cycling

Annemiek van Vleuten wins world road race title with solo 65-mile attack

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Annemiek van Vleuten, four days after being denied a third straight world time trial title, was determined to win her first road race crown. The Dutchwoman broke away from the peloton with 65 miles left in Saturday’s 92-mile race and rode solo to the finish in Yorkshire, Great Britain.

Van Vleuten held off countrywoman and defending champion Anna van der Breggen by 2 minutes, 15 seconds after more than four hours in the saddle. Australian Amanda Spratt took bronze. Full results are here.

American phenom Chloe Dygert Owen, who on Tuesday beat the dominant Dutch team for the time trial title, attempted to chase down van Vleuten with about 30 miles left.

But she could not get closer than 1:49 at any time check before being caught by the other chasers and ending up fourth.

Instead, van Vleuten earned her biggest career road race win, three years after a horrific crash in the event at the Rio Olympics. She suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped into a ditch. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course in Brazil.

Worlds conclude with the men’s road race on Sunday.

MORE: World Road Cycling Championships TV Schedule

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Rohan Dennis repeats as world time trial champion ahead of teen

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Australian Rohan Dennis, in his first race since quitting the Tour de France the day before that Grand Tour’s time trial, repeated as world champion in the time trial on Wednesday.

“Obviously, there’s been a lot of talk since Tour de France about what I’m doing,” Dennis said. “It’s just really special to back up this year. … To show that I haven’t hung the bike up.”

Dennis, 29, dominated by winning in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 10 seconds, beating 19-year-old Belgian Remco Evenepoel by 1:08 in a 33-mile time trial in Yorkshire, Great Britain.

Lawson Craddock was the top American in sixth. Full results are here.

“It’s been a lot tougher than what it looked out there,” Dennis said. “It was absolutely perfect today.”

Dennis was a bit of a wild card coming into Wednesday given the last two months.

He was last seen in competition on July 18, abandoning the Tour without explanation with about 50 miles left on the 12th stage, one day before he would be among the favorites to win the time trial. Dennis had not raced since.

He won individual time trials at all three Grand Tours and held the hour record for two months in 2015.

All this after a decorated track cycling career, including a 2012 Olympic team pursuit silver medal and a pair of world titles in that discipline. Dennis’ best Grand Tour finish was 16th in the 2018 Giro d’Italia.

Evenepoel, the 2018 World junior champion in the road race and time trial, became the youngest-ever male podium finisher in a senior worlds event, according to Gracenote.

MORE: World Road Cycling Championships TV Schedule

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Chloé Dygert Owen becomes youngest world time trial champion by record margin

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U.S. cyclist Chloé Dygert Owen added her first senior world road title to her five track golds, winning the 18-mile time trial by 1 minute, 32 seconds in rainy Yorkshire, Great Britain, on Tuesday.

Dygert Owen crossed the finish line in 42 minutes, 11 seconds, and collapsed onto the pavement getting off her bike before collecting herself.

Dygert Owen, a 22-year-old Olympic track silver medalist in the team pursuit, became the youngest man or woman to win a world title in the road time trial. She also won by the largest male or female margin in history, according to ProCyclingStats.com.

“Definitely really surprising,” Dygert Owen said on Eurosport. “I didn’t race with a power meter today, and I think that really helped not restricting myself, just kind of going as fast as I could the entire time and not really have anything to gauge it off of. Just making sure I hurt more than everybody else.”

And she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, according to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen took her fourth silver medal in the event. The two-time defending champion, Annemiek van Vleuten, earned bronze, 46 seconds ahead of American Amber Neben. Full results are here.

Dygert Owen, coming back from a May 2018 road crash and concussion, aims to make the Olympic team on both the track and the road. She is coached by Kristin Armstrong, the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic time trial champion.

“I’m very injury-prone, so we have to take things very slow and really salvage everything,” said Dygert Owen, who has dealt with a torn hip labrum and bulging disk in her back. “I want to race as long as Kristin Armstrong did [until she was 43].”

Before the head injury, Dygert Owen swept 2017 and 2018 World titles on the track in the individual and team pursuits. She is the world-record holder in the individual pursuit, which is not an Olympic event.

She also swept individual 2015 World junior titles in the road race and time trial before taking her first pedals on a track bike. She became a competitive road cyclist in 2013 and missed most of 2014 after tearing an ACL playing basketball that January.

The men’s time trial at worlds is Wednesday.

MORE: World Road Cycling Championships TV Schedule

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