Vos delights Dutch fans with historic world title
Saturday, 22 September 2012
September 22 - Holland's Marianne Vos ended a run of silver medals when she launched a brutal attack on the last climb to earn a home victory in the World Campionships road race in Valkenburg today.
It made 25-year-old Vos only the second woman in the history of the event to win the Olympic and world title in the same, following Britain's Nicole Cooke, who had done it four years ago.
The home favourite had struggled to escape for much of the 129 kilometre eight-lap race, but finally got clear on the intimidating Cauberg Hill to sprint to victory on the last two ascents.
With a finishing time of 3 hours 14min 29 seconds, Vos beat Rachel Neylan of Australia by 10 seconds, with Italy's Elisa Longo-Borghini third in a race that included a massive pile-up towards the end of the second lap.
Vos, who had won the title in 2006 but been a runner-up every year since then, left her rivals glued on the tarmac in the ascent of the Cauberg, a 1,200-metre climb at an average gradient of 5.8 percent, and she never looked back to add to her London Olympics gold medal.
"It's been an amazing year," said Vos, who remarkably has won world Olympic titles in road racing, cyclocross and track cycling.
"It started great with the Cyclocross World Championships but then I broke my collarbone.
"My plan was to get in shape at the Giro d'Italia.
"Well, that worked and I won.
"Then the gold at the Olympics, the World Cup and now this.
"I asked the girls to keep the gap at 35 seconds, you can bridge that on the Cauberg.
"It was pretty hard, especially the last 1.5km with a headwind."
Neylan, 30, was delighted with her silver medal.
"We knew she [Vos] wouldn't wait until the final stretch," said Neylan.
"I was already happy to be in the team, so a silver medal is exceptional."
Britain's Lucy Garner retained her junior women's road race title with a sprint victory.
Garner was led out perfectly by world time trial winner Elinor Barker and beat Norway's Eline Brustad to win a second rainbow jersey.
In doing so, Garner emulated the achievement of Cooke, who won back-to-back junior world titles in 2000 and 2001.
Garner's triumph comes just six weeks after she was crowned European champion and the day after she turned 18.
'We trained a lot in these surroundings to get ready for the hills," said Garner.
"Especially the Cauberg, which I could take very well.
"This win is a team effort more than anything.
"The lead out Elinor gave me was fantastic."
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