Dutch superstar Marianne Vos put her five worlds silver medals to bed on the Cauberg Saturday when she stormed away with the women’s elite world road title in Valkenburg, Netherlands.
Rachel Neylan (Australia) was second and Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) was third.
American Amber Neben was fourth.
Vos countered an attack from Neylan out of a five-rider breakaway low on the final climb of the Cauberg. Vos jumped out to a quick five-second advantage as Neylan and behind her, Longo Borghini, gave chase. Neben tried to draw the three leaders back, but was unable.
Vos ran up the left-hand barriers and carried her advantage over the 1.5km run-in to the finish from the top of the climb.
“I have had an exceptional day,” said Vos. “I was protected throughout the whole race, my team worked brilliantly… Everything went as planned. I attacked relatively early so as to make the race as tough as possible for the others.”
Neylan followed Vos over the line 10 seconds later for silver.
“We knew (Vos) wouldn’t wait until the final stretch,” said Neylan. “I was already happy to be in the team, so a silver medal is exceptional.”
The Dutchwoman’s home world road title follows a world cyclocross championship in January, the overall Giro Donne title in July and gold in the Olympic road race last month. She is also the 2012 World Cup overall champion.
Vos won a world road title in 2006, at the age of 19, and followed that first-year breakout with five consecutive silver medals. She has won five world elite titles in cyclocross, including four straight since 2009, as well as a pair of world titles on the track.
The U.S. squad was riding for time trial silver medalist Evelyn Stevens, but that plan went sideways when Vos jumped across from the peloton to the breakaway a lap earlier than the Americans expected.
“The plan was for me to go in the move to mark for Stevens,” said Neben. “I could hear the roar of the crowd when Vos was bridging up to our group. When we were all together — two Dutch, two Italians — I was trying to figure out how I could win on my own… when Vos attacked on the Cauberg the final lap, it was over.”
Longo Borghini held Neben off on the final approach to the finish above the Cauberg.
“I thought I could keep on her [Vos] wheel until she made her effort on the final climb,” said the Italian. “She was way too fast for me and I paid for the efforts in the other climbs.”