Lizzie Armitstead and Marianne Vos miss out on medals

Lizzie Armitstead denied in thrilling photo-finish

Britain's Lizzie Armitstead and defending champion Marianne Vos missed out on medals as France's Pauline Ferrand Prevot won gold in the women's road race at the World Championships.

Race was too easy - Armitstead

Armitstead was well placed going into the last 500m but came seventh as she was overtaken in the final sprint.

Vos was 10th - the first time since 2006 the Dutch cyclist has failed to either win the race or finish second.

Lisa Brennauer of Germany took silver and Sweden's Emma Johansson the bronze.

"The race was just too easy - that sounds ridiculous but it was," Armitstead told BBC Sport.

"It needed to be harder earlier in the race but everyone played the sprinter card.

"It was a negative race and I was like 'come on let's go!' but no-one did. Maybe one day I will learn."

GB medals at women's world road race
Gold - Beryl Burton (1960, 67); Mandy Jones (1982), Nicole Cooke (2008)
Silver - Beryl Burton (1962); Bernadette Swinnerton (1969); Nicole Cooke (2005)
Bronze - Mandy Jones (1980); Nicole Cooke (2003, 06)

Armitstead, who won this year's World Cup series, said prior to the race that she would be "disappointed to lose" and the Yorkshire-born rider produced a tactically astute ride, sheltering in the peloton for the majority of the race and covering attacks late on.

She kept herself towards the front of the race, minimising the risk of getting caught up in any crashes, which proved the right approach when a huge accident saw more than a dozen riders hit the ground on the second of seven 18.2km laps around Ponferrada in northern Spain.

The 25-year-old was ably supported throughout the race by team-mates Hannah Barnes and Anna Christian, who both attacked on the penultimate climb on the final lap to Confederacion in an effort to try and tire Armitstead's rivals.

Towards the top of the final ascent of Mirador, Armitstead went clear with Vos, Johansson and Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy.

Ferrand Prevot (left) won the title by the narrowest of margins from Brennauer (centre) and Johansson (right)
Ferrand Prevot (left) won the title by the narrowest of margins from Brennauer (centre) and Johansson (right)

The quartet maintained their advantage on the 2km descent into Ponferrada but began looking at each other, rather than working together in the final kilometre.

That allowed a group containing 22-year-old Ferrand Prevot, who had been anonymous for much of the race, to catch them 500m from the finish.

Vos led the sprint into the final 200m but Ferrand Prevot, Brennauer, who won individual and team time trial gold earlier in the week, and Johannson all raced by.

Ferrand Prevot, a team-mate of Vos in the Rabo Liv professional squad, said: "It's a beautiful day. I learnt a lot from Marianne these last three years. It's not a victory for her but I think she's also happy for me."


1. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) 3hrs 29mins 21secs

2. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Same time

3. Emma Johansson (Swe)

4. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita)

5. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)

6. Shelley Olds (US)

7. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB)

8. Linda Villumsen (NZ)

9. Hanna Solovey (Ukr)

10. Marianne Vos (Ned)

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