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World Road Championship



That's it for today

World Championships
Stuyven claims Evenepoel skipped debrief after Worlds road race
25/10/2021 AT 13:36
It was a thrilling finish that kept us on the edge of our seats. The report is building over here, and we will have more analysis and reaction to follow.
Enjoy your Saturday night!

Longo Borghini 'perfect team-mate'

Fellow national team rider Elisa Longo Borghini played the perfect supporting role today: "I did my job you know and it's really nice when your can really happen and you deliver what you are here for," she said. "I knew I had to close all the gaps I felt really well today and I felt the one to be launching her for a sprint and I had to try and lead her as close as possible to the finish line. I believed she could win, and when you work for it most of the time it happens."
"We actually expected the Netherlands to be more aggressive and I was up there to control the race and follow attacks but it was kind of controlled and the last two loops were like a big crit with a nice jersey as a prize."

'I'm totally speechless'

A teary 22-year-old Balsamo said afterwards: "I'm totally speechless I have no words to describe this feeling. It's unbelievable."
Asked whether she had the legs, she said: "I don't know, it was the dream for me after this long season and by team was so so good and without them this jersey wasn't possible. My team were so good and sorry I have no words.
"My team-mate perfect lead out, I really believe in them and yes after the last corner I switch off my brain and say you have to go full gas and not look behind and go full gas.
"I think that I need some days to realise today. And next year with this jersey.. I don't know know... it is a dream.
"My boyfriend is here and my parents are watching at home and I want to say a really big thanks to my family, coach, nutrition, and all my team because without them maybe today I couldn't do it. I think I need some days or months to realise this."

Balsamo the rainbow jersey holder!

The 22-year-old Valcar rider pipped Marianne Vos on the line and was led out perfectly by team-mate Longo Borghini!

Elisa Balsamo is world champion!!

Marianne Vos takes second and Kasia Niewiadoma third.


2km to go

Niewiadoma GOES AGAIN!

3km to go

I spot a trio pulling away at the front... with an orange jersey included. Van Vleuten, Marta Bastianelli (ITA), Kata Blanka Vas (HUN).

4km to go


5km to go

The Brits have dropped back slightly, Niewiadoma starts to kick up the pace....

7km to go

So, Garcia has been caught. Now Van Vleuten attacks, Ruth Winder is still in the mix, Longo Borghini and Van Dijk are all up there alongside.

10km to go

Ellen Van Dijk is on the front of the group alongside the Italian riders. Looks like the Dutch have worked out that they want to save their energy for a sprint, rather than tugging on the front chasing down Mavi Garcia.

13km to go

Final lap alert. It's going to be a spicy finish! Mavi Garcia is doing a stunning job of staying ahead and burning Annemiek Van Vleuten's energy.

15km to go

Anna Henderson is looking strong as the front runners close in on Mavi Garcia. She keeps looking over her shoulder but she can't hold them off for much longer.

18km to go

Ruth Winder (USA) is up in the mix with Van Vleuten. Earlier she was pulling at the front of the peloton to reel in Biannic.

20km to go

ATTACK, ATTACK! It feels like it's going to a sprint finish, but there's still 20km left. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (POL) has gone for it. Elisa Longo Borghini, and Annemeik Van Vleuten follow.
Mavi Garcia is still up the road but she is being reeled in.

22km to go

Back together. Reusser caught Biannic and then the group caught then both. Mavi Garcia has gone for a solo attack.

Marlen Reusser goes for it!!

The Swiss who won silver in the time trial on Monday and just missed out on the rainbow stripes has taken off from the front group to chase down the French leader Biannic.
Reusser's speciality is time trialling and she's a power house so it's fair to say these moments are what she's made for.

28km to go

Nobody can get away and nobody is letting up, at this rate it's going to be a sprint finish.
BUT with 29km to go, there's plenty of road left.
There's 46 riders in the front group, and Aude Biannic (FRA) has gone off on the front with a gap of eight seconds. The chase group are 14 seconds behind.

33km to go

We are into the 'half' of the Leuven circuit, with two full loops yet to do. The lead group have 1:14 over the peloton. And the climbs here are short and sharp, so who has the legs?! Lizzie Deignan said these kind of roads suit her.

37km to go

Nobody has really made an attack stick yet. Cecilie Ludwig of Denmark and Sina Frei of Switzerland have gone for it together, and they gain a few seconds, but it's short lived.

42km to go

Group one has spread out and another attack is imminent as they all start looking around at each other for damage limitation. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak goes for it, as does Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of South Africa.
And we climb again.

48km to go

Here we go, the peloton has split into three groups, quite far apart from one anoher for the current flat section.
Lucinda Brand of the Netherlands has lit up the race and attacked. Anna Henderson, Lizzie Deignan, Lotte Kopecky have all gone with her.

53km to go

We are about half way through the Flanders circuit. The riders head towards the town of Tervuren with the Veeweide and another ascent of the Smeysberg to go before the race heads back to Leuven.
Eurosport commentator Joanna Rowsell-Shand said the pace of the peloton is very high which is possibly why there's been a lack of attacking so far. Nobody is letting up.


With 57km to go, the riders meet the Bekestraat. In the words of Cycling in Flanders:, they say: "The Bekestraat is a rather unknown but pretty cool cobbled climb in Eizer. It peaks at 15%, with an average gradient of 7,6% over a distance of 430 meters. The stones are rather far apart, so you might find yourself bumping from one cobble to another. Real Flandriens ride on the cobblestones but you can also swerve to the gutter."
The climb has split the peloton apart and Lucinda Brand is now part of a very large lead group with most of the Dutch and British riders.
Meanwhile, Megan Armitage of Ireland has fallen off and looks in pain clutching a bloody knee.


On to the cobbles! Demi Vollering has a mechanical problem as the riders ascend the narrow cobbled climb. It's like a preview of what's to come in next week's debut Paris-Roubaix.
Cycling in Flanders says: "We love this one. A narrow, steep and cobbled climb through the woods. What more do you want? The fun begins after a sharp right turn. Wait for it to make your move."

68km to go

All together again. Brits and the Dutch still at the front controlling the peloton, with Deignan and Van der Breggen having a drink and looking like they're getting ready for more climbs to come and some attacks.

71km to go

Michaela Drummond has had her moment in the sun (literally, it's sunny in Belgium) and the peloton roll up and swallow her as they start to climb the sixth climb of the day: the Smeysberg. It's 600m long and it's a 17% gradient!

A lovely moment

Eurosport's own Magnus Backstedt had a moment while watching his daughter, Zoe, win the junior world championship road race earlier today.
Here's the report to recap on how the 17-year-old managed it.

'Tears running down my face' - Magnus Backstedt on Eurosport comms after daughter Zoe wins gold

80km to go

NZL rider Michaela Drummond has gone for a lone stint out front. The peloton has spread out across the wide carriageway and still bunched together.


The 157.7km route is split into three sections. The riders had an undulating start to the day rolling out of Antwerp to Leuven. Then they began the hill climbs around a Leuven city circuit for a lap-and-a-half.
With 85km to go the riders are ascending the final climb of the Leuven circuit, before they will do a lap of the 'Flanders circuit' which has steeper climbs as well as a number of other climbs sandwiched in there. Before rolling back to Leuven for two-and-a-half laps of the same circuit.
Click here to view the UCI's course map.

88km to go

GB riders are controlling the pace at the front of the peloton at the moment, with Barnes, Deignan, Henderson out front. The orange jerseys of the Dutch are spotted just behind.

95km to go

The peloton is on the first local circuit of Leuven. It's technical, and we are well into the hills for the day.

Home roads for Kopecky, D'hoore

Belgium's Lotte Kopecky, is in with a fighting chance today, with the help of team-mate Jolien D'hoore on home roads. Kopecky finished fourth in the Olympic road race and won both the national time trial and road race this year in Belgium.

'It's win or bust for Deignan'

Lizzie Deignan is racing in the British team, and said in her Telegraph column this week she is confident GB can challenge the Dutch, saying it's basically mission impossible, but she is Tom Cruise, and it is "win or bust."
"I said in Tokyo that I had to be prepared to lose everything in order to win and it’s the same on Saturday," Deignan said. "I have to trust my instincts and if an opportunity presents itself, go for it and commit 100%. It may be that it backfires and I finish nowhere. But I’m lucky enough to have won the rainbow jersey before, in Richmond back in 2015, so I’m not interested in finishing the race ‘safely’ or targeting the top 10. It’s win or bust for me.
"I also have the added bonus on Saturday of having five GB riders with me, compared with just one at the Olympics in Anna Shackley. That is a big help. In fact, I think we’ve got a pretty strong team this year. I’ve been really impressed with Anna Henderson this season."
Joining Deignan in the British team are: Alice Barnes, Pfeiffer Georgi, Anna Henderson, Joscelin Lowden, Anna Shackley.


There are many! All eight riders in the Dutch team are capable of winning outright. But in the Olympics road race they had trouble working as a team, so will they have ironed out those issues for today?
Dutch team:
Anna van der Breggen - defending champion, world champion 2018, 2020
Annemiek Van Vleuten - world champion 2017, 2018 (TT), 2019 (RR)
Marianne Vos - world champion 2006, 2012, 2013 (RR)
Ellen Van Dijk - world champion 2021 (TT) on Monday!
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak - world champion 2017 (RR)
Also, Amy Pieters, Demi Vollering, Lucinda Brand.

the route

The riders start from Antwerp and head to Leuven over a 157km route with just over 1,000m of climbing. Since we are in Flanders, expect a race similar to the spring classics: lumpy, unusual terrain, cobbles, and what not.
You can watch live on Eurosport 1, Eurosport app & GCN+.

Good afternoon!

Watching cycling is the only way to spend a rainy (in the UK) Saturday afternoon. The women's road race has just got under way and with the stellar line-up of riders we look set for a thriller.

Pre-race reading

Ahead of the UCI Road World Championships in Flanders, Niamh Lewis dives into a thorny question: why are women’s races typically shorter than the men’s equivalent? And should the races be beefed up in distance or would that actually hinder what makes women’s cycling such a unique offering to fans?
Read that article in full here.

Women's elite road race startlist

  • 2. BRAND Lucinda
  • 3. PIETERS Amy
  • 4. VAN DEN BROEK-BLAAK Chantal
  • 5. VAN DIJK Ellen
  • 6. VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek
  • 7. VOLLERING Demi
  • 8. VOS Marianne
  • 9. BALSAMO Elisa
  • 10. BASTIANELLI Marta
  • 11. CAVALLI Marta
  • 12. CECCHINI Elena
  • 13. CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia
  • 14. GUAZZINI Vittoria
  • 15. LONGO BORGHINI Elisa
  • 16. DIDERIKSEN Amalie
  • 17. HOLMSGAARD Trine
  • 18. ELSTRØM JENSEN Maria
  • 19. NORSGAARD Emma
  • 20. KOERNER Rebecca
  • 21. LETH Julie
  • 22. LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup
  • 23. BRENNAUER Lisa
  • 24. HAMMES Kathrin
  • 25. KASPER Romy
  • 26. KLEIN Lisa
  • 27. KOCH Franziska
  • 28. TEUTENBERG Lea Lin
  • 29. LIPPERT Liane
  • 30. BAUR Caroline
  • 31. CHABBEY Elise
  • 32. FREI Sina
  • 33. KOLLER Nicole
  • 34. REUSSER Marlen
  • 35. RÜEGG Noemi
United States
  • 36. FAULKNER Kristen
  • 37. RIVERA Coryn
  • 38. STEPHENS Lauren
  • 39. THOMAS Leah
  • 40. WILES Tayler
  • 41. WINDER Ruth
  • 42. ALLEN Jessica
  • 43. CROMWELL Tiffany
  • 44. HANSON Lauretta
  • 45. HOSKING Chloe
  • 46. NEYLAN Rachel
  • 47. ROY Sarah
  • 48. SPRATT Amanda
  • 49. BOSSUYT Shari
  • 50. DE BAAT Kim
  • 51. DEMEY Valerie
  • 52. D'HOORE Jolien
  • 53. KOPECKY Lotte
  • 54. VANDENBULCKE Jesse
South Africa
  • 55. JANSE VAN RENSBURG Frances
  • 56. JONKER Kerry
  • 57. KEEP Tiffany
  • 58. MOOLMAN Ashleigh
  • 59. PREEN Hayley
  • 60. WEBB Courteney
  • 61. JASKULSKA Marta
  • 62. KARASIEWICZ Karolina
  • 63. KUMIEGA Karolina
  • 64. LACH Marta
  • 65. NERLO Aurela
  • 66. NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna
  • 67. BIANNIC Aude
  • 68. CORDON-RAGOT Audrey
  • 69. DUVAL Eugénie
  • 70. FOURNIER Roxane
  • 71. LABOUS Juliette
  • 72. MUZIC Évita
Great Britain
  • 73. BARNES Alice
  • 74. DEIGNAN Elizabeth
  • 75. GEORGI Pfeiffer
  • 76. HENDERSON Anna
  • 77. LOWDEN Joscelin
  • 78. SHACKLEY Anna
  • 79. GARCÍA Mavi
  • 80. GUTIÉRREZ Sheyla
  • 81. MARTIN Sara
  • 82. MERINO Eider
  • 83. OYARBIDE Lourdes
  • 85. AALERUD Katrine
  • 86. ANDERSEN Susanne
  • 87. BORGLI Stine
  • 88. GASKJENN Ingvild
  • 89. MOBERG Emilie
  • 90. YSLAND Anne Dorthe
  • 91. BRAVEC Urška
  • 92. BUJAK Eugenia
  • 93. KERN Špela
  • 94. ŽIGART Urška
New Zealand
  • 95. CHRISTIE Henrietta
  • 96. DRUMMOND Michaela
  • 97. FISHER-BLACK Niamh
  • 98. HARRIS Ella
  • 99. EBERHARDT Verena
  • 100.RIJKES Sarah
  • 101.SCHWEINBERGER Christina
  • 102.SCHWEINBERGER Kathrin
  • 103.ANDERSSON Caroline
  • 104.BORGSTRÖM Julia
  • 105.NILSSON Hanna
  • 106.PENTON Sara
  • 176.EKLUND Nathalie
  • 107.CANUEL Karol-Ann
  • 108.JACKSON Alison
  • 109.KIRCHMANN Leah
  • 111.BOTERO Erika Milena
  • 112.COLMENARES Yeny Lorena
  • 113.HERNÁNDEZ Lina Marcela
  • 114.PATIÑO Paula Andrea
  • 115.PEÑUELA Diana
  • 116.BERTON Nina
  • 117.MAJERUS Christine
  • 118.ČEŠULIENĖ Inga
  • 119.LELEIVYTĖ Rasa
24 Ukraine
  • 120.BIRIUKOVA Yuliia
  • 121.KONONENKO Valeriya
  • 122.SOLOVEI Ganna
  • 123.MUÑOZ Paola Andrea
  • 125.SIERRA Arlenis
  • 127.BATRIYA Chaniporn
  • 128.KHAOPLOT Kamonrada
  • 129.SOMRAT Phetdarin
  • 130.VAS Kata Blanka
132.KOLESAVA Anastasiya
133.SALAZAR Lizbeth Yareli
Czech Republic
134.MACHAČOVÁ Jarmila
  • 135.GAFINOVITZ Rotem
  • 136.SHAPIRA Omer
  • 137.ABDULLAEVA Shaknoza
  • 138.KULIKOVA Anna
  • 139.KUSKOVA Yanina
  • 140.ROŽLAPA Dana
  • 141.SVARINSKA Lina
  • 143.MEDVEĎOVÁ Tereza
  • 144.TUISK Aidi Gerde
  • 145.ARMITAGE Megan
  • 146.INGABIRE Diane
  • 147.NZAYISENGA Valantine
  • 148.BJORNSDÓTTIR Agusta Edda
  • 149.BJÖRNSDÓTTIR Elín Björg
  • 150.GUNNARSDÓTTIR Bríet Kristý
  • 151.ERIĆ Jelena
  • 155.CAMPOS Daniela
  • 156.MARTINS Maria
Trinidad & Tobago
  • 160.CAMPBELL Teniel
  • 161.ARAUJO Thayna
  • 163.GHEBREMESKEL Bisrat
  • 164.KIDANE Desiet
  • 165.TESFALEM Adyam
  • 167.YONAMINE Eri
  • 172.ESPÍNOLA Agua Marina
  • 174.ROLAND Luciana
  • 175.YAPURA Fernanda

UCI Road World Championships: Schedule

Road race events
  • September 24: Junior men - Leuven to Leuven (121.4km)
  • September 24: Men U23 - Antwerp to Leuven (160.9km)
  • September 25: Junior women - Leuven to Leuven (75km)
  • September 25: Elite women - Antwerp to Leuven (157.7km)
  • September 26: Elite men - Antwerp to Leuven (268.3km)
You can watch the 2021 UCI Road World Championships live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now. You can also watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free racing on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream exclusive cycling documentaries.
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