This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Marianne Vos (Netherlands) won the elite women’s road race at the world championships for the second successive year after she launched a clinical attack on the final ascent of Via Salviati to force her way clear of an eleven-rider group.
At the summit, Vos had a lead of just five seconds over Emma Johansson (Sweden) and Rosella Ratto (Italy) but that was more than enough for the Dutchwoman, who showed considerable strength and poise to fend off her pursuers through the streets of Florence. Johansson won the sprint for second from Ratto, 15 seconds down on Vos.
Vos’ teammate Anna van der Breggen played a crucial role in protecting her interests on the final two laps, and she capped a fine day’s work by clipping away to take fourth place, while Evelyn Stevens (USA) took 5th.
Stevens and the Italians Tatiana Guderzo and Elisa Longo Borghini had attempted to break clear on the penultimate climb to Fiesole, while Stevens and Johansson tried to ask question of Vos on Via Salviati. Vos responded in kind with a ferocious attack of her own on the steepest section of the climb, and she edged out enough of a gap to carry to the finish.