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World Championships - CM

Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-30, 2007

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Race 4 - September 29: Women's road race - 7 laps, 133.7km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer and Bjorn Haake

Live coverage starts: 9:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 13:00 CEST

Cyclingnews welcomes you to the live coverage of the women's road race of the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart. The sun is out and the peloton has just made the start. 133 kilometres are ahead of the 142 riders. Seven times they will have to manage the tough circuit

09:12 CEST   
And we have the first crash of the day. New Zealander Toni Bradshaw has crashed on the right hand side of the road and slid into the barriers. She is slow getting up and grimaces in pain.

09:14 CEST   
While the sun is out, the temperatures are crisp and the riders are equipped with arm warmers and gloves. Bradshaw is back on her bike and chasing.

09:16 CEST   
Marianne Vos is looking to defend her title, but rates the Germans as very strong, as she indicated in a prerace interview. The Germans don't have an pressure, as they already won the gold medal in the time trial through Hanka Kupfernagel.

09:17 CEST   
We are still in lap one, but the climb is already stretching out the peloton and a few riders find the pace a bit hard so early on. Chapookam Monrudee of Thailand is off the back with a team-mate.

09:19 CEST   
The Italians are currently in control on the front, but the Australians and Americans are attentive. Zulfiya Zabirova is off the back. She must have had a mechanical, as she passes Brazilian Fernandes Silva Clemilda

09:20 CEST   
The peloton is now in the descent. They are in one long line. Even though it's sunny the road is still wet and treacherous, which is likely the reason why Bradshaw fell earlier.

09:24 CEST   
Zabirova is still chasing, but the speed of the peloton is now between 50 and 60 km/h. Zabirova is holding her right thigh, maybe she actually also crashed.

09:25 CEST   
Hanks Kupfernagel opted for white gloves and black arm warmers for her red German jersey.
And there is the first attack!

09:26 CEST   
Looks like a rider from Spain, that makes her way 50 metres ahead of the peloton.

09:27 CEST   
But she is quickly reeled in, as leaves are falling onto the ground. It used to be in August, but now the Worlds have become the race of the fallen leaves.

09:28 CEST   
Jeannie Longo Ciprelli is at the back of the field, but you can bet the experienced Frenchwoman will not stay there for long.

Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France)
Photo ©: Cyclingnews.com
(Click for larger image)

09:29 CEST   
The attack from Rodriguez brought a few seconds of hectic, but now the pace has slowed down again. The next hill is starting.

09:32 CEST    18.7km/115km to go
The women approach the start finish line for the first time, going under the red banner indicating the last kilometre. Well, not yet.

09:34 CEST    19.7km/114km to go
The first lap is done, at an average speed of 34.709 km/h. It took the riders 33 minutes and one second to complete.

09:37 CEST   
All the favourite teams are in the front. The Dutch, the Americans, the Italians, the Germans fill the road, as the pace still allows for them to take the whole road. The Australians take over at the front.

09:38 CEST   
Bradshaw in her black Kiwi outfit has not managed to get back to the bunch and struggles with two other riders to regain contact.

09:40 CEST   
The pace is picking up on the front, which will make it harder for anybody already dropped to get back. Again, it is Great Britain setting the pace.

09:41 CEST   
Ouch, the hill is steep and we can feel the rider's pain going up this steep section. The Italians and Americans have taken over and ride up on those roads that are still wet a bit.

09:43 CEST   
And they are still going up. Uenia Souza Da Fernende of Brazil is falling off the back.

09:45 CEST   
The road is noticeably dryer where the sun is on it Unfortunately there is an awful lot of shade on the road. And the fallen leaves are everywhere.


  • Grupo compacto

09:46 CEST   
Christiane Soeder, who won bronze in the time trial, said she has "good form and we have a strong rider with Andrea Graus." She also didn't think it was a disadvantage to have don a hard time trial on Wednesday. "I think it's good to go hard three days before the road race." As for the tactics she indicated "we always want to have someone in the first group."

09:48 CEST   
The women are riding through a neighbourhood now -- but where is everyone? Inside, watching the race on TV?

A Serbian rider is having an extremely difficult time with the climb and seems to have fallen way back.

09:50 CEST   
The Serbian rider is Dragena Kovaocevic. It looks like she may get some company soon as more and more can't keep up the pace.

09:54 CEST   
The weather forecast has improved over the last few days. Instead of the heavy rain they were predicting for the entire weekend, they are now calling for partly cloudy and 15°. Right now it is only 11°, which we find a bit chilly.

09:56 CEST   
Will we see a successful breakaway today? Or a mass finish? Or will the leaders keep up such a high pace over this difficult course that more and more will fall off the back, leaving us with a small group to fight it out at the end?

10:00 CEST   
Emma Pooley of Great Britain, who finished 8th in the time trial, said "I think it will be a war of attrition, lots of people falling off the back. It would be unusual for a break to get away, because no one wants to let anyone get away. I think the group will be whittled down on the road. I would prefer to be in a break, although there are some technical and narrow bits on the road, which could make it difficult

10:01 CEST    34.7km/99km to go
Less than 100 km left and most of the peloton is still together.

10:03 CEST   
Oops! A crash? A mechanical? Something happened to Christine Thorburn of the US which caused others to stop. Now she is scurrying around trying to catch up with the group.

Christine Thorburn (USA)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

10:06 CEST    38.7km/95km to go
The second round is now history as the peloton rolls over the finish line. with a n average lap time of 34 km/h. The lap took just over 33 minutes. Five more to go!

10:13 CEST   
Oenone Wood of Australia is near the front of the long, drawn-out field. She is easy to pick out because of her magenta T-Mobile Team helmet. Which reminds us that Chantal Beltman is making quite a fashion statement today with her magenta T-Mobile helmet and orange Netherlands kit -- maybe we should put o our sunglasses before we look at her again.

10:15 CEST   
The Italians are a big presence at the front of the field. They will definitely be looking to Noemi Cantele to take the win today.

10:19 CEST   
The race started this morning at nine, which meant an early start to the day for the ladies. Pooley told us, "I like racing in the morning. Getting up at 6 a.m. is a bit much, though."

10:21 CEST   
Beltman of the Netherlands won't be going for her own chances today but is supporting teammate Marianne Vos, who won the World Cup in the last race. Beltman, who rides for T-Mobile, has had a good season, though, winning the World Cup race in Sweden and finishing second overall by two seconds in the recent Giro di Toscana.

10:24 CEST   
The blue Italian jerseys are right up there at the front of the group, keeping all the chances for Cantele open. Noemi Cantele rides for the Bigla team. The 26 year-old Italian had a good season and among other things most recently won the Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile in Italy. She'll be one of the favourites on this tough course today.


  • Grupo compacto

10:31 CEST   
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands has to be the big favourite today. Only 20 year old, she is the defending world champ, and is also world cyclo-cross champion. She won the Women's World Cup this year, snapping it away from Nicole Cook at the last mintues. She won two World Cup races, and numerous stages and races this year.

Vos rides for Team DSB Bank and lives in the small dutch village of Babylonienbroek -- a name we find enchanting.

10:34 CEST   
One of the Brazilinas has attacked -- but nothing came of it. The favourites aren't going to let anyone go at thi point.

Austrian Christiane Soeder is at the end of the pack.

10:36 CEST   
Also Jeanne Longo is at the back of the pack.

the Brazilian is Clemilda Ferandes Silva and she stay at the front -- but together with all the others as they approach the finish line yet again.

10:37 CEST   
THe ladies hang a right in a downtown Stuttgart shopping district. There are more on-lookers here, more on the sunny side of the street than in the shade -- which isn't hard to understand.

10:38 CEST   
Multi world champ Jeannie Long has opted for red knee warmers to go with the red French shorts. At 48 years of age she is only just starting to win some more races. La grande dame of cycling finished seventh in the time trial.

10:40 CEST    57.7km/76km to go
WE have the first attacks as the group passes the finish line for the third time. WE'll get those names for you in a minute.

10:43 CEST   
We don't know if it's the fact that the sun is starting to warm up the air or the pace is starting to have an effect, but many riders have rolled down their arm warmers.

10:45 CEST   
We still don't now who was in that attack, but Hanka Kupfernagel went with them and doomed the group. All back togeher now and it looks like the have the turned the speed a notch. The peloton is strung out rather than bunched togeher.

10:46 CEST   
They are going up again, with the Italians leading the way.

10:47 CEST   
The fans along the way are clapping rhythmically as the women go by, helping them up the hill.

10:47 CEST   
Magali Mocquery of France is finding the going hard.... and she is not the only one.....

10:48 CEST   
Longo has moved up to the front of the group.

10:50 CEST   
An Italian shoots out and quickly gets a small lead. We only know that it can't be Cantele, as not one is following. It's not, it is Tatiana Guederzo.

Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)
Photo ©: Tricarico Davide
(Click for larger image)

10:50 CEST   
10:49 AM
Trixi Worrack had trouble on the hill, dropping a chain. She got a little push from a team-mate who was riding by and is on her way again.

10:52 CEST   
Guderzo has company now, as three others have joined her. Actually they seem to have passed her. The four aren't riding togehter as a group and the Italian is having trouble staying with them.

10:54 CEST   
The group of four is Guderzo, Kupfernagel, Katheryn Curi of the USA, and Oxana Kozonchuk of Russia. They have a small but decent lead.

10:56 CEST   
The break is broken, so to speak. They are back together again.

10:57 CEST   
Veronica Sprügl of Austria is the next to fall off the back. The pack is getting smaller every round.

10:59 CEST   
Luise Keller of Germany is in the front of the pack and takes time to eat an energy bar. The Germans celebrated a birthday yesterday -- Trixi Worrack -- and we wonder if they had a real birthday cake or just stuck a candle on an energy bar?

11:02 CEST   
One former World Champion who is missing here is Nicole Cooke of Great Britain. She led the World Cup rankings all year, only to have Vos win it in the last race. But Cooke had to undergo knee surgery recently, so she is home watching the race on TV rather than riding in it.

11:04 CEST   
The course runs through a lot of wooded areas, which means shade, which means the road is still wet there. It also means there are a lot of leaves on the road. So there are some dangers out there.

Mara Abbott (USA)
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
Click for larger image

11:06 CEST   
American Mara Abbott is at the back of the bunch. A small gap that developed she has to close, which won't help in conserving energy. The road race is a little longer than most races throughout the year.

11:09 CEST   
Abbott spoke to Cyclingnews earlier this year.

11:13 CEST    76.7km/57km to go
And once agin we hit the finish line giving us only three more rounds to go. Will this be the deciding round? Will a group get away? Or will the leading teams finally pick up the speed so much that they drop most of the "hangers-on"?

11:15 CEST   
That last lap went by in 32'39", with an average speed of 35km/h. We figure there are still 70 or so in the group.


  • Grupo compacto

11:16 CEST   
The wind is blowing heavily now and the speed of the pack has picked up. We can expect the pack to start shrinking.

11:18 CEST   
They are flying now....... just down a descent and then it's up up up again.

11:20 CEST   
Three Italians and three Russians are at the front. Right now they are all up out of their saddles, in the climb.

11:20 CEST   
Three red-black outfitted Germans have moved up to join the leaders

11:21 CEST   
Trixi Worrack and one of the Russians have a difference of opinion, with the German giving quite a shove with her shoulder.

Spain's Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria Mazaga
Photo ©: AFP

11:23 CEST   
Attack! A Spanish rider -- Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria. She wins the prize for longest one-word name.

11:25 CEST   
The Spaniard quickly builds up a nice little lead.

11:28 CEST   
She is not all that far away, but within sight of the pack. And a blue jersey is on her way to join the Spaniard.

11:29 CEST   
The long drawn-out pack has caught her up. and they are all struggling up the climb.

11:30 CEST   
The next Italian goes, with her long ponytail flapping in the wind. It is Tatiana Guderzo.

11:31 CEST   
Guderzo is really going for it, keeping up a fast pace.

11:34 CEST   
Guderzo has a hair band to keep her hair together, but she is flying right now, really pushing it on the flat Stuttgart roads. Her lead is approximately 200 metres.

11:36 CEST   
Eva Lutz of Germany leads the chase but the Italians make their ambitions more than clear, as some riders on the back have trouble with the change in rhythm.

Guderzo has a lead of about 15 seconds.

11:38 CEST   
There is no unanimity in the peloton right now although a German has not moved back into the lead.

Oops another attack, but they all go with her. Guderzo's lead is 22 seconds.

11:40 CEST   
A Brazilian is at the front, with a Swiss rider and Kupfernagel, they are a meter or two ahead. But Beltman of the Netherlands leads the peloton to catch them and quash that attempt.

11:41 CEST   
The peloton has Guderzo in its sights now.


11:42 CEST   
About a dozen or more are down. The wind pushed over the barriers, right in front of the riders who were on the left hand side of the street. Priska Doppmann, Maribel Moreno Allue, Regina Bruins and Edita Pucinskaite are among the victims.. We may have some injuries.

11:45 CEST    95.7km/38km to go
Two laps to go now, with Guderzo hanging on to her slight lead. The last lap was run in 31.52, with a speed of 35.9 km/h.

11:50 CEST   
Cantele got caught in that crash and crossed the line 43 seconds behind the pack, accompanied by teammates who will do their all to bring her up to the front.

And at the front, we have to American women right now. They are really pushing the pace.

11:52 CEST   
Amber Neben is one of those Americans in the lead, but now an Italian has joined them - -it is Cantele!

11:53 CEST   
Cantele and Neben have a good sized lead now. Behind them the peloton is falling apart.

11:54 CEST   
Worrack, Beltman, Wood and a few others are in pursuit. The two leaders are only a few seconds ahead now, before a chase group of 12 or so.

11:55 CEST   
Cantele is doing most if not all of the lead work.

11:56 CEST   
We hear that there was another crash in the pack. Soeder of Austria who won bronze in the time trial went down. She is up and walking but holding her lower back.

11:58 CEST   
Neben grabs a water bottle as the two leaders pass through the second feeding zone. The pack isn't all that far behind them.

12:00 CEST   
Cantele is feeling strong and really would like to reach her team-mate Guderzo. Two Italians and an American would be a good setup for the Squadra Azzurra. Neben is taking some turns, too and is looking good.

The wind has taken down another section of barriers, but no riders this time, thank goodness.

12:01 CEST   
Vos is near the back of the following pack -- a sign of weakness, or saving her strength for a big attack later?

12:03 CEST   
Neben and Cantele have a 22 second lead over the pack.

12:05 CEST   
The race is definitely turning into a war of attrition. The pack continues to shrink. It is about 40 riders now, but should shrink again on the next climb. And we expect the speed to kick up a notch soon, too.

12:07 CEST   
The Germans are leading the chase now. Eva Lutz and Hanka Kupfernagel want to set up a win for their captain Judith Arndt.

12:08 CEST   
Sorry, it's Claudia Häusler, not Eva Lutz.

12:10 CEST   
They are in round 6 now, and going 51 km/h. Vos has moved up a bit closer to the front of the pack. Cantele and Neben's lead is now only 10 seconds.

12:11 CEST   
Kupfernagel is working hard to close the gap to the two in front.

12:11 CEST   
Amber Neben has had a good year. She won the Route de France Féminine. She also finished second behind Kristin Armstrong in the US national time trial championships. The 32 year-old rides for Buitenpoort/Flexpoint.

12:12 CEST   
And just as we write that, it is over for her. The next attack goes, with Emma Pooley, who recently talked to Cyclingnews, and three others.

12:13 CEST    113.7km/20km to go
But that attack doesn't really get away either. Kupfernagel has done her duty for the day and drops off the back. Mara Abbot of the US is hanging in at the back of the pack.

12:17 CEST    114.7km/19km to go
The last lap has now been started with a quite large group. The sixth lap took 31'37" with an average speed of 36.2 km/h. The women have now been underway three and a quarter hours.

68 women in the group -- we can expect that to change shortly.

12:20 CEST   
The women are really moving now. And no surprise, the Italians are in the lead again.

12:21 CEST   
Two Italians have built up a few metres lead over the following pack, which is led by Beltman, we believe.

12:22 CEST   
Vos and Cantele are in the lead but it's not much of a lead -- 20 meters?

12:24 CEST   
Will the remaining peloton let these two top favourites get away? Arndt has just joined them, with for or five others.

Another Italian pulls away ahead of the group of five, which includes Vos, Cantele and Arndt.

12:26 CEST   
Marta Bastianelli is the one in the lead. She is the co-captain with Cantele.

12:27 CEST   
The group of five has been joined by a group from behind. We don't have all the names, but Arndt, Cantele, Vos, Beltman, Worrack and Wood are all in there.

12:28 CEST   
Another crash -- Arndt is said to have crashed in the descent. That could be it for her.

12:29 CEST   
The chase group is going uphill again and Arndt is chasing them. She now has a team-mate with her.

Bastianelli is having a mechanical, the chain fell off, but she manages to get it back on without dismounting.

12:30 CEST   
She is keeping on though, her lead is only 12 seconds.

It is not a colleague with Arndt but Erinne Willock of Canada who went down with her. They have caught the group now.

12:31 CEST   
The speed has fallen to 21 km/h as they go uphill again.

12:32 CEST   
Bastianelli has a lead of 20 seconds over the group which contains all the favourites including American Kristin Armstrong.

12:33 CEST   
There are 12 to 15 in the following group. The 20 year-old Bastianelli continues on alone.

12:33 CEST   
Seven riders have pulled away in chase of the Italian.

12:34 CEST   
We can recognize Wood and Beltman, Worrack....

12:36 CEST   
The following groups are coming together again, about 25 riders. Bastianelli's lead is down to 18 seconds.

12:39 CEST   
Now a Canadian has jumped out Erinne Willock. They are letting her go.

12:41 CEST    130.7km/3km to go
Bastianelli's braid is lying flat on her back as she continues in the lead. Willock is only a few meters ahead of the followers.

12:42 CEST   
Bastianelli is 17 seconds ahead of Willock who is five seconds ahead of the ever-smaller group Will the Italian be able to stay away to the end?

12:43 CEST    130km/2km to go
Her lead is now down to 15 seconds over Willock, which means 20 seconds to the group

12:45 CEST   
The pack has her in their sights -- can they still catch her?

12:46 CEST   
500 m -- she looks nervously behind her, but she is going to make it!

12:47 CEST   
And it is gold for Italy -- Bastianelli wins!

12:48 CEST   
She comes in with a time if three hours 46 seconds. Second goes to last year's winner, Marianne Vos. And Italy can even claim another medal, as Georgia Bronzoni takes third!

12:49 CEST   
An unexpected result, with an overjoyed and exhausted young winner.

12:50 CEST   
The rest of the peloton dribbles in over the line. We won't stay around to count them all, though.

Thanks for joining us this morning -- come back in a little while for the U23 men's race. Can they offer anything as exciting and surprising at this one?

Provisional results

1 Marta Bastianelli (Italy)       3.46.34 (35.406 km/h)
2 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)         0.06
3 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
4 Svetlana Bubnekova (Russia)
5 Noemi Cantele (Italy)
6 Emma Johannsson (Sweden)

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