Italian Elisa Balsamo crowned world champion in road cycling

Tears of joy for one, tears of sadness for the other. Italian Elisa Balsamo became world champion in road cycling on Saturday September 25 in Leuven, Belgium. She beat the Dutch Marianne Vos in the sprint, crowned in 2006, 2012 and 2013.

With this first world title, 23-year-old Elisa Balsamo put an end to the series of successes of the representatives of the Netherlands, victorious in the four previous editions (Chantal van den Broek-Blaak in 2017, Anna van der Breggen in 2018 and 2020 and Annemiek van Vleuten in 2019) and six of the last nine. Poland’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma took third place in the 157.7-kilometer race, which was played in a sprint on an uphill slope for a first peloton.

“Do you realize that I beat Marianne Vos?” “

“It would have been impossible without my team, who did an extraordinary job”, logically thanked the young Piedmontese, originally from Cuneo. “We had to take him as close as possible to the line in the sprint”, confirmed her elder, Elisa Longo Borghini, who started the sprint to her compatriot on the false flat going up towards the line. At the expense of Vos, who found himself lonely in the sprint.

Vos, whose third world title dates back to 2013, has chosen to place himself in the wheel of Balsamo. But she was forced to follow a longer trajectory, outside the wide finish curve, and failed to get back on her rival. “Do you realize that I beat Marianne Vos today?” It’s crazy ! “exclaimed the young Italian, European champion hopes last year. “To say that next year I will wear this jersey… It all seems incredible to me. My boyfriend is on the finish line, my family is following me from home: I am happy to have given them this joy. “

For the Dutch, it is another failure after that of the Tokyo Olympics, where Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer had successfully completed a long breakaway, to everyone’s surprise. Annemiek van Vleuten then took second place, ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini.

The World with AFP

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