Italian Marta Bastianelli upset the favourites to win the elite women's road crown here at the world road race cycling championships Saturday.
The 20-year-old broke free of the pack in the final 20 km and soloed her way to victory at the finish over a small group of riders which included
reigning champion Marianne Vos of the Netherlands.Vos finished in second place a few seconds behind with the bronze going to another Italian, Giorgia Bronzini.
Bastianelli's win was not without drama as her chain slipped in the later stages of the race, but the plucky Italian held her nerve to claim the win.
"I attacked quite a few kilometres from the finish, but I managed to open a gap of 20 seconds," said Bastianelli."I was worried when the chain slipped off the gears, but my coach told me not to panic as I had a big lead and the problem was fixed quickly.
"I only started believing a win was possible about five kilometres from the line. And I only knew the title was mine when I saw the finish line."
Vos admitted she was disappointed to lose her title, but was gracious in defeat."Of course I was going for the win and so a silver medal has left me a bit disappointed," she said."But Marta deserved the title, because she attacked a long way from the line and held her lead. That was pretty amazing."
Third-placed Bronzini was all smiles after her bronze medal and said the Italians would be looking to defend their title when the world championships
are held in the North Italian city of Varese next year."It's a good result for the team, we are very happy to get two medals and we are looking forward to doing well on home soil next year," she said