Tatiana Guderzo wins the World Championships women's road race
Vos and Cantele make the podium, Cooke pulls out at the mid point
Tatiana Guderzo claimed gold in the Women's World Championship road race in Mendrisio today. The Italian went off the front of the 13-strong leading group to solo to victory and take the win by 19 seconds. Marianne Vos and Noemi Cantele made up the podium, and TT winner Kristin Armstrong finished fourth on the tough 124km course.
Britain's Nicole Cooke, who had been hoping for back-to-back titles, pulled out midway through the race, and said she was suffering for form; she was one of several riders who went down on a slippery course. Emma Pooley was in good shape for most of the race but fell off the pace in a furious last lap.
With 20 laps to go a leading group of 20 riders went clear, and with two laps to go Pooley tried to break clear with Juidth Arndt of Germany but was well covered. At the bell 13 riders were still in contention but it was Guderzo who made the decisive move near the top of the Acqua Fresca climb. Vos and Armstrong tried to respond, and Cantele sat with the pair, but they never looked likely to catch the diminuitive Italian.
“After the Olympics, I have come back to realize my dream”, said Guderzo after her win. “There were two of us in the final group of four. When I attacked, I believed I could win. Thanks to the team who helped me so much. We had a very strong team and they did great work today.”