Dane Dideriksen wins women’s world road race
Denmark’s Amalie Dideriksen was the shock winner of the women’s road race event at the world championships in Qatar on Saturday.
The 20-year-old stunned one of the pre-race favourites, Kirsten Wild, on the finishing line timing her sprint to perfection to take the coveted rainbow jersey.
Finland’s Lotta Lepisto took third, with defending champion Lizzie Deignan of Britain finishing fourth.
“I think it is a surprise for everybody,” said Dideriksen immediately afterwards.
“I know I am OK in the sprint, but taking the world championship is unbelievable.”
She added: “Of course, I go into every race expecting the best result but to be able to take gold, it’s a dream come true, but I didn’t expect it.”
The tight finish looked set to deliver gold for Wild after sterling work by her Dutch teammates set her up for a potential title-winning finish 300m from the line.
The strong Dutch team had dominated the later stages of the race and it seemed like the eventual winner would come from their ranks before Dideriksen’s last minute intervention.
The Dane, a former double junior world road race champion, finished the 134-kilometre course in a time of 3hr 10min 27sec.
Wild, a four-time winner of the Ladies Tour of Qatar, admitted she was unhappy to have come second on a flat course with such a strong team ride.
“It feels like a losing gold,” she said of her silver medal.
“It’s a bit disappointing. We had a really good strong ride with the team so I can’t blame anything but myself.
“This course was like Holland, only the fields in Holland are green here they are yellow and the cows are camels.”
Wild had a minor crash in the earlier stages of the race but admitted that had no impact on her final position.
Before the sprint finish it looked as if America’s Amber Neben was on course for a rare double.
She had already taken gold in the individual time trial earlier this week and the 41-year-old made an almost decisive breakaway carving out a lead of almost a minute in the closing stages.
But the peloton reeled her in on the final lap of seven at the Pearl Qatar — where the race finished — to ensure a sprint finish.
Prior to that Japan’s Eri Yonamine had set the early pace.
The world championships draw to a close on Sunday when the men compete in the road race with Britain’s Mark Cavendish a favourite to take his second world title following his first success in Copenhagen in 2011.