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AFP
September 28, 2020

‘Incredible’ Van der Breggen powers to rare double win at worlds

Sports

AFP
September 28, 2020

IMOLA, Italy: Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen on Saturday capped a stellar season by winning the women’s road race world title after claiming time-trial gold in Imola two days ago.

The reigning Olympic champion attacked 40km from the finish line, beating compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten and Italian Elisa Longo Borghini, in a photo-finish 1min 20sec behind the winner.

The 30-year-old Dutchwoman becomes the first woman to achieve the double in the same year since the French rider Jeannie Longo in 1995.

“It’s incredible,” said van der Breggen following her third victory in a week after the time-trial and the women’s Giro d’Italia last Saturday under the jersey of her new team Boels-Dolmans.

“It was a really hard race, we were fighting from the beginning. The climbs were really tough.

“In the fourth lap, I felt strong and I just went for it.

“I never expected this. This season is pretty good for me so far.”

Van der Breggen dominated the race to reclaim the title she won in 2018 ahead of last year’s winner van Vleuten, after the 143km run through the sunny hills of Romagna.

It was the fourth title in as many years for the Netherlands, the flagship country for women’s cycling.

The peloton left the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola but was quickly cut to 100 riders following tough climbs up Mazzolano and Cima Gallisterna.

Van der Breggen attacked on the steepest part of the second climb, building up a lead of more than two minutes going into the fifth and final lap.