Imola (dpa) – Courageous attempt to break away, no reward: Lisa Brennauer and the German women left empty-handed during the World Cup road race in Imola, Italy.
Although 32-year-old Brennauer got into an escape group early on, that was not enough on the windy circuit in Imola. In a furious final, Brennauer was at a distance from the stronger competition, the German captain had to settle for ninth place. Mountain specialist Liane Lippert held up well until the last lap, eventually reaching fifth place.
After five laps and 143 kilometers, world time trial champion Anna van der Breggen captured the next world title. It is the first World Cup double in women’s cycling since 1995. Van der Breggen from the Netherlands succeeds her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten, who this time came out with a broken wrist and was the first to take silver. Bronze went to the Italian Elisa Longo Borghini. “I managed to get away with it and make a difference,” said van der Breggen.
Even before the race, Brennauer had emphasized the course’s tremendous difficulty. “It’s different. The climbs come one after the other. It’s the sum of the climbs that make the race more difficult,” she predicted. And so it happened: on the short, sharp climbs, the holes kept tearing. The twelve-headed leading group around Brennauer was caught at about 45 kilometers from the finish.
Then the furious final began, in which Van der Breggen left the competition behind on the climb and rode a solo of 40 kilometers to her next gold medal. Unlike before, some spectators were allowed to enter the stands of the circuit. The Federation of German Cyclists (BDR) now faces the first medallion-less World Championship since reunification.
The men’s street race on Sunday (10:00 am / Eurosport 2 / ZDF) is the last chance for gold, silver and bronze. There, Maximilian Schachmann and Simon Geschke are the most promising German candidates as dual leadership. “The race calendar has become very tight. It is a kind of experiment to have to perform a week after such a tour. I have already trained on the track and will see how things are going at the weekend,” said Schachmann. The men have to conquer the circuit in Emilia Romagna nine times.