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Anna van der Breggen wins elite women’s world title at Imola World Championships

Van Vleuten takes silver, Longo Borghini bronze in two-up sprint for remaining medals

Image 1 of 36 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) wins the road world title in 2020 (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 2 of 36 The women’s peloton at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 3 of 36 The women’s peloton at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 4 of 36 Maria Antonieta Gaxiola Gonzalez, Fatima Zahra El Hayani in the women’s road race 2020 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 5 of 36 Susanne Andersen (Norway) in the women’s road race 2020 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 6 of 36 Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk in the women’s road race 2020 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 7 of 36 The women’s road race 2020 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 8 of 36 Anna Van Der Breggen of The Netherlands / Eugenia Bujak of Slovenia / Malgorzta Jasinska of Poland / Teniel Campbell of Trinidad and Tobago (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 9 of 36 The women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 10 of 36 Hannah Barnes at the women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 11 of 36 The breakaway during the women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 12 of 36 Siham Es-Saddy of Morocco during the women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 13 of 36 The breakaway at the World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 14 of 36 The peloton at the World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 15 of 36 Ingrid Lorvik of Norway / Pernille Mathiesen of Denmark / Eyeru Tesfoam Gebru of Ethiopia at the World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 16 of 36 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) takes her second world title of the 2020 Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 17 of 36 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) is on top of the world (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 18 of 36 Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) sets up the winning move for the Dutch (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 19 of 36 Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain) in action on Imola (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 20 of 36 Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) came close to defending her crown (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 21 of 36 The Dutch domination continued in Imola (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 22 of 36 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) closes in on the world title (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 23 of 36 Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) beats Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) to the silver medal (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 24 of 36 Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) go head to head for the silver medal (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 25 of 36 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) with her gold medal and rainbow jersey (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 26 of 36 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) is congratulated by Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) on the podium (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 27 of 36 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) wins her second world road tittle of her career (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 28 of 36 Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) on the podium in Imola (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 29 of 36 Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) and Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 30 of 36 The women’s podium in Imola with Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands), and Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 31 of 36 (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 32 of 36 The podium at the road race World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 33 of 36 The podium at the road race World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 34 of 36 Anna van der Breggen wins the 2020 World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 35 of 36 The Dutch team celebrate another world title (Image credit: Getty Images) Image 36 of 36 Elisa Longo Borghini (Image credit: Getty Images)

Anna van der Breggen brought the Netherlands its fourth consecutive world title in the elite women’s road race at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola. It was her second world title in three days having also won the time trial on Thursday, an accomplishment that has not been done since Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo won both titles in 1995.

“It’s incredible. It was a really hard race and there was fighting from the beginning. The climbs were really tough and on the penultimate lap I felt strong and we discussed in front trying to make the race hard. We did it and I just went for it,” Van der Breggen said.

“I thought that in the last lap everyone would be tired and that it would be difficult to make the difference on the climbs so I went but it was really far. I didn’t think about Innsbruck in the race [where she won the world title in 2018 – ed.]. The circuit here was different and it had some flat parts. It was hard all the same, but I’m really happy. I never expected this. It’s incredible. The season has been incredible so far. It’s everything behind each other but if you’re in shape then it’s also a good thing. I’m pretty tired now but the season so far has been pretty good for me.”

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), who came into the race with a broken wrist, secured the silver medal after a two-up sprint with Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) on the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) secured fourth place from a reduced chase-group sprint – giving the Netherlands three places in the top four.

How it unfolded

The women’s 143km road race, five laps of a 28km circuit, started and finished at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, and it featured two steep climbs on each circuit – the Mazzolano was 2.2km with an average gradient of 7 per cent and pitches as steep as 11 per cent, and the Cima Gallisterna was 2.3km with an average gradient of 7 per cent with pitches as steep as 14 per cent – and a total of 2,800 metres of climbing.

On the third lap, and with 83km to go, Alison Jackson (Canada) attacked and was quickly followed by Grace Brown…

Kirsten Frattini

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