Road World Championships: Chantal Blaak wins women’s road race in Norway

Cycling


Blaak wins world title despite early crash

Dutch national road race champion Chantal Blaak won the women’s road race at the World Championships in Bergen.

The 27-year-old, who crashed early on, won by 28 seconds from Australia’s Katrin Garfoot with Denmark’s defending champion Amalie Dideriksen third in the 152km eight-lap race in Bergen.

Britain’s Hannah Barnes was in the leading group on the final lap but finished 14th in a sprint.

Barnes told BBC Sport: “My legs had nothing left but I can’t be too upset.”

She did much of the work for the British team throughout the race, getting in breaks or helping chase down others, with the aim of helping team-mate and 2015 champion Lizzie Deignan to a second world title.

However, Deignan, who had surgery to remove her appendix four weeks ago and went in to the race unsure of her own form, finally cracked on the final lap.

“I was grovelling away,” admitted Deignan, who finished 41st but said she was “so pleased” for Boels-Dolmans team-mate Blaak.

“The Dutch were strongest on paper but I can’t praise my team enough,” Deignan added. “They were phenomenal, they kept me going and I couldn’t back out and let them down.”

How the final lap unfolded

Barnes was in a seven-strong break that contained three Dutch riders – Blaak, Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen and newly crowned time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten – on the final lap.

“We were outnumbered. I was told to pick a Dutch rider and I picked the wrong one,” she said.

Blaak used her team-mates superbly, making her decisive move inside the final 10km.

She attacked from the back of the group and Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten were happy to leave the chasing to the others.

Barnes tried to chase but was offered no support from Garfoot, Audrey Cordon of France or Poland’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma, and Blaak quickly built up a race-winning lead.

“We didn’t really talk to each other but we knew what to do,” said Blaak.

“Annemiek attacked first and everyone was reacting. Then I thought this was the right moment. I followed my heart and stayed away.

“I was already super happy that I had the national jersey this year but to have the world jersey is a dream.”

The chasing six were caught by the peloton inside the final kilometre but Garfoot won the bunch sprint for second.

Result:

1. Chantal Blaak (Ned) 4hrs 06mins 30secs

2. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) +28secs

3. Amaile Dideriksen (Den) Same time

4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned)

5. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol)

6. Christine Majerus (Lux)

7. Susanne Andersen (Nor)

8. Anna Van der Breggen (Ned)

9 Emilia Fahlin (Swe)

10. Elena Cecchini (Ita)

Selected:

14. Hannah Barnes (GB)

20. Dani King (GB)

41. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) +38secs

48. Hayley Simmonds (GB) + 2mins 31secs

66. Elinor Barker (GB) + 6mins 36secs

DNF: Alice Barker (GB), Melissa Lowther (GB)



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