World championships gallery: Young stars and fervent spectators at the junior and elite women’s road races

Kaia Schmid shines for USA and Ruth Winder calls time on pro career as bike-mad crowds pack the streets.

The final Saturday of the 2021 road worlds saw young new champions, retiring greats, and several thousand bike-mad fans lining the streets to cheer them on.

The 18-year-old American Kaia Schmid finished a close second to Zoe Backstedt in the junior race before 23-year-old Elisa Balsamo outsprinted triple world champion Marianne Vos in the elite competition.

Ruth Winder was one of  a few, high-profile riders to hang up her wheels after Saturday’s elite race. The former U.S. national champion celebrated her final day as a pro with a 21st-place finish, while Dutch superstar Anna van der Breggen and Canadian veteran Karol-Ann Canuel also put a stop on their careers when they rolled to the line in Leuven.

Casey B. Gibson was in Belgium to capture all the action.