Levine, Belgium (AFP) – Elisa Balsamo beat favorite Marianne Voss at the end of the race, frustrating the great Dutch team and winning the world title in Saturday’s women’s road race.
After failing to win the Olympic title in Tokyo, the Dutch sent the strongest team possible down the rolling 157-kilometer (97.5-mile) track.
But despite their team’s impressive strength, disappointment was once again the dominant feeling for Voss and his Orange teammates after the race.
Elsamo, the 23-year-old Italian, had an excellent lead and started the race early with favorite Voss at the wheel. Foss, the three-time world champion, pushed hard to catch up with Balsamu but couldn’t match him in the final 50 meters.
Balsamo, who broke down in tears after crossing the goal line, said: “I’m completely speechless, it’s amazing. It was a dream for me after such a long season and my team has been so good. After the last turn, I just pulled the switch out of my brain and said “You have to gas me”.
Balsmo ended his four-year Dutch dominance in the event to give Italy their third world gold this year after Filippo Ganna won the men’s time trial and Filippo Baroncini took the title in the men’s under-23 road race.
Voss finished second, ahead of Poland’s Katarzyna Nyvyadoma.
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