Diderik­sen edges favourite Wild in women’s road cy­cling race

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Amalie Diderik­sen sur­prised even her­self when her late surge edged her ahead of fa­vorite Kirsten Wild and won the women's race at the road cy­cling world cham­pi­onships yes­ter­day.

Lotta Lepisto of Fin­land was third with the same time, and de­fend­ing cham­pion Elizabeth Deignan of Bri­tain fourth.

The 20-year-old Diderik­sen was the world ju­nior cham­pion in 2013 and 2014, and fin­ished fifth in the om­nium at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. But the qual­ity of the field at the road worlds made her con­sider only a top-10 fin­ish.

"Win­ning here is a sur­prise for me, too," the Dane said. "I had such good team­mates. I had a small crash and they brought me back."

The Nether­lands team was in con­trol head­ing to­ward the sprint fin­ish, with Mar­i­anne Vos in per­fect po­si­tion to win her fourth road race world title as the group en­tered the fi­nal 300 me­ters. Her com­pa­triot Wild, con­sid­ered a Doha spe­cial­ist hav­ing won the Ladies Tour of Qatar four times, then took over.

But Diderik­sen, who was 17th with one lap to go, un­leashed an even bet­ter fin­ish.

The 134-kilo­me­ter race started in 35-de­gree heat, and Ja­pan cham­pion Eri Yon­amine was the first to at­tack.

On the sec­ond of seven laps of the man-made is­land Pearl, Wild crashed, got up quickly, and was soon brought back into the pelo­ton.

Yon­amine was joined by Switzer­land's Ni­cole Hansel­mann up front, and the duo was ahead by 40 sec­onds with 84 kilo­me­ters to go.

There were re­lent­less at­tacks by Nether­lands, Ger­many, Bri­tain, and Aus­tralia, and the lead­ers were reeled in around the half­way mark.

Amer­i­can Am­ber Neben at­tacked with three laps to go, and opened up a gap of 45 sec­onds with two laps to go, which was brought down to 24 sec­onds af­ter an­other lap. But the Dutch, Aus­tralians, and Bri­tish soon took over and were bunched up clos­ing on the fin­ish.

Today, the cham­pi­onships end with the men's race. Peter Sa­gan of Slo­vakia is the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

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