Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen made it two wins out of two at the road cycling world championships, adding the women’s road race title on Saturday to her time trial gold medal.
The 30-year-old became the first rider to win the time trial and road race at the same championships since Jeannie Longo in 1995.
Van der Breggens compatriot, defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten, edged out Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy in the sprint for second. They were 1 minute, 20 seconds slower than Van der Breggen at the end of the 143-kilometer (89-mile) race which started and finished on Imola’s auto racing circuit.
Van Vleuten was riding with a special brace after having a metal brace inserted into her wrist following a crash at the Giro Rosa just nine days previously.
Van der Breggen won the women’s time trial on Thursday. She claimed gold in the road race two years ago but finished second to Van Vleuten last year.
On Saturday, Van der Breggen attacked with 41 kilometers remaining and rapidly built a significant advantage.
She had a lead of more than 1 1/2 minutes heading into the fifth and final lap of the circuit, which featured two steep climbs on each lap the Mazzolano and the Cima Gallisterna.
Van der Breggen had stretched that by a minute as she crested the final climb, 12 kilometers from the finish.
And she started smiling as she rode to the finish line, before sitting up and raising her arms over her head as she crossed.
The worlds were moved to Imola after Swiss host Aigle-Martigny backed out because of a government ruling limiting mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The revised event features only elite men’s and women’s categories, eliminating junior and under-23 races.
The men’s road race takes place on Sunday exactly a week after the Tour de France ended.