Annemiek van Vleuten races off with women's gold at Road Worlds

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The International Cycling Union defended the difficulty of the Olympic road course on which Annemiek van Vleuten fell, pointing to a test event and the numerous training opportunities that gave riders a chance to prepare for its twists and turns.

HARROGATE, England -- Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten rode alone for more than 60 miles to win the women's elite race at the Road World Championships on Saturday.

Van Vleuten attacked on a climb around a third of the way through the 92.6-mile route in Yorkshire and kept the chasing pack comfortably at bay to claim her first world road race title, having been world time trial champion in 2017 and 2018.

Compatriot Anna van der Breggen pulled clear late in the race to win silver, and Australia's Amanda Spratt took bronze.

There was no fairy tale for Britain's Lizzie Deignan, who led the peloton through her northern England hometown of Otley in Yorkshire early in the day but paid the price for her hard work leading the chase and finished in 31st.

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