Armitstead wins women's road race in late sprint

Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:43pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Lizzie Armitstead of Britain won a drag race to the finish with Anna van der Breggen to claim a breath-taking victory at the road cycling world championships on Saturday.

The pre-race favorite, Armitstead spent much of the 129.8km race back in the pack but, with just a kilometer left, powered to the front and then timed her move perfectly as she added the rainbow jersey to her overall World Cup title.

The 26-year-old becomes the fourth British woman to be crowned road world champion, joining Nicole Cooke, Mandy Jones and Beryl Burton.

Dutchwoman van der Breggen, runner-up in the women's time trial, settled for silver again while American Megan Guarnier took third.

"Every cyclist dreams of the rainbow jersey," Armitstead told reporters. "This morning I had never been so nervous in my life. That's why I am still in shock really. It just went so perfectly. It is one of those things you dream about in your career.

"I prepared the best I could. Physically I was in the best shape of my career and then you have to have lady luck on your side and she was with me today.

"Even rain, it was perfect."

Armitstead's hopes of victory appeared doomed when she failed to join a nine rider break that opened up a minute advantage on the peloton with under 20km to go.   Continued...

Sep 26, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; Elizabeth Armistead of Great Britain (L) reacts after beating Anna Van Der Breggen of the Netherlands (R) and Megan Guarnier of the United  States (M) to the finish line to win the women's elite road race in the UCI road world championships 2015 at the Richmond Road Circuit. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports