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Van Vleuten posts incredible 105km solo World Championships victory to Strava

The all-conquering Dutchwoman bagged a lot of QoMs this weekend. Photo:

Joe Robinson
30 Sep 2019

Annemiek van Vleuten's 105km solo ride to her first elite women's World Championships road race title was one of the greatest rides - not only in Worlds history but professional cycling.

Hitting the slopes of Lofthouse, just 40km into the 148km course, the Dutchwoman gambled. She rolled the dice with an attack intended to suss out the competition, not as a shot for victory as she later admitted.

By the summit, however, she had dropped the entire field. The gap was sizeable enough that her coach back in the team car told her to push on.

Before long, she had two minutes on the likes of Lizzie Deignan, Elisa Longo-Borghini and Chloe Dygert-Owen. They chased and chased but Van Vleuten had their measure. She never let up and never looked like getting caught as she matched them kilometre after kilometre.

Eventually, Van Vleuten finished two minutes ahead of teammate Anna Van der Breggen, who completed a Dutch one-two, and Australia's Amanda Spratt who came third. 

Van Vleuten crossed the Harrogate finish line to claim rainbow in one of the most dominant performances in memory, a ride she has since shared on Strava.

Despite riding two-thirds of the entire day alone, Van Vleuten averaged 36.3kmh across the 149km course with its 2,360m elevation gain from Bradford to Harrogate.

What's even more impressive is that, from going alone at Lofthouse, Van Vleuten's average speed was actually higher than her speed for the entire day sitting at 37.8kph.

Even hitting the technical 14km finishing circuit did little to slow the Mitchelton-Scott rider who continued at 35.7kph for the three laps of the finishing circuit.

Van Vleuten's attack on Lofthouse also landed her with not only the Queen of the Mountain title but also the King of the Mountain title as she obliterated the best time ever recorded on the segment.

She shaved 19 seconds off the previous best time set by Arkea-Samsic's Conor Swift to record a time of 11 minutes 46 seconds for the 4.5km, 6% climb.

Such was her dominance, Strava also shows us that Van Vleuten was over a minute quicker on the climb than her closest Strava competitor, Chloe Dygert-Owen, who clocked a time of 12 minutes 51 seconds.

It topped a ride that saw AvV take 11 Queen of the Mountain crowns on the way to rainbow and 43 top 10 trophies to boot, too, a reward likely to be savoured just as much as the World Championships jersey itself.