing from a little group which pursued VV in vain.

Aussie girl Amanda Spratt takes the last medal and is congratulated by her team mates just past the line.

Chloe Dygert. Photo©Ed Hood

In fourth place is freshly crowned ladies time trial champion, Chloe Dygert of the USA; she’s tried to bridge from the Spratt/Ban Der Breggen tandem but her doors had blown off in no uncertain fashion and she was in a state of near collapse.

Former champions Borghini of Italy and yet another Dutch woman, Marianne Vos filled fifth and sixth slots.

Former champion of the world, local lass Lizzie Armitage had been in the group behind Van Vleuten entering the Harrogate finishing circuit but like Dygert was another who lost her doors – 31st was the final verdict.

The rain which had been dropping like a seeded Chinese cloud burst all morning stopped as we parked up with Bradford giving us bright sunshine on it’s interesting mix of Victorian and 21st architecture.

Jessica Allen. Photo©Ed Hood
Arlenis Sierra. Photo©Ed Hood

There was the usual warming up on turbos going on but so too time spent on essential “ladies stuff” like braiding ponytails.

Photo©Ed Hood

Up at the Danish bus former Six Day and road star, Tayeb Braika was keeping an eye on the bikes, is it tempting providence to have little rainbow jerseys on the ropes around the bikes?

‘Yes’ would be the eventual answer to that.

Photo©Ed Hood

Former world Junior and Senior Ladies Champion, reigning Danish Champion, Amalie Dideriksen meanwhile headed for the sign on – this wouldn’t be her day, unlucky 13th it would be. 

Sofie De Vuyst finished in 14th place. Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

On the subject of former champions, Thor Hushovd and Dag Otto Lauritzen went unrecognised at the Norwegian bus – but not by an old saddo like me…

Photo©Ed Hood

Yorkshire is wool country and a few of the moorland sheep had wandered into town.

Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

At the GB bus the multitudes had gathered, hoping for a glimpse of Queen Lizzie.

Julie Leth meets a friend at the start. Photo©Martin Williamson