Cycling: Vos rises above the crash chaos

Olympic champion takes home win to leave Pooley in wake


In the most unlikely of circumstances, a moment's inattention between two riders early on in the women's World Championships road-race yesterday provoked a massive crash that caused two thirds of the 120-strong field either to be blocked in or to hit the ground.

Two riders, reportedly from the Czech and French teams, touched wheels as the peloton slowed on a slight rise and as they fell, the domino effect rippled through the pack, producing a mass of tangled bodies and bikes.

Although spectacular, according to official race sources the riders involved suffered only minor injuries. Among those who came off worse were Briton Katie Colclough and an Austrian, both with facial injuries, while three riders, a New Zealander and a Lithuanian were sent to hospital for further checkups on bruised arms and wrists.

"It caught me out badly," Spanish rider Ane Santesteban said. "I didn't fall, but there was nowhere to go, you just couldn't help riding into it." Italy's Elisa Longo, later a bronze medallist, said: "We were told that several of our riders were down and we knew it was big."

With so many riders on the floor, the crash took nearly 10 minutes to be resolved as some received medical assistance and mechanics attended to damaged bikes. Coming so early in the 128.8km race, however, it had little real long-term effect.

Victory finally went to Marianne Vos, the Olympic gold medallist in London and the winner of the world road-race 2006. Five consecutive silver medals for the Dutchwoman separated that triumph and yesterday's gold. Under immense pressure given she was racing on home soil, Vos and her team rode a tactically faultless race, placing Anna Van Der Breggen in a seven-rider break that went clear midway through. Vos then blazed across to the front group and after whittling it down to five with one attack on the Cauberg climb close to the finish, then broke away alone with 2km to go.

Vos' triumph concludes a year in which she has also taken gold at the London Olympics, the cyclo-cross world title, the women's Giro d'Italia and the women's World Cup.

Emma Pooley was Britain's best finisher in 15th, but was disappointed at not having made it into Vos' move. "When Vos jumped across, I was a bit boxed in and couldn't follow, I just didn't have the legs," Pooley said. "I messed up there."

Today, Britain's senior men try to defend Mark Cavendish's rainbow jersey, although on such a hilly course Cavendish has predicted "a group at the finish but it's not going to be a bunch with me in it, that's for sure".

According to Bradley Wiggins, specialist climber Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will be team leader, with Wiggins, Cavendish and Tour runner-up Chris Froome all working for the Devonian. Part of the small-scale Endura team, Tiernan Locke has never raced at this level before but his spectacular run of victories this season, including the Tour of Britain, has propelled him to the top of the GB hierachy.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
A poster by Durham Constabulary
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine