Amalie Dideriksen won the UCI World Championship Road Race in Qatar today after a 135km race in intense heat.
The 20-year-old rider from Denmark battled against an incredibly strong lead out from the Dutch team, designed to set up Qatar veteran and sprinter Kirstin Wild.
The route consisted of a 23km ride out to a tight and twisty circuit, before riders completed seven rounds of the 15km loop.
From the mid-way point, the Dutch riders began to rain down attacks. Marianne Vos, Ellen van Dijk and Chantal Blaak were used to try to break up the bunch with relentless accelerations.
The Dutch attempts came to no avail - but when USA rider and new UCI Individual Time Trial World Champ Amber Neben made a break for it, she ended up riding alone until the bell went on the final lap. With 15km to go she was swallowed up.
Soon after, Dani King (Great Britain) put in a dig, stringing out the peloton whilst Deignan stayed in the bunch. When the bunch came back together, Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) but in a new dig and the group stayed lively until the end.
Coming into the closing half of the final lap, The Dutch riders looked like they had it all set up. They created what appeared to be a perfect lead out in the final 10km. However, in the closing kilometre, Diderikse moved up alongside the Dutch squad, finding herself just behind Wild in the slight ramp up to the finish line.
The finish was close, but it was Dideriksen that got there first, only realising she'd cinched the win when she turned to face her Dutch opponent. In third was Finland’s rider, Lotta Lepistö, rounding off the podium with former World Champion Lizzie Deignan (nee, Armitstead) in fourth. The Yorkshire rider was the first to congratulate Diderikse over the line, having already stated that Qatar’s flat ride wasn’t suited to her strengths.
The 20-year-old who now wears the rainbow stripes has been Junior World Champion three times. A track and road specialist who belongs to the trade team Boels-Dolamans, she crashed in the early stages of the race, and showed immense tenacity to break up a professional lead out train gunning on all cylinders. She said after the finish "It was my dream to come top ten... I fought hard with the other girls [perhaps referring to some elbow action from from Dutch girls trying to protect Wild] but I wanted her wheel!".
More pictures of the race coming from Velofocus soon
The top ten were:
Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)
Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)
Lotta Lepisto (Finland)
Elizabeth Deignan (Great Britain)
Marta Bastianelli (Italy)
Roxane Fournier (France)
Chloe Hosking (Australia)
Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)
Joelle Numainville (Canada)
Jolien D’Hoore (Belgium)