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Barry Ryan

As it happened: Kopecky conquers elite women's World Championships road race

(Image credit: UCI Glasgow Road World Championships 2023)

UCI Road World Championships - Everything you need to know

2023 UCI Road World Championships – Riders to watch in the elite/U23 women's road race

World Championships: Chloe Dygert beats Grace Brown to reclaim elite women's time trial title

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Welcome to live coverage of the 2023 elite women's World Championships road race. 

As in Wollongong a year ago, the elite women's race also incorporates the under-23 road race, and so there are two rainbow jerseys up for grabs here. Simone Giuliani has cast her eye over the list of contenders in both events, and you can read her analysis here

The race gets underway at middway from Loch Lomond, with the peloton climbing Crow Road on the 68km run towards Glasgow, before they take in six laps of the 14.3km city-centre circuit that has generated such drama over the past week. The total distance is 154.1km.

The miserable weather conditions have been a factor throughout the week in Glasgow and there was another spate of crashes on the rain-slicked circuit during yesterday's under-23 men's road race. The women's peloton are braced for the worst this afternoon. "Rain would affect the race fiercely," Demi Vollering said this week. "It is a street circuit full of white lines and with an uneven road surface. So some riders will enter the corners with a little bit more trepidation." Simone Giuliani has more here.

(Image credit: SWpix)

2014 road world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot picked up yet another rainbow jersey yesterday when she won the elite women's cross country race at the MTB Worlds, completing her second successive short track-cross country double. It was her fifth cross country title in total. Read the full report of her crushing win here

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After winning world titles in the elimination and the points race last week, Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) is among the favourites for gold on the road today. "I feel good, I'm really excited for today, I’m looking forward to it," Kopecky said. "Recovery is going fast in these days, I feel fresh and ready for it. I think whatever they do it will be a very hard race for sure the strongest will be there in the final and we’ll see how everyone is doing."

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Two-time champion Annemiek van Vleuten is lining up for her final Worlds road race before retirement as part of a strong Dutch squad. "It's not so emotional, I think I already had the biggest emotions after the Tour de France when I knew I had prepared for my last big, big goal - that was the Tour de France - and I know that will not come back anymore. It was emotional, I felt a little empty that there were no more big goals for me. This is a bit of a bonus and I"m really proud to be here and part of the Duch team," Van Vleuten said.

It's of course for Demi Vollering, she showed she's on another level. But it will be super hard to beat Lotte Kopecky. I think we will need to play the numbers and the strengths of the Dutch team.

"I don't like the course to be honest, it's a criterium World Championships. In the end we saw a beautiful race in the men's but that could happen on another course. There are 48 corners in a lap - it's a criterium. It's a special World Championships - if we entertain the people and have a race like we saw last week with the guys then it's a good course. It will be hard to enjoy it but any time you race in the Dutch jersey it's special."

Rain has been falling intermittently over Loch Lomond, where the peloton is assembling ahead of the noon start.


The peloton has been flagged away from the start and the 2023 World Championships elite women's road race is underway.

The bunch is currently navigating the short neutralised section ahead of the official start.


The flag drops and the race is formally underway. The Dutch squad is massed towards the front in these early phases but there is no attacking just as yet. 

Some non-starters to report in these opening kilometres: Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland) is an absentee, as is time trial world champion Chloe Dygert (USA) and Zanri Rossouw (South Africa).


The peloton remains intact for the time being in these opening kilometres. The winner of yesterday's under-23 men's race, Axel Laurance, was part of the early break that formed long before the finishing circuit in Glasgow and vigilance will be the byword here. 


Kathrin Schweinberger (Austria) is the day's first attacker. She doesn't succeed in breaking clear but her effort strings out the bunch and ratchets up the tension a notch.

USA Cycling has issued this statement about Dygert's absence from today's race: "Due to ongoing illness, and at the recommendation of the USA Cycling medical team, Chloé Dygert has decided not to start the Elite Women’s Road Race."


Sara Martin (Spain) is the next rider to try to split things up, and it's interesting to see Marianne Vos tracking the early moves on behalf of the Netherlands. 

No attack has succeeded in gaining any traction off the front, but there are riders already beginning to struggle at the rear of the field.

An entanglement at the rear of the peloton sees a number of riders held up, but it doesn't appear that anybody has been injured in the incident.


Eliska Kvasnickova (Czech Republic) attacks alone from the front of the peloton and she has opened a small gap.

Another crash sees Ese Ukpeseraye (Nigeria) and Kamonrada Khaoplot (Thailand) come down. They are both quickly back on their bikes, but they'll have a difficult chase back up the bunch as the pace continues to rise. 


Eliška Kvasničková is still alone at the head of the rac but there is a flurry of attacking behind her and the Czech's lead has been cut to 8 seconds.

A mechanical issue for Heidi Franz (USA) who stops and seeks a bike change. At the head of the bunch, meanwhile, her teammate Coryn Labecki is among the riders accelerating in pursuit of Kvasničková. Once more, Marianne Vos is on hand policing the moves for the Dutch squad. 


Kvasničková is brought back as Labecki and Paris-Roubaix winner Alison Jackson (Canada) attack at the head of the bunch. They don't get any traction on their move, but the bunch is stretched out all over again. 

Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary) joins in the attacking at the head of the field, and her acceleration strings things out still further. 


Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain) joins in the attacking at the front of the race, and he effort may have helped to create a move as Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa) leads a group across to her.

Deignan and Moolman-Pasio are in a group of seven with a small lead over the bunch, but there are many riders scrambling desperately to get back on terms. 



Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary), Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa), Juliette Labous (France), Sanne Cant (Belgium), Mischa Bredewold (Netherlands) and Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Peloton at 0:08

This is a very dangerous seven-rider move, and the Italian and Australian teams are understandably reluctant to let these riders open out an advantage, particularly after what happened in the under-23 men's race yesterday.

The leading septet are combining well and they have a 10-second lead over the front part of a peloton that had splintered into shards in this fast opening phase. 


The bunch is strung out in a long line behind this very dangerous seven-rider move, which is beginning to stretch out its advantage. 

Barbara Guarischi (Italy) tries to breathe life into the pursuit at the head of the bunch, but Deignan et al are now out of sight.



Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary), Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa), Juliette Labous (France), Sanne Cant (Belgium), Mischa Bredewold (Netherlands) and Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Peloton at 0:50

Despite the efforts of the Italian squad, the break's lead is continuing to grow and it's edging out towards the one-minute mark.

Australia join the pursuit as the race hits the climb of Crow Road. Australia's Alex Manley, however, suffers a puncture right at the base of the climb and she will have a frantic chase back to the bunch.

Soraya Paladin (Italy) attacks from the bunch on the climb of Crow Road and she is attempting to bridge across alone to the seven leaders. It would rather alter the complexion of this race if the Italian were to succeed. She has 30 seconds to recoup.  

Kata Blanka Vas is dropped from the front group on Crow Road as Elise Chabbey dials up the intensity. 

Paladin's lone effort fizzles out and she is recaptured by the peloton, which is now being led by the German squad. The break, meanwhile, is 44 seconds up the road.



Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa), Juliette Labous (France), Sanne Cant (Belgium), Mischa Bredewold (Netherlands) and Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Peloton at 0:49

Marianne Vos (Netherlands), Coryn Labecki (USA) and Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) are among the riders dropped from the peloton on the climb of Crow Road.

And it gets worse for Labecki, who crashes after a touch of wheels in that chasing group, and it's going to be a long road back for the American, who gets her left arm bandaged before getting back on her bike.  

Vas, meanwhile, has been caught by the Germany-led peloton on the exposed upper reaches of Crow Road. The six leaders remain 28 seconds clear of the bunch.

Labecki is back on her bike and chasing alone, but it's difficult to imagine the American being able to make an impact on the finishing circuit after this unwelcome, early effort. 



Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary), Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa), Juliette Labous (France), Sanne Cant (Belgium), Mischa Bredewold (Netherlands) and Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Peloton at 0:36

The escapees are over the top of the Crow Road with a lead of 36 seconds on the bunch, where the German squad are still leading the pursuit. 


The rising pace in the peloton sees the break's lead slashed to 16 seconds. Meanwhile, Lizzie Holden (Great Britain) has crashed on the descent off Crow Road. The Briton is on her feet, but her race appears to be over. 


Deignan et al are about to be caught by a severely reudced peloton, where Antonia Niedermaier (Germany) has performed so much of the key lifting on behalf of Liane Lippert. 


The break has been caught and it's a double blow for Juliette Labous, who has to stop for a wheel change shortly after she's brought back.

There are only 50 or so riders left in this peloton after a tumultuous opening phase. 

And there is precious little chance of calm, as Teniel Campbell (Trinidad and Tobago) is the next rider to go on the attack. At the back of the bunch, meanwhile, Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) stops for a bike change, but she is quickly up and running again.

Campbell has brought seven riders with her, but there's an immediate response from a lined-out peloton and it doesn't look as though the move will be allowed to forge clear. Kopecky, meanwhile, is chasing back on through the team cars.

The Campbell move is pinned back and the bunch spreads across the road. This should allow Kopecky to latch back on without undue distress. 


Mavi Garcia (Spain) accelerates at the head of the bunch with Elisa Balsamo (Italy) on her wheel. Their efforts string the bunch out all over again.


The second portion of the peloton is clowsing rapidly on the 50-strong front group. The gap is down to just 22 seconds - having been close to two minutes at one point - and it looks as though Lorena Wiebes (Netherlands) et al will make it back to the front before they hit the six laps of the finishing circuit in Glasgow.


Into the final 100km, and the front two groups are almost on the cusp of merging. 

Kim Cadzow (New Zealand) isn't keen to wait around. She attacks from the front group, but a British delegation is working to shut her down. 


The two groups have merged ahead of the entry to the finishing circuit, while Cadzow has a lead of 20 seconds or so at the head of the race. 



Kim Cadzow (New Zealand)

Peloton at 0:42

There's an increase in urgency in the peloton, with Australia and the Netherlands posted near the front. And, inevitably, there's a crash on a sharp right-hander, with Mischa Bredewold (Netherlands) a faller. The Dutchwoman is quickly back on her bike and chasing.

The race is now on the finishing circuit and Cadzow's cameo on the front is about to be snuffed out by the bunch. 


Elise Chabbey (Switzerland) goes on the attack as soon as Cadzow is brought back, and she has Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) and a select group teed up on her rear wheel...

Lotte Kopecky (Belgium), Liane Lippert (Belgium), Anna Henderson (Great Britain), Elise Chabbey (Switzerland), Silvia Perisco (Italy), Grace Brown (Australia) and Demi Vollering (Netherlands) have built a small lead over the peloton. This is a very dangerous move indeed...

Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) looks to bridge across, and her effort brings the rest of the bunch with her. Gruppo compatto - but surely not for long.


Indeed, Reusser immediately presses on alone at the head of the race and opens a small gap. Further behind, there is a crash in the main peloton, with Emma Norsgaard (Denmark) and Sarah Roy (Australia) among the fallers. Norsgaard is clutching her left shoulder and it looks as though her race is over. 

Reusser continues in her solo effort at the head of the race, with Anna Henderson attempting to bridge across alone, and another group of five riders also giving chase. 


Henderson joins Reusser at the head of the race, and this duo has built a decent gap over the fragmented chasers behind.

Reusser and Henderson tackle Montrose Street for the first time with a small lead over a five-woman chasing group featuring Chabbey and Paladin.


A group of seven riders - Marlen Reusser, Elise Chabbey (Switzerland), Anna Henderson (Great Britain), Soraya Paladin (Italy), Riejanne Markus (Netherlands), Cecilie Ludwig Uttrup (Denmark), Agnieszka Skalniak-Sojka (Poland) - cross the finish line for the first time with a lead of 10 seconds over the chasers. Six laps of the circuit remain. 


Marlen Reusser, Elise Chabbey (Switzerland), Anna Henderson (Great Britain), Soraya Paladin (Italy), Riejanne Markus (Netherlands), Cecilie Ludwig Uttrup (Denmark), Agnieszka Skalniak-Sojka (Poland)

Peloton at 0:09

Lotte Kopecky is forced to try to close the gap to this front group herself, and the Belgian is having to expend energy a lot sooner than she would have liked. But this is too a dangerous group to allow drift out in front.


The Belgian pursuit has brought this seven-rider group to heel, leaving a peloton of around 30 riders at the head of the race. We will see more riders being shaken loose with every climb and every attack from here on. 

Sanne Cant made the key effort to bring that group back on Kopecky's behalf. There are still plenty of Dutch jerseys in that group, though not that of Lorena Wiebes, who was distanced on the entry to the circuit. Shirin van Anrooij now attempts to control matters for the Netherlands. 


Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain) senses the lull and accelerates with intent. Vas immediately follows. The pair can't forge clear but they have stretched out the race all over again and some riders will surely be shaken loose at the back by these accelerations.

After Deignan is pinned back, Henderson is the next British rider to go on the attack. Kopecky follows and then launches an attack of her own, with Silvia Perisco following. Much to Kopecky's frustration, nobody seems minded to work with her and the move peters out. 


After Kopecky's move withers, Elise Chabbey goes on the attack for the third time and the Swiss rider opens a small gap.

Lorena Wiebes, incidentally, has abandoned the race. The Dutchwoman had been stricken by illness during the week.


Elise Chabbey (Switzerland) hits Montrose Street with a lead of 9 seconds over the reduced peloton. 


With five laps to go, Elise Chabbey (Switzerland) is alone at the head of the race with a lead of 15 seconds over a peloton of 30 or so riders, which is currently being led by Justine Ghekiere (Belgium) on behalf of Kopecky.


The status quo remains in place for the time being in this most dynamic race. Chabbey is the lone leader, 15 seconds clear of the chasers, who are still being led by Justine Ghekiere.

The other countries are happy to leave Belgium - and specifically Justine Ghekiere - perform all of the chasing for the time being. The gap holds steady at 15 seconds. 


Italy join the chase effort, with Elena Cecchini putting her shoulder to the wheel. As well as the abandoned Wiebes, incidentally, Marianne Vos is the other Dutch rider absent from this group. 

And now Annemiek van Vleuten is out the back of the chasing group. The defending champion has a front wheel puncture and she gets a relatively slow change, much to her annoyance, and she gives chase alone.



Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Peloton at 0:20

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark) clearly felt Chabbey's lead was getting out of hand. The Dane attacks on a short climb and that effort shaves a few seconds from Chabbey's advantage. 

Van Vleuten has since stopped for a bike change and, if the on-screen graphic is to be believed, the Dutchwoman is now a minute behind the chasing group.


Riejanne Markus (Netherlands) attacks from the peloton and sets out in lone pursuit of the sole leader Chabbey. The Dutchwoman has 18 seconds to recoup on the leader. 



Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Chaser at 0:10:

Riejanne Markus (Netherlands)

Peloton at 0:30

Chaser at 1:07:

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands)

Kopecky senses the danger posed by Markus and she bridges across in the company of Persico and Agnieszka Skalniak-Sojka (Poland) to form a four-rider chasing group.

Liane Lippert (Germany), Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) and Christina Schweinberger (Austria) bridge up to Kopecky, Markus, Persico and Skalniak-Sojka, but the momentum quickly ebbs from their pursuit.


Chabbey hits Montrose Street just ahead of the Kopecky group. Demi Vollering is among the riders who up the pace in the peloton on the climb, and her effort helps to bring back the Kopecky group. 


Elise Chabbey comes through the finish line with four laps to go and with a lead of 23 seconds over a chasing group of 25 or so riders, including Vollering, Kopecky, Deignan and Lippert. Van Vleuten, meanwhile, is amid the team cars, 49 seconds back.

Elena Cecchini (Italy) slipped away from the chasing group as they came across the finish line, and she is now in lone pursuit of Chabbey. Meanwhile, Annemiek van Vleuten has managed to latch back up to the chasing group, adding to the already considerable Dutch firepower therein. 



Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Chaser at 0:32:

Elena Cecchini (Italy)

Peloton at 0:51

Van Vleuten senses a lull in the chasing group as the gap yawns outwards, and she springs onto the attack, bringing Mavi Garcia with her. Pfeiffer Georgi (Great Britain) and Liane Lippert (Germany) also come across and eventually the rest of the chasing group snuffs out the move.

A crash in the peloton sees Simone Boilard, Olivia Baril (Canada) and Anna Henderson (Great Britain) come down. Henderson is back on her feet, but she's going to have a long, long wait for a bike change and that looks to be the end of her chances this afternoon.

Henderson's crash will also be a loss to Lizzie Deignan, who has looked so sharp so far this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the gaps are beginning to yawn out at the head of the race. Chabbey is 50 seconds clear of Cecchini, with the peloton of 25 or so riders at 1:18.

There is something of a staccato rhythm to this chasing group for the time being. There is an acceleration every time the road climbs but the momentum inevitably seems to peter out over the other side. 

Chabbey continues to look very smooth indeed at the head of the race. The roads have dried considerably after some earlier rain and, mercifully, there hasn't been quite the same spate of crashes that we saw at the under-23 men's race yesterday, but riding out in front spares Chabbey the constant accelerations of the chase group.

Chabbey's GPS transponder has come loose under her saddle, incidentally, and that dangling will surely be an annoyance. Indeed, the Swiss rider looks to have lost the transponder altogether on the climb of Scott Street. 



Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Chaser at 1:00:

Elena Cecchini (Italy)

Peloton at 1:14

A big, big effort from Justine Ghekiere brings Cecchini back. Chabbey is the only rider out in front, 1:20 ahead of the elite chasing group.


Riejanne Markus (Netherlands) attacks from the chasing group in the company of Elisa Balsamo (Italy), while Pfeiffer Georgi leads the pursuit on behalf of Great Britain.


Chabbey ibounds up Montrose Street once again and the Swiss rider must be growing in belief given the disjoined nature of the chase behind - though one imagines Vollering and Kopecky won't wait much longer before testing the waters in earnest. 

Markus and Balsamo are brought back by the chasing group, led by Moolman-Pasio, on Montrose Street, and all the momentum ebbs from the chase all over again.


Three laps to go for Elise Chabbey, who retains a lead of 1:32 over the chasers.

This would be, by some distance, the biggest victory of the 30-year-old Chabbey's career. There's still a long, long way to go, but her lead is a sizeable one, especially on a course like this, and there is still no real momentum to the chase effort behind.

Ghekiere has been doing the bulk of the pace-making for Kopecky but now Italy and the Netherlands are beginning to contribute to the chase. 


There is a touch more cohesion to the pursuit now as Markus and Van Anrooij swap turns with Ghekiere, and they have managed to pare Chabbey's lead back to 1:12.

Italy have five riders in this chasing group, while the Dutch have four - Vollering, Van Vleuten, Van Anrooij and Markus. 

Ghekiere has put in a monumental afternoon's work on behalf of Kopecky, but one senses that the favourite will have to act herself sooner rather than later if she is to claim the rainbow jersey.


Annemiek van Vleuten attacks with Silvia Perisco on her wheel. Kopecky and Vollering quickly bridge across - this could be the moment where the entire race turns...

Kopecky and Vollering blow right past Van Vleuten and Persico. The big two look to be going head-to-head here...

Kopecky flicks an elbow and eventually Vollering gives her a turn, but they haven't managed to get away from the chasing group...

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marlen Reusser bridge up before the climb of Scott Street. Reusser, despite the presence of Chabbey up the road, attacks on the climb, before Kopecky comes past over the top of the ascent. Vollering, as ever, is glued to Kopecky's wheel. 

The momentum stalls again over the top of the climb, but Chabbey's lead has been rapidly slashed to 25 seconds by those accelerations.


Van Vleuten senses the lull and she attacks alone and with force after Kopecky swings over. The Dutchwoman has opened a decent gap over the rest of the chasing group...

Kopecky leads the third group on the road, with Vollering, Deignan, Uttrup Ludwig, Christina Schweinberger and Reusser on her wheel. None of them seem particularly minded to help Kopecky... 


Kopecky sees the lack of cohesion and tries to attack alone in pursuit of Chabbey and Van Vleuten. Vollering is trying to chase but she can't close the gap...



Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Chaser at 0:16:

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands)

Chasers at 0:25:

Lotte Kopecky (Belgium), Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Demi Vollering (Netherlands), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark), Christina Schweinberger (Austria), Marlen Reusser (Switzerland).


Kopecky has been brought back by Vollering et al before the climb of Montrose Street but they're almost within touching distance of Van Vleuten. Uttrup Ludwig sets a rasping tempo on the climb.

Van Vleuten is caught by the Kopecky group over the top of the climb. Chabbey, meanwhile, remains alone at the head of the race, but her lead has been slashed considerably on this lap.


Elise Chabbey (Switzerland) leads into the final two laps, with a gap of 16 seconds on an elite chasing group.


Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Chasers at 0:16:

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), Lotte Kopecky (Belgium), Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Demi Vollering (Netherlands), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark), Christina Schweinberger (Austria), Marlen Reusser (Switzerland).


And once again, the momentum ebbs from the chasing group, where it's not entirely clear that Van Vleuten and Vollering are on the same page. Chabbey's lead has stretched out again to 23 seconds. 

Chabbey presses on while the chasers watch one another behind her. However it plays out, this has been a fine and canny effort from the Swiss rider. 

Van Vleuten takes up the reins of pursuit in the chasing group on behalf of Vollering. The Dutch hierarchy seems clear. 


Chabbey clutches onto a 22-second lead, but one senses a big move is imminent from this chasing group...



Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)

Chasers at 0:26:

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), Lotte Kopecky (Belgium), Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Demi Vollering (Netherlands), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark), Christina Schweinberger (Austria), Marlen Reusser (Switzerland).

Lizzie Deignan has raced very smartly thus far. The Briton was in the early break before Crow Hill and she has scarcely missed a beat in this chasing group. Vollering and Kopecky are the favourites, but the 2015 world champion is not to be underestimated in a situation like this.


But with a lap and a half remaining, Chabbey still has almost half a minute over the elite chasing group... If somebody doesn't take the initiative soon, the Swiss rider could carry off a most unexpected world title. 


Into the final 20km for Chabbey, who has a lead of 21 seconds over Van Vleuten, Vollering, Deignan, Kopecky, Uttrup Ludwig, Reusser and Schweinberger.

A sharp attack from Uttrup Ludwig on the climb of Scott Street brings the gap down to 13 seconds... but, inevitably, the intensity drops over the other side.

Now Kopecky makes her move with a rasping acceleration. Schweinberger follows, then Vollering and eventually the group reforms...


Kopecky's move brings the chasers to within sight of Chabbey, but the Swiss rider is still 10 seconds ahead as she grinds on towards the penultimate ascent of Montrose Street.

Vollering sets the pace at the front of the group, though she gives the impression that she expects a little more from Van Vleuten at this juncture. Kopecky then comes through to the front before gesticulating in frustration at the lack of collaboration in the chasing group.


Elise Chabbey, meanwhile, keeps on keeping on, and the Swiss rider maintains a lead of 13 seconds over this increasingly disjointed chasing group.

Van Vleuten is not exactly prominent in this chasing group, but it's not clear if the defending champion is struggling or simply defending her own interests.


Chabbey hits Montrose Street for the penultimate time with a lead of 14 seconds... But Demi Vollering attacks viciously on the climb with Kopecky on her wheel... Van Vleuten is struggling at the back of the chasing group.

Kopercky comes through and gives Vollering a turn over the top. Uttrup Ludwig scrambles to follow them.

But the chase is losing its momentum once more as they approach the finish line for the bell, and Deignan, Reusser, Schweinberger and Van Vleuten get back on.

All over for Van Vleuten, who has a rear wheel puncture as she approaches the bell. Her challenge has ended...


Chabbey is caught by the chasers - minust Van Vleuten - just as she takes the bell, leaving seven riders in contention for the rainbow jersey.

The front group is as follows: Lotte Kopecky (Belgium), Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain), Demi Vollering (Netherlands), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark), Christina Schweinberger (Austria), Marlen Reusser, Elise Chabbey (Switzerland).


Vollering stalls the front group, and this might allow Van Vleuten to get back on yet again... Kopecky scans over her shoulder.

Lizzie Deignan sees the lull and considers launching a move, but Vollering is immediately on her wheel. Kopecky stretches at the back of the group.

Deignan leads on the first climb of the last lap, though the pace is steady for the time being. Everybody seems to be braced for Kopecky's inevitable effort.

Deignan senses her chance over the top, and she ghosts off the front with Christina Schweinberger (Austria) on her wheel. This duo opens a small lead over the rest.


Reusser sets off alone in pursuit of Deignan and Schweinberger. Kopecky doesn't want to get caught behind and now she bridges across to Reusser...


Deignan and Schweinberger are in front, with a handful of seconds on Reusser and Kopecky. Vollering, Chabbey and Uttrup Ludwig are the third group in the road and they may well be out of the running...


Kopecky and Reusser have joined Deignan and Schweinberger at the front, but Vollering is making a remarkable chasing effort and the Dutchwoman might yet stitch the group back together. 


Vollering gets across to the four leaders on a climb and she immediately accelerates past them. Kopecky and Schweinberger are able to follow, but Deignan and Reusser take a little longer to get across. 

Vollering unclips and stretches her left leg. The Dutchwoman looks to be struggling with cramp and that might tip the balance in Kopecky's favour. There are still six riders in contention, mind: Kopecky, Vollering, Deignan, Reusser, Uttrup Ludwig and Schweinberger. 


Uttrup Ludwig attacks and opens a small gap. Deignan tries to follow but she can't bridge across. Kopecky launches a big effort and bridges up to Uttrup Ludwig. This could be the decisive move... 

Kopecky leads Uttrup Ludwig and this pair look to have opened a winning gap over the four chasers, who are being led by Vollering. 


Uttrup Ludwig leads Kopecky up the final ascent of Scott Street. She's trying to shake the Belgian but she can't and now Kopecky powers to the front. That vicious acceleration might just be worth a rainbow jersey to Kopecky...


Kopecky finally gets a degree of separation. The Belgian is alone at the head of the race and heading for the rainbow jersey. Uttrup Ludwig hasn't cracked and she is giving a determined chase, but the gap to Kopecky is growing.


Kopecky has 11 seconds in hand on Uttrup Ludwig, while Vollering, Reussuer, Deignan and Schweinberger appear to be riding for the bronze medal.

Kopecky is about to bridge a 50-year gap to Belgium's last women's world champion, Nicole Vandenbroeck, who triumphed in 1973.


Kopecky still has to negotiate the final ascent of Montrose Street, but it doesn't look like anything can deny her the rainbow jersey. Uttrup Ludwig is still in second place, while Reusser and Vollering have rid themselves of Deignan and Schweinberger.


Kopecky swings onto Montrose Street for the last time and she will be able to enjoy the final climb as the world champion-elect. 

Kopecky powers up Montrose Street, making light work of the 14% slopes. The world title is hers. 

Behind, Vollering is closing in on Uttrup Ludwig, while Reusser battles to stay in contention.


Kopecky passes beneath the flamme rouge. She can see Uttrup Ludwig over her shoulder so she can't relent, but she is about to win her third world title of these championships.

Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) is the elite women's world champion. The Belgian punches the air as she crosses the line.

Demi Vollering (Netherlands) catches Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark) in the finishing straight and the Dutchwoman wins the sprint for second place, 7 seconds down.

Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) takes fourth at 12 seconds. Christina Schweinberger (Austria) beats Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain) to fifth place, 34 seconds down. 

Elise Chabbey (Switzerland) deserved so much more, but she has to settle for 7th place, 1:24 down.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) comes home in 8th place, 2:50 down, after her late puncture.

Riejanne Markus (Netherlands) is 9th at 3:51, with Mavi Garcia 10th at 4:05.

Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary) takes 11th and that's enough to win the under-23 title.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lotte Kopecky on her world title: “It’s already been an amazing year and also a very hard year. I don’t know what keeps me pushing. I don’t know what I was thinking but it means a lot to me. It’s kind of a dream that comes true and I hope to enjoy riding in the rainbow jersey next year.

“I have to say I was not nervous before the race but with Chabbey at 1:30… We saw before on this course that you don’t gain so much time, so I think I really have to thank a really solid Sanne Cant at the beginning of the local laps and then Justine Ghekier. I told her to try to keep the pace up, it doesn’t need to be a very hard one but just so she doesn’t gain a lot of time. I think she did a really good job, also the rest of my teammates. We’re a big cycling nation but in the women’s part we always came a little bit behind, so I’m really proud that we showed we can also win the biggest races as a team.

“I thought after those two world titles on the track, it would be almost impossible to win again on Sunday. Three World Championships in seven days is too crazy. I didn’t dream of this when I was a little girl, back then I just wanted to be competitive on the bike. I never knew I would become this good. That dream only came later.”


1                      Lotte Kopecky (Belgium)       04:02:12

2                      Demi Vollering (Netherlands)             00:00:07

3                      Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)

4                      Marlen Reusser (Switzerland)                        00:00:12

5                      Christina Schweinberger (Austria)     00:00:34

6                      Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain)          

7                      Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)  00:01:24

8                      Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands)           00:02:48

9                      Riejanne Markus (Netherlands)         00:3:51

10                    Mavi Garcia (Spain)   00:04:05

A full report, results and pictures of today's race are available here.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark) on her third place: "I'm very proud and very happy with that. It was such a hard race, one of the hardest I've done. I can't remember how many times I was vomiting. It was like a yo-yo - it was so cool to see so many people out on the course, it made it easier because you can't hear yourself think.This is how I like to race, and just going out there and attacking. IT has been for me a bit of a tough year. I'm just very proud of how I raced - on my handlebar my team mechanic wrote fukcing believe - when it was tough, and I had to look at it many times, I had to just keep believing."

(Image credit: Getty Images)
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