World championships: Great Britain's Lucy Garner sprints to junior women’s gold
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Friday, September 23, 2011

World championships: Great Britain's Lucy Garner sprints to junior women’s gold

by Ben Atkins at 5:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, World Championships
17-year-old wins after two-rider break pulled back in the finishing straight

Lucy GarnerLucy Garner (Great Britain) has emulated her compatriot Nicole Cooke by winning the junior women’s World championship in her first year in the category, as the 70km road race came down to a bunch sprint. The British rider, who only turned 17 years of age three days before the race, came from a long way behind the other sprinters on the uphill finishing straight to cross the line several lengths clear of Belgium’s Jessy Druyts. Christina Siggaard of Denmark took the bronze medal for the host nation after strong work from her team closed down the final lap breakaway.

"It feels amazing, I can't describe how it feels,” Garner said after the race. “Our team did so well to keep everything together and when it came to the sprint I saw there was a slight gap. There were six or seven riders in front and I was the last one. Once I get going I don't look where I'm going, just head straight to the finish line."

Druyts too, at just 17 years old, was in her first ever World championship race. “I didn’t expect this at all,” said the emotional Belgian to Sporza at the finish. “I came here just for the experience, but I felt on top form all the time.”

Her elation at her silver medal was tempered slightly though, with the thought of what might have been if the sprint had gone differently.

“In the sprint I had bad luck,” the Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley rider explained. “I was just getting going when somebody rode into my back wheel. This stopped my acceleration completely and I thought ‘ah, that’s a place on the podium or maybe the top ten,’ but I persevered and picked up silver.

“Had that not happened then I would have won the race,” she added.

The race looked to be heading for a breakaway win for either European road and time trial champion Rosella Ratto (Italy) or Mieke Kröger (Germany), who escaped close to end of the penultimate 14km lap. The two riders managed to build a lead of 36 seconds with 5.5km to go, as both of their teams worked hard to obstruct the chase behind them. Hard work from a number of teams though, especially host nation Denmark, saw them caught at the base of the false-flat finishing straight.

Early crashes see some big names out

The main action in the first of the five laps saw a number of riders come down in a series of crashes. Garner was among the fallers, but managed to rejoin the peloton relatively quickly; Alison Beveridge (Canada), Grace Alexander (USA) and Jess Allen (Australia), the time trial champion from earlier in the week, were not so lucky though and were some of those forced to abandon the race.

On lap two Amy Roberts (Great Britain) managed to get 19 seconds clear on her own in the second half of the circuit. The was caught before the end of the lap though, only for Nguyen Thi That (Vietnam) to counter attack over the line. The Vietnamese rider didn’t get far though, and was soon back in the peloton, when Hannah Barnes became the next Great Britain rider to try her luck.

Midway through lap three though, Thalita De Jongh (Netherlands) put in an attack that stuck. The Dutchwoman powered away from the front of the peloton, resisting a chase from Alexandra Nessmar (Sweden) and Irene Usabiaga (Spain) to cross the line nine seconds clear of her two pursuers, and 17 ahead of the peloton.

In the first kilometre of the fourth lap the two chasers were brought back by the peloton, but the Dutchwoman persisted, holding on to a ten-second advantage. Mieke Kröger (Germany) tried to bridge across and succeeded in getting within a handful of seconds of the Dutchwoman before she was joined by Maria Confalonieri (Italy), Elinor Barker (Great Britain), Annie Ewart (Canada) and Ingrid Drexel (Mexico)

De Jongh persisted but the five chasers managed to join her in the middle of the lap; they were just 7 seconds ahead of the peloton though and were soon dragged back.

The European champion escapes and looks to have made it

Shortly afterwards Ratto attacked and quickly opened a gap as her Italian team blocked the front of the peloton. Despite a chase, the European champion was six seconds clear as she crossed the line to start the final lap. Kröger managed to bridge across though, and the two of them began to work together with both of their teams marshalling the front of the peloton.

Midway through the lap, as they crossed the top of the climb, the duo was 21 seconds ahead of the peloton, which was now being led by a number of countries. Italy came to the front once more to slow the chase, but Ratto was having problems holding on to Kröger whenever the road tilted upwards.

There was a counterattack from Marlene Wintgens (Belgium); she couldn’t get away but her acceleration meant that the peloton began to speed up. The Germans and Italians came forward once more though, and the pace at the front dropped once more. Wintgens continued to set the pace, with the Russian team set to take over behind her, but with no organised chase the gap was not closing.

At the final checkpoint of the lap, with 5.5km to go, Ratto and Kröger led by 36 seconds. Garner put in an attack, and managed to get a few seconds clear, but with such a gap to close, with so few kilometres remaining, she was surely only racing for bronze.

The Denmark team moved to the front though, leading the chase of Garner, and caught the British rider with four kilometres to go. This injection of pace cut the two leaders’ advantage to just 20 seconds as they passed the three kilometre point.

Inside the final two kilometres it was down to less than ten seconds, but as the peloton had the leaders in sight it spread across the road. Into the final kilometre though, Ratto and Kröger began to look at one another and, as they turned into the slightly uphill finishing straight, they simply surrendered as the peloton swept around them.

Katarzyna Kirschenstein (Poland) launched her sprint from a long way out, but the others were lined up behind her; the speed pulled a number of riders clear of the rest though, with Garner at the rear.

As the sprinters all began to spread across the road, Garner began to accelerate and, as Druyts began to come around from behind Sheyla Gutierrez (Spain), she brushed against the British rider. Garner’s acceleration pulled her several lengths clear of the rest, but Druyts managed to get going again to pip Siggaard and the rest on the line.


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World road race championships Junior Women's Road Race Results: Copenhagen (70km)

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
gbr GBR 1 Lucy Garner () 01:46:17
bel BEL 2 Jessy Druyts () s.t.
den DEN 3 Christina Siggaard () s.t.
fra FRA 4 Manon Souyris () s.t.
aut AUT 5 Christina Perchtold () s.t.
esp ESP 6 Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz () s.t.
ger GER 7 Lisa Küllmer () s.t.
ita ITA 8 Beatrice Bartelloni () s.t.
ned NED 9 Kelly Markus (Skil - Koga) s.t.
ltu LTU 10 Silvija Latozaite () s.t.
ita ITA 11 Rossella Ratto () s.t.
rus RUS 12 Svetlana Kashirina () s.t.
esp ESP 13 Irene Usabiaga () s.t.
pol POL 14 Katarzyna Kirschenstein () s.t.
bel BEL 15 Celine Van Severen (Sengers Ladies Cycling Team) s.t.
MEX 16 Ingrid Drexel () s.t.
sui SUI 17 Larissa Bruhwiler () s.t.
aus AUS 18 Sophie Williamson () s.t.
can CAN 19 Gabrielle Pilote-fortin () s.t.
ita ITA 20 Chiara Vannucci () s.t.
aus AUS 21 Jessica Mundy () s.t.
ltu LTU 22 Ruta Zemaityte () s.t.
ned NED 23 Anouska Koster (WV Otto Ebbens) s.t.
nor NOR 24 Marthe Skjolden () s.t.
pol POL 25 Katarzyna Niewiadoma () s.t.
ger GER 26 Lisa Fischer () s.t.
rus RUS 27 Alina Bondarenko () s.t.
ned NED 28 Rebecca Talen (RSC De Zuidwesthoek) s.t.
fra FRA 29 Oriane Chaumet () s.t.
ger GER 30 Madeleine Ortmüller () s.t.
gbr GBR 31 Amy Roberts () s.t.
ukr UKR 32 Anna Kyva () s.t.
pol POL 33 Katarzyna Wilkos () s.t.
ita ITA 34 Maria Giulia Confalonieri () s.t.
aus AUS 35 Allison Rice () s.t.
esp ESP 36 Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez () s.t.
swe SWE 37 Alexandra Nessmar () s.t.
esp ESP 38 Elena Lloret Llinares () s.t.
ned NED 39 Thalita De Jong (RSC De Zuidwesthoek) 00:00:09
den DEN 40 Fie Degn Larsen () 00:00:10
usa USA 41 Addyson Albershardt () s.t.
rus RUS 42 Kseniya Dobrynina () s.t.
usa USA 43 Alex Ryan () s.t.
bel BEL 44 Marlene Wintgens (Ucs Crabbé Performance VOO) 00:00:13
sui SUI 45 Rita Imstepf () s.t.
bel BEL 46 Steffi Lodewyckx () s.t.
rus RUS 47 Alexandra Chekina () s.t.
ger GER 48 Mieke Kröger () s.t.
den DEN 49 Kamilla Sofie Vallin () 00:00:19
can CAN 50 Annie Ewart () s.t.
gbr GBR 51 Hannah Barnes () 00:00:31
gbr GBR 52 Elinor Barker () s.t.
ita ITA 53 Dalia Muccioli () 00:00:35
MEX 54 Erika Varela () 00:01:18
fra FRA 55 Valentine Morin () 00:01:20
VNM 56 Thi That Nguyen () 00:07:54
ltu LTU 57 Egle Poskaite () s.t.
lat LAT 58 Lija Laizane () 00:08:02
swe SWE 59 Felicia Ferner () 00:08:04
MEX 60 Carolina Rodriguez () 00:08:11
can CAN 61 Alizee Brien () 00:08:20
swe SWE 62 Emma Ahlstrand () 00:11:41
cro CRO 63 Antonela Ferencic () 00:14:08
ukr UKR 64 Yana Tiganova () s.t.
blr BLR 65 Marina Shmayankova () 00:15:20
pol POL 66 Alicja Komo () s.t.
nor NOR 67 Pia Charlotte Matter () 00:15:23
can CAN DNF Allison Beveridge ()  
nzl NZL DNF Georgia Williams ()  
usa USA DNF Grace Alexander ()  
swe SWE DNF Jenny Rissveds ()  
aus AUS DNF Jessica Allen ()  
fra FRA DNF Mathilde Favre ()  
slo SLO DNF Urska Kalan ()  

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