Cycling World Championships: Chantal Blaak wins women's road race – as it happened

Last modified: 03: 59 PM GMT+0

As expected the women’s road race went Dutch but it Chantal Blaak who was the surprise rainbow jersey winner, stealing away in the final kilometres

Well that is pretty much it. That was great race but sadly no British winner, although not for want of trying.

Tomorrow it’s the turn of the men and we wait to see if Peter Sagan can make it three rainbow jerseys in a row. Michael Butler is here to guide you through that one.

Thanks for sticking with me, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

Blaak admitted in her post-race interview that Hannah Barnes’ presence in the final seven meant the Dutch team couldn’t wait for the sprint and prompted her winning move.

Barnes, speaking to the BBC: said: “I went hard up Salmon Hill as I knew a strong group would come across. It was so hard with three Dutch riders at the end.

“[Britain] really bonded as a team this week. We can be really proud, we really raced it today.”

Lizzie Deignan added: “I’m so pleased for Chantal. I can’t be too disappointed, we were in every move and we can be really proud.

“My team kept me going. If they weren’t there I might have pulled out.”


Here’s the final top 10:

Top 10 Results Women's Road Race 🌈 #Bergen2017

— UCIWomenCycling (@UCIWomenCycling) September 23, 2017

Hannah Barnes eventually crossed in 14th, which is no reward for her efforts in that race. The British team really animated the course in Bergen.

Katrin Garfoot (Austrlia) took silver with defending champion Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) bagging bronze as the peloton came back together towards the line.


Here’s the moment Blaak crossed the line:

It's @ChantalBlaak 🇳🇱 ! Our new UCI Women's World Champion 🌈 #Bergen2017

— UCIWomenCycling (@UCIWomenCycling) September 23, 2017

Chantal Blaak wins the World Championship women's road race

No one else is anywhere near her as he powers downhill to the line. She timed her attack perfect and it’s the Netherland who take gold.

Blaak will be world champion but all eyes are on the group behind, 1km to go as they wind up for the sprint.

Niewiadoma wants silver and attacks but is reeled back in. That move seemed to have distanced Barnes but suddenly she’s right back in there, 2.7km to the line.

Blaak looks to have this sewn up. Now it’s a race for minor places. Barnes is still there with 4km to go and has a fan out on the course.

Perfect how calm @bannahharnes stays. Cool as a cucumber. Not much you can do when there’s 3 Dutch in a group this size 🙁 #Bergen2017

— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) September 23, 2017


Chantal Blaak attacks!

With three riders in the group the Dutch can just sit and watch as Blaak goes. This could be the decisive move, Blaak has 18 seconds with 6.3km to go.

They’re descending downhill at some pace. This is going to be a great finish.

Barnes, Cordon Ragot and Blaak have stuck with Van Vlueten, Van der Breggen, Garfoot and Niewiadoma, 9.5km to go.


That quartet has joined the break and are looking to go over the top. Barnes is trying to hold on, 10.8km to go.


The two big Dutch names attack

Van Vlueten, Van der Breggen, Garfoot and Niewiadoma have attacked from the peloton on the steepest section of Salmon Hill. Deignan hasn’t be able to follow, her race seems up.


Now Van Vlueten, Van der Breggen, Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Pauline Ferrand Prevot are hovering dangerously at the front of the main pack. Deignan and King are still there. The gap is around 40 seconds to the leaders and we have 12km to go.

On the front of the peloton the Dutch are controlling things but the lead is holding.

Barnes is about to hit the final climb of Salmon Hill with Cordon and Blaak. The light is fading in Bergen, giving the TV pictures a dramatic blue hue on the climb, just 14km to go.

Australian Sarah Roy is stuck between the three leaders and the main group. The graphic is saying the break have 30 seconds with 16km to go. Britain’s Hannah Barnes is right up there.

Hannah Barnes has animated this race and she’s off in her second break of the day. Along with Cordon and Blaak, Barnes takes the bell as the race enters its final lap.

Chantal Blaak now flies off the front as Netherlands keep the pressure up. Hannah Barnes goes too, with Audrey Cordon also there. They’ve got nine seconds with 21km to go.


That elite group have eight seconds to the peloton and that’s closing all the time. The talent is there to make this attack stick but it’s too big. They’re all back together now.

With 25km to go, Lizzie Deignan has fought back up to reach Van Vlueten, Van der Breggen and King, what a ride! The rest of the group is made up of Ensing (Netherlands), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland), Tatiana Guderzo (Italy), Katrin Garfoot, Amanda Spratt (Australia), Cecilie Ludwig (Denmark), Elise Delzenne (France) and Hanna Nilsson (Sweden).


The big contenders now go

Annemiek van Vlueten and Anna van der Breggen have gone over now too. It’s looking very orange in that front group. Dani King has held on to this elite attack.

Sweden’s Hanna Nilsson is bridging over to that break to take their company to five.

Whilst the excitement was all at the front of the race from King, Britain’s Hayley Simmonds was involved in a crash. There’s just 32km to go now.


Dani King goes on the attack

The former Olympic gold medalist makes a rapid burst up the road and Marianne Vos cannot chase her down. Janneke Ensing has to go up the road for the Dutch, she’s joined by Amanda Spratt (USA) and Elise Delzenne (France).

Five British women still in the race as we complete another lap. The smaller nations are trying to test Dutch team, with regular attacks to test the favourites.

Under 40km to go and that four rider group has been re-absorbed by the peloton. This is going to get very tense.

Hannah Barnes remains out on the front but she’s been joined by Dutchwoman Luncinda Brand and Australian Grace Elvin. Amy Pieters is still up there too, giving Netherlands two half of the four strong lead group. They have a lead of about 18 seconds as we head under 43km to go.


Elinor Barker has bridged over to the breakaway to give Britain two riders in the break but the gap is shrinking all the time. Down to just 30m on the road.

The gap to the three leaders is just 10 seconds as they officially begin to climb Salmon Hill. They’ll all be back together soon.

Biggest name out of the race so far is Lotta Lepistö. The Finn has won Gent–Wevelgem and Crescent Vårgårda on the UCI Women’s Tour this season.

Italian favourite Longo Borghini rolled through the time check 14 seconds down on the main peloton after what looked like a trip back to the team car. Italy and USA in particular will want to make sure the break does not get too far away with both the Dutch and British team having a woman in it.

The three breakaway riders head up the home straight and into the final three laps of the course. Here’s a little reminder of what the riders are tackling in Bergen:

Take a look at today's course in @bergen2017 for the Women's Elite RR 🏁
153 riders 🚴🏻‍♀️ 152.8 km 🏁#Bergen2017

— UCIWomenCycling (@UCIWomenCycling) September 23, 2017

At the front of the race the three leaders have got out to more than 30 seconds. In the peloton it’s chaos as attacks fly off the front.

Crash in the main group

As news comes in that Italian favourite Giorgia Bronzini has been dropped there is a crash in the main group involving three more Italian, Longo Borghini is amongst them, there was a member of the Dutch team in there too. The USA also look to have lost Megan Guarnier.

Jessy Druyts
Jessy Druyts of Belgium is attended to by medics. Photograph: Ntb Scanpix/Reuters


The Dutch have a go

The Netherlands unleash a quick one-two combination as Ellen van Dijk attacks before Amy Pieters counters once her compatriot was reeled back in. Australi’s Rachel Neyland and Britain’s Hannah Barnes have managed to bridge across the 20 second gap on the climb.

We’re at a bit of an impasse as the race goes over the halfway point. No big attacks yet and no breakaway has stuck.

Alice Barnes is having a go off the front as they start the climb up Salmon Hill but is quickly marked by the Dutch. Now Norwegian Susanne Andersen is having a go.

I mean look at this. I’m sold on a trip to Bergen:

KM33: The peloton comes into the harbour with the cultural heritage site Bryggen. #Bergen2017

— UCIWomenCycling (@UCIWomenCycling) September 23, 2017

There was a little spill at the back of the peloton, with Norway’s Vita Heine going down. She quickly rejoined the back of the main bunch. Riders are falling off the back are being taken out of the race, no big names so far but Mel Lowther is now starting to lose some ground.

That’s exactly what’s happened. The peloton is all back together as the race passes through the centre of Bergen. The sunshine and the TV pictures are doing the local tourist board all sorts of good. Return flights from London are about £100 apparently, I’m sold.

As the race ticks below the 100km mark there is a little burst of orange off the front and Lucina Brand has gone off after Lowther. You have to think its reduce the onus on the Dutch and with an eye on bringing the race back together.

Lowther’s little tilt off the front does not look like lasting long. Penton has already been sucked back in by the peloton and the 21-year-old Briton has a lead of just 20 seconds.

Lowther, who recently won the British Under 23 race and rides for Team Breeze (British Cycling’s academy team), has ridden past Penton on the ascent of Salmon Hill and is off on her own.

Penton remains 40 seconds off the front of the peloton with Great Britain’s Dani King and Hannah Barnes sitting near the front as the Swede completes the second lap. GB rider Melissa Lowther has headed off in pursuit of Penton and has now joined the leader two form a two woman group.


Less than a month ago Lizzie Deignan was looking very good for a second tilt at the World Championships. A season spent dominating the UCI Women’s Tour alongside side Boels–Dolmans teammate Anna van der Briggen had culminated in victory Grand Prix de Plouay before a near-rupturing of the appendix took the 2015 rainbow jersey winner off the bike and threw her participation into doubt.

She’s in Bergen but whether Deignan now has the legs to compete remains to be seen. The course remains such a mystery as to what kind of race it will produce and whether Deignan can challenge depends partly on what unfolds around her.

She told the Guardian’s William Fotheringham pre-race: “If I have good legs it’s good for me, it’s an opportunistic course, there are places to attack everywhere. It will be wide open.”

Deignan’s colleague Van der Breggen leads an outrageously strong Dutch squad look the team to beat. With Marianne Vos, Annemiek van Vlueten and Ellen van Dijk all riding in support they have almost every tactical eventuality covered. However, they will be a marked team. As the British men found out at the 2012 Olympics, when everyone is so focused on stopping you it can be disastrous, although mercifully Alexander Vinokourov is both retired and the wrong sex to win this race.

Of the other contenders who could take advantage Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini and Belgium’s Jolien D’Hoore are ones to watch.

The race has started in Bergen and the peloton have completed the first of the 19.1km laps of the circuit. Sweden’s Sara Penton is around 40 seconds off the front of the peloton but there are still 127km remaining. So let’s get at it.

Tom will be here soon.


Tom Bassam

The GuardianTramp

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