Philippe Gilbert has been crowned World Road Race Champion in the Netherlands after a gruelling 267km that proved far too much for an exhausted Mark Cavendish (the defending champion) who dropped from the race on the third of ten laps that comprised final the 160km. Gilbert produced seemingly endless bursts of speeds that ultimately saw him complete proceedings in a time of 6:10:41; Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen held a close second place on +4” and Spain’s Alejandro Valverde third with +5″.
Cavendish’s failure to retain the famous rainbow jersey came as no great surprise; he has already conceded that the undulating (at times positively hilly) course was unlikely to favour his particular talents, telling the BBC ‘I can’t win. I haven’t got a chance, so I will be in a support role for the other guys in the team.’ As good as his word it was in support that he shone today, working hard along with his fellow Brits to push last week’s Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke into an impressive 19th place finish. Tour de France first and second placers Wiggins and Froome along with Alex Dowsett failed to go the full distance, with Ian Stannard taking 36th place, Ben Swift 60th, Stephen Cumming 70th and Luke Rowe down in 88th, 5minutes and 46 seconds behind Gilbert.
Yesterday’s 128.8km Women’s Road Race was won by the Netherlands’ Marianne Vos in 3:14:29 with Rachel Neylan in second and Elisa Longo Borghini third. With the GB team depleted after Lizzie Armistead’s withdrawal due to illness, Emma Pooley still impressed with a 15th place finish 4minutes, 37seconds off the winner, with Sharon Laws in 39th, Nicole Cooke in 60th, Nikki Harris 66th.Katie Colclough was a DNF.
Image © Wouter Roosenboom