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World Road Championships - CM
Salzburg, Austria, September 20-24, 2006
Race 4 - September 23: Women's road race, 132.6km
Vos takes her second rainbow in a year
By Kristy Scrymgeour
In probably the most spectacular women's World Championship road race in history, first year senior Marianne Vos from Holland showed amazing strength and speed to take out the race in a sprint between a select group of 15 riders at the end of 132 km of racing.
Vos, who was also crowed World Cyclocross champion earlier this year as well as European Champion and Junior World Champion in Verona 2004 has certainly showed that she has not struggled in the transition between the junior and senior ranks and has taken a bike rider's ultimate goal in her first year against the best in the world.
Vos said afterwards that it hasn't quite sunk in that she is road World Champion yet. "I will probably realise it in a few weeks." Of course then she will don the first senior rainbow jersey she won, when she lines up for the cross season in a month's time.
"This will be strange for me," she said. "But I am very happy. We will have a party tonight with the national team. They all worked really hard today."
How it unfolded
On a course that could have been either a sprinters' day or a climbers' day, depending on the style of racing, the climbers in the group certainly stamped their ground in the final two laps of the race and the action didn't stop.
Early in the race a few small breaks lead to the attack of Canadian Anne Samplonius who attacked on the climb during the second lap. She was joined by Russian rider Natalia Boyarskaya and the pair opened up a gap of almost a minute on the bunch. They remained away for just under two laps with Samplonius pushing the pace. Swedish rider Monica Holler attacked at the start of lap four but never made it to the leaders. The Swiss team was the main force in the chase and eventually just into the start of the fifth lap, the all riders were caught midway into the fourth lap.
As Samplonius and Boyarskaya were caught, Italian rider Vera Carrara countered and opened up a small gap. When she was caught Tetyana Stiajkina countered but an attack from Spanish Maribel Moreno prompted a strong chase and the group came back together in time for Zoulfia Zabirova (Kazakhstan) to attack on the first climb of the lap.
It was 2006 World Cup winner Nicole Cooke who really started the action when she attacked on the second climb of the fifth lap. With only Nicole Brandli (Switzerland) and Marianne Vos (Netherlands) able to go with her, the attack caused huge splits in the bunch. Only small group of strong climbers made it over the top of the climb in pursuit of the three leaders who had caught and passed Zabirova and were driving the pace down the hill.
Former World Champion Judith Arndt (Germany), sacrificing for her team, led the chase and was able to bring them back. After a counter attacking from local girl Christiane Soeder (Austria) which was covered quickly, the bunch slowed down slightly before another string of attacks. Arndt covered an attack by Russia's Svetlana Bubnekova and powered to the front. Her attack was countered by her teammate Theresa Senff, after which Arndt attacked again and rode solo with a significant gap. Realising the danger of letting Arndt off the front alone, Cooke started the chase. Vos went around her to bridge to Arndt and the pair shared the work for a while. Cooke continued to chase.
At the beginning of the final lap Arndt and Vos were caught and Bubnekova rolled to the front to set the pace. Senff attacked again and Cooke chased. Brandli countered on the climb followed by Cooke. Senff reeled it in and with half a lap to go the leading group of 12 riders had 1'40 on the bunch.
Cooke then attacked again but was countered by Priska Doppmann (Switzerland) who opened up a large gap. Arndt chased again and it was all back together by the base of the final climb of the day. Cooke attacked half way up the climb. Brandli and Vos went around her and powered up the climb with Cooke just managing to grab their wheel. The three made it over the top together and immediately forced the pace forcing Arndt to chase again. Arndt had the rest of the group strung out in the chase and managed to catch them with 5km to go. Amber Neben (USA) took advantage of the slower pace and made her move, but Dutch rider Chantal Beltman was on her. Doppmann tried again and was countered by Senff with 2km to go. When she was caught Beltman countered but Cantele was on her. Bubnekova took over the lead around the penultimate corner with Arndt on her wheel.
Arndt led out and Australia's Oenone Wood started the sprint on the right, whilst Vos went left leaving the rest in her wake to take a spectacular win. German Trixi Worrack came through to take second place in front of Cooke, who had to settle with a podium place for the third time.
"It was a hard race," explained Vos, "but I was able to follow in the last two laps when it came down to a small group. It was hard to stay with Brandli and Cooke in the small group but we didn't stay away. In the sprint I had a chance," she added. "It was hard. With 150m to go, I saw Oenone Wood start the sprint and I just went as hard as I could and I made it to the line in front."
Worrack was also very happy with her medal, praising her teammates for the work they did. "In the last two laps, Judith and Theresa were closing all the gaps so that it finally came down to a sprint."
Arndt, who won her World Championship title two years ago in Verona, explained to Cyclingnews that she and Theresa tried to make it hard for the other teams in the last lap. "It worked," she said. "I am very happy for Trixi."
"It means a lot to me," added Worrack. "I have never had a World Championship medal. I was Junior World Champion, but that is very different. It is a little bit sad for the team," she added, "as we have had the jersey for the last two years now. But I think we can be happy."
Cooke, who took second last year behind Schleicher and third in Hamilton in 2003, was of course disappointed that she didn't make it to the top position this year but she was satisfied with her race.
"Marianne and I worked very hard in the break. We just didn't have the strength with three girls to stay away from a very strong German team. I am very happy with my ride though. I felt strong. It's good to know that in a World Championship I was able to have a big influence on how the race went."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
Images by Andrea Hübner/www.velo-photos.com
Images by Luc Claessen/www.ctm-images.com
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net/
1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3.20.26 (39.783 km/h) 2 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 3 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) 4 Noemi Cantele (Italy) 5 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland) 6 Oenone Wood (Australia) 7 Annette Beutler (Switzerland) 8 Nicole Brändli (Switzerland) 9 Svetlana Bubnenkova-Stolbova (Russian Federation) 10 Andrea Graus (Austria) 11 Christiane Soeder (Austria) 12 Amber Neben (United States Of America) 13 Chantal Beltman (Netherlands) 14 Judith Arndt (Germany) 15 Theresa Senff (Germany) 0.06 16 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) 2.07 17 Mette Fischer Andreasen (Denmark) 18 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) 19 Monia Baccaille (Italy) 20 Grete Treier (Estonia) 21 Zulfiya Zabirova (Kazakhstan) 22 Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands) 23 Alex Wrubleski (Canada) 24 Evy Van Damme (Belgium) 25 Diana Ziliute (Lithuania) 26 Marina Jaunatre (France) 27 Yulia Arustamova (Russian Federation) 28 Clemilda Fernandes Silva (Brazil) 29 Adrie Visser (Netherlands) 30 Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan) 31 Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania) 32 Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukraine) 33 Linda Villumsen (Denmark) 34 Christine Thorburn (United States Of America) 35 Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand) 36 Sophie Creux (France) 37 Erinne Willock (Canada) 38 Kristin Armstrong (United States Of America) 39 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 40 Claudia Häusler (Germany) 41 Edwige Pitel (France) 42 Laura Lorenza Morfin Maucoset (Mexico) 43 Maryline Salvetat (France) 44 Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden) 45 Dorte Lohse Rasmussen (Denmark) 5.55 46 Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania) 47 Yongli Liu (People's Republic of China) 48 Rasa Polikeviciute (Lithuania) 49 Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria Mazag (Spain) 50 Daniela Pintarelli (Austria) 51 Suzanne De Goede (Netherlands) 52 Lynette Jansen Van Vuuren (South Africa) 53 Anne Samplonius (Canada) 54 Anke Erlank (South Africa) 55 Chrissie Viljoen (South Africa) 56 Paulina Brzezna (Poland) 57 Sharon Vandromme (Belgium) 58 Trine Hansen (Denmark) 59 Zita Urbonaite (Lithuania) 60 Ludivine Henrion (Belgium) 61 Laure Werner (Belgium) 62 Yolandi Du Toit (South Africa) 63 Emma Johansson (Sweden) 64 Emma Rickards (Australia) 65 Evgeniya Visockaya (Ukraine) 66 Siobhan Dervan (Ireland) 67 Veronica Andrèasson (Sweden) 68 Tatiana Shishkova (Russian Federation) 69 Eva Hubena (Czech Republic) 70 An Van Rie (Belgium) 71 Anriette Schoeman (South Africa) 72 Iris Slappendel (Netherlands) 73 Magali Le Floch (France) 74 Vera Carrara (Italy) 75 Susan Palmer-Komar (Canada) 76 Maribel Moreno Allue (Spain) 77 Fabiana Luperini (Italy) 78 Monika Schachl (Austria) 12.26 79 Elizaveta Bochkaryova (Ukraine) 80 Patricia Schwager (Switzerland) 81 Lise Christensen (Denmark) 82 Toni Bradshaw (New Zealand) 16.58 83 Meifang Li (People's Republic of China) 22.57 84 Bernadette Schober (Austria) 85 Karolina Konieczna (Poland) 86 Linn Torp (Norway) 24.06 87 Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic) 88 Uenia Fernandes Souza (Brazil) 89 Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) 90 Leigh Hobson (Canada) 91 Pavla Havlikova (Czech Republic) 92 Yulia Blindyuk (Russian Federation) 93 Valentina Gavrilova (Russian Federation) 94 Iosune Murillo Elkano (Spain) DNF Kimberly Anderson (United States Of America) DNF Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany) DNF Olivia Gollan (Australia) DNF Natalie Bates (Australia) DNF Kimberly Baldwin (United States Of America) DNF Rachel Heal (Great Britain) DNF Isabella Wieser (Austria) DNF Urte Juodvalkyte (Lithuania) DNF Monica Holler (Sweden) DNF Jennifer Hohl (Switzerland) DNF Sofie Goor (Belgium) DNF Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France) DNF Madeleine Sandig (Germany) DNF Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian Federation) DNF Tina Mayolo Pic (United States Of America) DNF Katherine Bates (Australia) DNF Naiara Telletxea Lopez (Spain) DNF Miho Oki (Japan) DNF Sabrina Emmasi (Switzerland) DNF Marissa Van Der Merwe (South Africa) DNF Oxana Kashchyshyna (Ukraine) DNF Kateryna Krasova (Ukraine) DNF Liping Zhang (People's Republic of China) DNF Verónica Leal Balderas (Mexico) DNF Tanja Slater (Great Britain) DNF Monika Krawczyk (Poland) DNF Amy Moore (Canada) DNF Helen Wyman (Great Britain) DNF Marie Lindberg (Sweden) DNF Marta Vilajosana Andreu (Spain) DNF Na Zhao (People's Republic of China) DNF Monika Grzebinoga (Poland) DNF Karin Aune (Sweden) DNF Noelia Soledad Fernandez (Argentina) DNF Helen Kelly (Australia) DNF Malgorzta Jasinska (Poland) DNF Monika Kiraly (Hungary) DNF Regina Schleicher (Germany) DNF Janildes Fernandes Silva (Brazil) DNF Evelyn Yesenia Garcia Marroquin (El Salvador) DNF Ana Belen Garcia Antequera (Spain) DNS Giusepina Grassi Herrera (Mexico)