Lucy Garner of Great Britain sprinted away from the field to claim the junior women’s road race title at the UCI World Championships. She beat Jessy Druyts of Belgium and Christine Siggaard of Denmark.
"I didn’t expect this. The team worked really hard and I couldn’t have asked for more from the team.
They put in early attacks and I was just trying to keep sheltered during the whole race. On the last lap there were still two riders away but I did try and give it a go but it all came back together," she said at the finish.
With blood streaming from her left knee, the 17-year-old pulled away from 8th place in the field and accelerated strongly past her rivals to win by a good ten meters.
She had enough of a lead to start celebrating before she even reached the finish line.
"At the bottom of the hill a few riders did go and I just tried to sit in because I knew that if I went early on the sprint I would blow. I felt that I timed it just right though and put my head down until the finish line,"Garner said.
"On the last corner I knew that we’d caught the group and when the sprint gets going it gets pretty fast. I bided my time because I knew I couldn’t go early and with around 150 meters to go I knew it was time to go."
Until the last kilometre, it looked as if the race would come down to a sprint between Germany's Mieke Krüger and Rossella Ratto of Italy.
The two had built up a lead of up 21 seconds and looked in control of things, but as the field moved up at the last second, they lost heart and were caught with about 600 meters to go.
The teenagers rode five laps of the 13.5km long course. The first lap was marred by three crashes as nerves and inexperience came into play.
The first of these crashes took out time trial gold medal winner Jessica Allen of Australia, as another rider ploughed into the barriers on a corner, followed by Allen and an Australian teammate.
The 74 rider field split at various times, mainly due to the crashes and wind, but it all came together again at the end. 55 riders finished within two minutes of Garner, with 13 more straggling in up to 15 minutes later. Six riders, including Allen, did not finish.
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.