Ewers Rides to Top American Finish in Elite Women’s Road World Championships
September 25, 2022
Scott finishes in the Top-30 for the Junior Women.
September 24, 2022, WOLLONGONG, Australia /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Team USA took on the Junior and Elite Women’s Road Races on the sixth day of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia. Veronica Ewers (Moscow, Idaho; EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) and Samantha Scott (Boise, Idaho; Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24) were the top Americans in Elite and Junior Women’s races, respectively. Both riders rode into the top 30 of their races.
In the first elite road race of the World Championships, seven American women took to the starting line on a highly challenging World Championship course. The team consisted of Ewers, Kristen Faulkner (Homer, Alaska; Team BikeExchange-Jayco), Skylar Schneider (Milwaukee, Wis.; L39ion of Los Angeles), Leah Thomas (Santa Clara, Calif.; Trek-Segafredo), Heidi Franz (Seattle, Wash.; InstaFund Racing), Emma Langley (Richmond, Va.; EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank), and Lauren Stephens (Dallas; EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank). The women raced 164 km with a massive climb up Mt. Keira, then back into the Wollongong circuit to do six laps around the Wollongong city circuit. Several teams attacked the peloton before the major climb, but everyone was back together at 116 km to go. Julie Van de Velde (BEL), Elynor Backstedt (GBR), and Caroline Andersson (SWE) made an attack stick for the middle third of the race. However, Andersson eventually lost the pace, dooming the group. Several riders tried to make solo attacks, but nothing stuck.
With 30 km to go, the skies opened up, vastly changing the conditions on the Wollongong loop of the course. On the penultimate lap, a lead group of six had 20 seconds on the chase of 14 riders, which included Ewers. As the riders went up the last climb of the day, the chase closed the gap. But the harmony didn’t last. With eight kilometers to go, another break took off made up of Katarzyna Niewiadoma (POL), Elisa Longo Borgini (ITA), Cecilie Ludwig (DEN), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA), and Liane Lippert (GER).
The chase responded, looking strong, and with less than three kilometers to go, they looked like they might catch the leaders. Then, with only a kilometer to go, the groups came back together. The Dutch were the prominent team missing from any of the breaks in the day, but with the early attack, and no reaction from the rest of the riders, Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) jumped away with 600 meters left time trialing to the win.
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) – 4:24:25
2. Lotte Kopecky (BEL) – +1
3. Silivia Persico (ITA) – +1
23. Veronica Ewers (USA) – +13
38. Leah Thomas (USA) – +4:57
61. Kristen Faulkner (USA) – +12:07
75. Heidi Franz (USA) – +15:51
DNF. Skylar Schneider (USA)
DNF. Emma Langley (USA)
DNF. Lauren Stephens (USA)
Four women took the starting line of the 67 km race in Wollongong. Scott, Katherine Sarkisov (North Potomac, Md.; LUX Cycling Development Team), Chloe Patrick (Carson, Calif.; Serious Cycling), and Makala Jaramillo (Black Forest, Colo.; Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24). The race did four laps of the Wollongong city circuit, with the first climb up Mount Pleasant blowing up the peloton early.
Zoe Backstedt (GBR) attacked at 57 km to go and quickly increased her lead on the main group. Her move split the field into two groups, with the lead chase having 17 riders. Scott was the lone rider representing the red, white, and blue in the lead group. Patrick and Sarkisov were holding firm in the bunch about a minute back from Backstedt.
Backstedt kept her pace strong, and time trialed her way through the entire race, eventually winning, awarding her back-to-back world titles. After that, it was a sprint for the silver and bronze from the chase group. In the sprint, it was Eglantine Rayer (FRA) and Nienke Vinke (NED) leading the group, with Rayer taking the advantage. Scott was the top-placing American, finishing in the second bunch back, taking 26th.
1. Zoe Backstedt (GBR) – 1:47:05
2. Eglantine Rayer (FRA) – +2:07
3. Nienke Vinke (NED) – +2:07
26. Samantha Scott (USA) – +2:46
34. Chloe Patrick (USA) – +6:04
39. Katherine Sarkisov (USA) – +6:22
54. Makala Jaramillo (USA) – +8:38
The Elite Men will close out the World Championships with their 267 km road race. The team includes: Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.; EF Education-EasyPost), Magnus Sheffield (Pittsford, N.Y.; Ineos Grenadiers), Kyle Murphy (Washington, D.C.; Human Powered Health), Scott McGill (Fallston, Md.; Wildlife Generation), and Keegan Swenson (Park City Utah; Santa Cruz Bicycles).
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