Road Cycling

Anna van der Breggen adds world road race crown to Olympic gold

Dutch cyclist launches dramatic solo attack to end long wait for world title at the UCI road world championships in Innsbruck.

Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen powered to road race victory at the World Championships in Innsbruck on Saturday.

Van der Breggen and Tuesday's time trial victor Annemiek van Vleuten were the clear favourites ahead of the 156.2-kilometre test in the Austrian Alps.

And it was the 28-year-old from Zwolle who broke from the peloton over 40 kilometres from home to catch the lead group and surge clear for gold after three previous silvers.

Afterwards, van der Breggen said, "I was a bit doubting whether it was too early or not.

"I didn't know the time, I didn't know anything so I kept going until the finish line."

Anna attacks

The Dutch team was keen to cover any breaks before American Coryn Rivera went clear with 60 kilometres to go.

Rivera was soon joined by a handful of riders including Sweden's Emilia Fahlin and Australia's Amanda Spratt who had earlier crashed on a descent.

After they established a gap of a minute, van der Breggen set off in pursuit on one of the course's long climbs.

In a blistering attack, van der Breggen quickly closed on the lead group.

Then, one by one, she moved away from her toiling rivals.

From there it was a procession as the Dutchwoman just kept extending her lead.

In the end, van der Breggen finished three minutes and 42 seconds clear of the field to claim a long-awaited, and emotional, triumph.

The 'Queen of the Ardennes' has made long-range attacks her speciality, and this was another in a spectacular season.

The Dutch were unable to repeat their time trial medal sweep with Spratt coming home clear in second.

Italy's Tatiana Guderzo attacked on the final climb to take bronze and complete a full set of world road race medals after silver in 2004 and gold in 2009.

Fahlin was fourth with van Vleuten in seventh place.