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Summary

  1. France's Pauline Ferrand Prevot wins gold in sprint finish
  2. Britain's Lizzie Armitstead comes seventh and misses out on a medal
  3. Defending champion Marianne Vos finishes 10th
  4. Lisa Brennauer of Germany wins silver and Emma Johansson of Sweden bronze
  5. More than a dozen riders fell in nasty crash on second lap
  6. Riders completed seven laps of 18.2km circuit (127.4km) in Ponferrada, Spain

Live Reporting

By Peter Scrivener

All times stated are UK

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Britain are riding for Ben Swift. He is a decent sprinter who likes a hill or two, which is good news, considering there will be 28 to negotiate before the finish in Ponferrada.

No doubt the Australian, Spanish, Italian, French, German and American riders will want to have their say, as well as Portugal's defending champion Rui Costa.

Thanks for reading today and I'll be back from 13:00 BST on Sunday when the BBC television coverage gets going. Be sure to join me.

And that folks is that. I'd echo Boardman's words. Lizzie Armitstead is unlucky to come away without a medal today. A terrific race though and I'll be back on Sunday for more of the same as the men do battle over the same course, albeit they will do double the distance.

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GB's 1994 world time trial champion

Chris Boardman: What a tactically excellent worlds road race by @L_Armitstead, did everything right. Sometimes it just isn't meant to be.

Result

1. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) 3:29:21"

2. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) ST

3. Emma Johansson (Swe)

4. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita)

5. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)

6. Shelley Olds (USA)

7. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB)

8. Linda Villumsen (NZ)

9. Hanna Solovey (Ukr)

10. Marianne Vos (Ned)

One other interesting point to note is that Vos finished 10th. It is the first time since winning the race in 2006 that the three-time world champion has finished outside the top two.

Rochelle Gilmore

Owner and manager of Wiggle Honda cycling team on BBC TV

"Lizzie couldn't have done anything differently. She did everything she could and she will be disappointed but she's had a fantastic season."

German sensation

In the middle of all that, a great finish from Germany's Lisa Brennauer who caps a stunning World Championships with a silver medal in the road race. Brennauer won the individual time trial in midweek and last Sunday's team time trial.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist and BBC Sport summariser

"I can understand her frustration but the race didn't pan out in her way."

Lizzie Armitstead on BBC Two: "I put all my eggs in one basket on the last climb. I got Bronzini's wheel but messed it up. The race was just too easy - that sounds ridiculous but it was.

"The rain was a good opportunity but it needed to be harder earlier in the race and everyone played the sprinter card.

"I've worked really hard and am in good shape but that's cycling. It was a negative race and I was like "come on let's go!" but no-one did. Maybe one day I will learn."

Armitstead looks devastated as she talks with BBC Sport's Jill Douglas. The British rider finished seventh. She positioned herself brilliantly throughout the race and it looked race over with four out front in the final kilometre but once they all started looking at each other, it opened the door for the chasing bunch.

Vos hit the front in the final 200m but Ferrand Prevot came out of her slipstream to take the title. Lisa Brennauer of Germany took second with Johansson third.

Ferrand Prevot was the woman Armitstead feared most and the French woman breaks down into tears as she finally realises she is the world champion. It was a photo finish on the line.

CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

Pauline Ferrand Prevot wins the world title.

There's a bit of cat and mouse with everyone looking over their shoulders and here comes Bronzini and it's suddenly a bigger sprint than anyone would have liked. Final 500m and where is Armitstead?

Just 2km remaining and it's a flat run-in to the finish. Borghini goes first and Vos responds. Armtistead happy to sit at the back of the quartet as they hit the final kilometre.

And Johansson steps on the pedals on the dry descent. She opens up a couple of bike lengths. Vos, with Armitstead following as they bomb into Ponferrada at 80km/h.

Four riders are clear. Armitstead, Vos, Borghini and Johansson. Four into three doesn't go though. Who will miss out on a medal? 3.5km to go.

Worrack goes again but Evelyn Stevens covers her move and takes off on her own. Vos and Armitstead continue to track each attempt to break clear.

Emma Johansson is the next to try her luck and break the field. Armitstead and Vos again cover and then Armitstead makes her move. 4.5km to go as they reach the summit.

Armitstead is third, with Vos tracking her every move. Shelley Olds, a sprint specialist, is in Vos's wheel. If the American can get a decent tow up this final hill she could well be in the mix. Bronzini is also still lurking.

Nobody is taking any chances on the descent. A crash here and your chances of winning are gone. The speed is a good 10km/h down on when the road was dry.

Just the final kilometre-long climb to Mirador and descent into Ponferrada to come. Who is going to make the move on the ascent? 6.5km from the finish.

The road is still greasy as they go over the top of Confederacion for the final time but thankfully the rain is staying away. The riders are strung out in a long line, with Armitstead in the front six as they hit the descent, with 8km remaining.

Another German attack and Chantal Blaak of the Dutch team has to cover, with Vos dropping back. Armitstead immediately gets on Blaak's wheel.

Worrack goes again, with Ellen van Dijk of the Dutch team. All these attacks are hurting the legs, trying to ride the finish out of the sprinters, but everyone is soon back together as they hit the 10km to go banner.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist and BBC Sport summariser

"Lizzie has been so well positioned all race and so patient, it's been incredible to see."

Attacks starting to come

The bike camera following the race has a couple of spots of moisture on the lens as they start the climb. Worrack makes a huge move. She is riding for German team-mate Claudia Lichtenberg. France's Pauline Ferrand Prevot shows her face for the first time.

But here goes America's Evelyn Stevens. She quickly opens up a lead of several bike lengths but she is considered too dangerous to let go and her move is countered by Vos.

That is good news for Armitstead who doesn't have to waste as much energy as she gets into the Dutch champion's wheel.

Leading quintet caught

The catch is made and we are all back together again. The roads are dry at the bottom of the climb to Confederacion but there is definitely rain in the air.

Armitstead takes a sip of juice as she follows German rider Trixi Worrack. The British rider did not panic when that break went away and she is once again superbly placed. Just 13km remaining but two climbs to get over.

In the peloton

This is not good news for Lizzie Armitstead. There are just 15km remaining and Australia's Neylan and Italy's Ratto are two of the riders in the break as they head to the castle for the final time.

But here comes the peloton, with the Americans leading the way. The five out front are going to be caught imminently.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist and BBC Sport summariser

"The only saving grace for Lizzie is that the Americans have missed this break and they will want to bring it back."

Final lap

I can hear the bell go to signify the start of the final lap and here we are, back in the action. Five riders have opened up a lead of a couple of seconds and the other 13 behind are looking at each other. Armitstead is not in this front quintet and she is going to have to do the work to close it down.

There is an Italian, Dutch, German and Australian rider in the break, so their team-mates in the group with Armitstead will not be bothered about chasing.

Vos has decided that it is time to put the hammer down and scampers away. My colleagues on the television decide it's time to move the coverage from BBC 1 to BBC 2 and I momentarily lose pictures...

Rossella Ratto takes up the pace in the peloton and Armitstead immediately jumps in her wheel as they catch Neylan as they go over the top of Mirador for the penultimate time. Marianne Vos goes with Armitstead and suddenly the leading bunch is down to 15 riders.

The descent is thankfully dry as they zip back into Ponferrada at speeds approaching 80km/h.

All of the riders are taking the descent cautiously. Nobody can afford to fall off at this stage of the race. Neylan leads by a handful of seconds and is continually looking over her shoulder as she starts the climb to Mirador.

Armitstead is out of her saddle at the front of the chasing bunch. New Zealand's Linda Villumsen, a five-time time trial medallist at the Worlds, is also having a decent race and is up near the front.

Australia's Rachel Neylan races clear of the peloton over the top of the climb and she is gingerly pedalling down the descent, feathering her brakes. Neylan negotiates the tricky right-hander over the dam at snail's pace, lets out a huge sigh of relief and then pushes on the pedals. There is just 25km remaining.

The rain might not be a bad thing for Armitstead. Who could forget that memorable finish in the road race at the London Olympics?

Britain's Anna Christian suddenly puts in a spurt on the ascent. Her move is covered and she falls back alongside Armitstead. Hannah Barnes is the next to have a go.

The British riders are trying to stretch and tire Armitstead's rivals. The riders are pedalling through a huge thunderstorm, with spray shooting up off tyres, giving everyone a soaking.

Here's a move from the British riders. That looks like Hannah Barnes who takes up the chase and quickly catches Powers and it is back to the status quo.

And here comes the rain.

In the peloton

A Dutch rider has been sent to the front of the peloton, which contains 60 riders, to help with the chase of Powers. Russia also have a rider to the fore and the peloton has the American well within their sights as they toil up to Confederacion.

There is a very dark cloud hovering over this section of the course.

Garner's gaffe

After retiring from the race Britain's Lucy Garner told BBC Sport: "I was only down once, it was a silly crash and I wasn't allowed to use the team cars to pace me back to the main bunch so I put in a big effort to get back to the main bunch and by the time I'd done that I was dead. I needed everything to go well and it didn't."

In the break

Powers hits the bottom of the climb to Confederacion and she has a lead of around a dozen seconds. It's certainly not a race-winning break at this stage but Powers is a time trial specialist and used to riding solo.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist and BBC Sport summariser

"She should be climbing a bit quicker because she's a bit lighter than when she started the race, having lost a bit of bark."

American Power

American Alison Powers has jumped clear of the peloton as they take a couple of right-angled corners through the centre of Ponferrada. Powers is immediately recognisable because she has half of her shorts missing and a nasty graze on her left buttock after being involved in that crash on lap two.

Two laps to go

Lizzie Armitstead is in conversation with British team-mate Annie Last as she crosses the start-finish line for the fifth time. Just two laps, or 36km remaining and Simon Brotherton on commentary reports that there is a rather nasty-looking rain cloud approaching the course. That could spice things up.