Pauline Ferrand-Prevot Takes Gold For France In Women?s Road Race

Peloton Cafe || 2014 UCI Road World Championships Elite Women's Road Race (1)

Peloton Cafe || 2014 UCI Road World Championships Elite Women’s Road Race – Image copyright Bart Hazen)

French cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took a thrilling photo finish victory in the Women?s Elite World Championship Road Race this Saturday, 27 September. The 22 year old burst past reigning champion Marianne VOS with 150m left, pipping German Lisa BRENNAUER and Swede Emma JOHANSSON to the gold medal and the honour of wearing the Rainbow Jersey next year. Amazingly, it is also the first time since 2005 that Dutch rider Vos has not stood on the final podium. A lost opportunity It had not looked like Ferrand-Prevot would even be contesting the medals however, as an elite group of Elisa LONGO BORGHINI, Marianne VOS, Lizzie Armitstead and Emma JOHANSSON escaped on the final descent into Ponferrada, Spain, arriving at the finishing straight together. But painful indecision as to who would lead out the sprint scuppered the foursome?s chances, allowing a chasing group which included Ferrand-Prevot and two-time world champion from Italy Giorgia BRONZINI to rejoin them. Vos led out the sprint but Ferrand Prevot followed her wheel and timed her final acceleration to perfection. ?After I was dropped on the climb I thought my chances of a podium were over?, she said afterwards. ?But the Germans were riding very strongly and they brought us back to the group of four so I?m very grateful to them. I knew Marianne?s was a good wheel to follow and once I started sprinting I never looked back. I really didn?t expect to win a sprint at the Worlds!? German Lisa BRENNAUER, who adds a silver medal to the two golds she has already won at Ponferrada 2014, was not disappointed with her result: ?I will only take home good memories. With a medal in every discipline I competed in, its really quite overwhelming? she concluded. Massive crash disrupts race The 134 cyclists representing 39 countries took to the startline on a warm Saturday afternoon, facing an 127.4km course of seven 18.2km laps in and around the small town of Ponferrada. Early on during the second lap a terrible crash decimated the peloton as a Norwegian rider went over her handlebars, with dozens of cyclist tumbling to the floor behind. Caught up in the chaos was defending champion Marianne VOS, but her Dutch team mates dropped back en masse to shepherd her back into the bunch safely. The lazy afternoon sunshine was soon interrupted with a series of rain showers, as the race finally began splintering with two laps to go. Lizzie Armitstead and Marianne VOS were extremely vigilant to any attacks off the front, and the slippery road surface no doubt discouraged any attacks on the descents. On the final climb of the day up to Mirador, the elite group of four forged free, but then threw away their opportunity by spending too long looking at one another. This indecision favoured Ferrand-Prevot, and her never-die attitude saw her take a first Road Race Rainbow Jersey.

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