Villumsen solid as crashes cause more carnage

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Elite women RR - Linda Villumsen photo Graham Watson 150Sept 27th, ’15.  World time trial champion Linda Villumsen enjoyed a solid performance, finishing in the peloton in an exciting women’s road race at the UCI World Championships in Virginia, USA today.  Elizabeth Armitstead took Great Britain’s first gold of the championships with a late attack, while Felix Gall won gold for Austria in the men’s junior road race.

Elite women RR - Linda Villumsen photo Graham Watson 320Linda Villumsen rode a solid race against the cycling powerhouse teams in the world championship road race, photo Graham WatsonSept 27th, ’15.  World time trial champion Linda Villumsen enjoyed a solid performance, finishing in the peloton in an exciting women’s road race at the UCI World Championships in Virginia, USA today.  Elizabeth Armitstead took Great Britain’s first gold of the championships with a late attack, while Felix Gaul won gold for Austria in the men’s junior road race.

Linda Villumsen rode prominently throughout although was not able to work her way to the front as the powerhouse teams in the peloton chased down a nine-strong breakaway with less than 2kms remaining in the eight-lap 130km race.  Great Britain’s Lizzy Armistead, in the nine-strong break, managed to regroup after they were caught and won the sprint over Anna van der Breggen (NED) who completed a podium double after finishing behind Villumsen in the time trial.

It proved a high speed women’s race with the New Zealanders, led by Jo Kiesanowski and Rushlee Buchanan, prominent in the early stages.  “Initially forecasts were for the weather to turn nasty and so we wanted to be attentive near the front of the race,” said cycling New Zealand’s director sportif, Craig Geater.  “Both Linda and Jo had goes at the break but were covered very quickly.”

Elite women RR - Elizabeth ArmitsteadElizabeth Armitstead is overcome with emotion having won the right to wear the rainbow jersey, photo SirottiThe peloton split on the narrow climb over the cobbles with two laps remaining and from there the group of nine went clear until they were caught within sight of the finish.  “Linda looked to go with that break but she saw that all of the big hitters were still in the peloton. On reflection she felt afterwards that she may have been better off having a crack although they were caught,” Geater said.

With Buchanan and Kiesanowski caught in the back of the split, it was left to the time trial world champion to work her way forward in the peloton.  “It was a good ride from Linda. She prefers the long steeper climbs and so this was not a course that suited her. So it was a good effort overall in what was a really strong race,” Geater said.  “With only three riders in the team all we could do was ensure we were sell represented on a windy day and on a course that is much harder than many predicted.”

Geater said forecasts were for possibly showers for tomorrow’s elite men’s race, which he believes will favour the riders with success in the European Classics.  “There is a chance for the power climbers and the Germans will work for Andre Greipel to be there. Greg Henderson is his lead-out on the World Tour, so if Greipel can make it, maybe Hendy can as well, but he will need a lot of support from Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley,” Geater commented.  “On this narrow course and with the cobbles, especially if it is wet, then there it could be dangerous and with some carnage.”

Junior men RR - team shot 320New Zealand’s Junior men’s team get set for their crash-strewn road race in Richmond, photo SirottiEarlier today Palmerston North’s Robert Stannard, a first year junior, positioned himself well in the 167-strong junior men’s race, holding on until the race broke open late, finishing only 2.30mins down on the winner, Felix Gall.

His teammates had less fortune with James Fouche (Auckland) puncturing late in the race while Sam Dobbs (Cambridge) was brought down very early, and after losing significant time, was unable to catch the peloton.

The championships conclude with the men’s race of 260kms over 16 laps loops of the downtown circuit.

Women’s elite results:

Rank Name Nat. Result
Elizabeth ARMITSTEAD GBR 3:23:56
Anna VAN DER BREGGEN NED +0
Megan GUARNIER USA +0
Elisa LONGO BORGHINI ITA +0
Emma JOHANSSON SWE +0
Pauline FERRAND PREVOT FRA +0
Katarzyna NIEWIADOMA POL +0
Alena AMIALIUSIK BLR +0
Jolanda NEFF SUI +0
10  Eleonora VAN DIJK NED +9

Men’s junior results:

Rank Name Nat. Result
Felix GALL AUT 3:11:09
Clément BÉTOUIGT-SUIRE FRA +0
Rasmus PEDERSEN DEN +1
Reto MULLER SUI +10
Martin SALMON GER +10
Nicola CONCI ITA +10
Mathias NORSGAARD DEN +13
Nathan DRAPER GBR +13
Marc HIRSCHI SUI +13
10  Pit LEYDER LUX +20


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