Marianne Vos Soloes to World Championships Victory
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands has won the cycling world championships road race for the second time.
Today's victory adds to her gold medal from the London Olympics, which she won earlier this year.
Vos powered away from a leading group of five riders on the final climb up the Cauberg to cross the line in front of thousands of cheering fans while waving a Dutch flag.
"In the last lap I thought, 'well this is the moment I can be world champion,'" Vos commented after being celebrated on the podium.
"I only thought about going for an attack on the Cauberg," she added. "Of course it hurts, but it is only 1.5 kilometers to the finish so I just kept on pushing."
The victory brought to an end a string of five world championship silver medals for Vos, who won her first world title in 2006.
Rachel Neylan of Australia was second and Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy finished third.
The race involved eight circuits of a 16.1 kilometer course around the hilly landscape of the southern Dutch province of Limburg including two short, sharp climbs, the 900 meter Bemelerberg and the famous Cauberg, a 1200 meter hill with an average gradient of 5.8 percent shortly before the finish line.
After avoiding an early crash that slowed several riders, Vos never looked in trouble and completed the 129 kilometer race in 3 hours, 14 minutes, 29 seconds.
Vos twice humbled the field on the Cauberg. She made her first important move at the end of the sixth circuit, sprinting clear from the main pack on the way up the hill to join teammate Anna van der Breggen in the leading group.
She then underscored that she was in a class apart this season by attacking again on the final climb. She left her main challengers standing and gave herself time to savor victory even as she crossed the line - and to begin enjoying her other victories this season, including the Olympic gold she has yet to really celebrate.
"The last weeks I focused only on this," she explained and added "I didn't think about the Olympic gold or other wins. I just wanted to have this. Now I can start to look back."