Image 1 of 12Mischa Bredewold (Netherlands) is the new European elite women’s road champion (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 2 of 12Bredewold takes the plaudits at the finish line (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 3 of 12Bredewold with her medal and jersey on the podium (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 4 of 12The podium trio – Wiebes, Bredewold and Kopecky (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 5 of 12World Champion Lotte Kopecky and the Belgian team ahead of the women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 6 of 12The Dutch team ahead of the women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 7 of 12Tour de France champion Demi Vollering ahead of the women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 8 of 12Yara Kastelijn and Shirin van Anrooij ahead of the women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 9 of 12A general view of Christina Schweinberger of Austria, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of Denmark, Anna Henderson of Great Britain, Demi Vollering of The Netherlands women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 10 of 12World Champion Lotte Kopecky leads the field during the women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 11 of 12Becky Storrie and Alice Barnes (Great Britain) and Sandra Alonso (Spain) during women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 12 of 12Floortje Mackaij attacks during the women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships (Image credit: Getty Images) Mischa Bredewold (Netherlands) secured a solo victory to claim the elite women’s title on home ground at the UEC Road European Championships. The Dutch rider attacked a reduced field with 10km to go and crossed the line just three seconds ahead of a sprint for second won by her teammate Lorena Wiebes, while world champion Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) was forced to settle for third atop the Col du VAM. “I think I’m still dreaming.
I really can’t believe it,” Bredeworld said. It means everything. The last few years have been difficult sometimes, and that I’m here already, I have no words for it.
“Bredewold attacked on the last of five short finishing circuits, which included the Col du Vam. Her move came after a lull in the speeds of a reduced field of just 16 riders. Somewhat of a surprise move, Bredewold immediately gained seven seconds, pushing out to 25 seconds, as rider after rider attempted to bridge behind.
“It was not the plan to attack on the last lap. Not at all. I don’t know; we were just so in attack mode, and I saw the moment, and I went.
I thought, ‘This was not the plan,’ but I kept pushing for as long as possible. If they had to chase behind, it was also good for Lorena or Demi [Vollering],” Bredewold said. Bredewold raced it to the bottom of the Col du VAM, 10 seconds ahead of lone chaser Emma Norsgaard (Denmark) and 18 seconds ahead of a chase group of 14 riders.
She rode over the cobbles, fans cheering as she continued to push on the pedals in pursuit of the victory. “The moment I came to the top of the climb, the cobbled part, I thought, ‘f**k, I really have to push over this last one because maybe I will win it,” Bredewold said. The reduced field caught Norsgaard on the descent before the final pitch to the finish line.
As Bredewold crossed the line with the victory, she looked back to see the sprint for second between Wiebes and Kopecky. How it unfolded The elite women competed on a challenging route from Meppel to the to top of the Col du VAM for 131. 3km.
The course included one large 60km loop and five shorter circuits that included the Col du VAM. The Dutch team took the initiative to control the speeds at the front of the peloton in the opening kilometres despite several attacks coming from Sara Martin (Spain), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), and Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), but all were short-lived. A crash took down five riders with 80km to go, including Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark), Alice Barnes Becky Storrie (Great Britain), Miereia Benito (Spain) and Hafdis Sigurdardottir (Iceland).
As the race hit the first of five small circuits, Riejanne Markus (Netherlands) surged as her team controlled the front of the peloton. The move was countered by Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) and then Floortje Mackaij (Netherlands) and Jelena Eric (Serbia). A breakaway soon formed that included Elise Chabbey (Switzerland), Soraya Paladin (Italy) and Jelena Eric (Serbia).
The trio opened a gap of 38 seconds with 50km to go. The Dutch team moved their riders to the front of the field, holding the gap to the breakaway at a more manageable 11 seconds with 30km to go. However, the peloton caught the breakaway just ahead of the penultimate lap.
Elinor Barker (Great Britain) led the field into the Col du VAM, with the Dutch team taking over partway up. Kasia Neiwiadoma (Poland) surged over the top, but her efforts weren’t enough to open a gap or to split apart the reduced field. An eight-rider breakaway briefly emerged, but it was brought back with 20km to go as a flurry of attacks continued to split apart the front of the field.
Reusser attacked with 19km to go, followed by Demi Vollering, Lorena Wiebes, and Sara Martin (Spain). They were soon joined by Kopecky and Barbara Guarishi (Italy), and Barker and Christina Schewinberger (Austria). The move was quickly closed down as Vollering counter-attacked, but no one worked with the Tour de France champion or let her gain time.
Another group emerged off the front with Mackaij, Marta Jaskulska (Poland), Elena Checcini (Italy) and Franziska Koch (Germany), but it too was short-lived, caught as the field entered the base of the Col du Vam for the last lap. Reusser pushed the pace at the bottom of the ascent, quickly followed by Elisa Balsamo (Italy) and Pfeiffer Georgi (Great Britain), and the three riders gained a handful of seconds over the shattering peloton behind, led by Vollering. The breakaway was completely shut down over the top of the climb, and the field was reduced to roughly 16 riders.
Bredewold made her winning move with 10km to go, opening 20 seconds as the field lacked organisation in its chase behind. Norsgaard attacked twice in the final 6km and attempted to bridge to Bredewold while taking advantage of the cat-and-mouse game between Reusser and Vollering from the chase group. At one point, the three riders were chasing together, but Norsgaard pushed ahead as Vollering and Reusser watched one another and let her go.
As the field reached the bottom of the Co du VAM, it was clear the victory would go to Bredewold, and that they were racing for the minor places on the podium. Results Results powered by FirstCycling.