In photos: highlights from the 2014 Road World Championships

by Matt de Neef

After a big week of racing in and around the town of Ponferrada in Spain’s north west, the 2014 Road World Championships have come to a close. From the team time trials last Sunday, through to the elite men’s road race yesterday, we’ve seen some great racing (some dull racing too), a handful of nasty crashes and, most importantly, a host of new world champions decked out in rainbow jerseys. Here’s a selection of photos that tells the story of the week that was.

The Ponferrada Worlds got underway last Sunday morning with the elite women’s team time trial. Since the discipline was reintroduced to the Worlds in 2012 — with trade teams instead of nationals teams that once contested it — Specialized-Lululemon has dominated, winning in Valkenberg and in Florence. The American-registered team was too strong again in this year’s race, winning comfortably ahead of Orica-AIS and Astana-BePink. Podium favourites Rabo-Liv crashed out of the race in dramatic fashion, with Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen both taken to hospital as a result.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep went into the men’s TTT as hot favourites having won the past two editions of the event as well. But on the day it was BMC that came out on top, ahead of Orica-GreenEdge, with third-placed OPQS among several teams to fall foul of bad weather during its run.

Day 2 of the Worlds belonged to Australia with green and gold on the top step of the podium in both the junior women’s ITT, courtesy of Macey Stewart, and the men’s U23, with new BMC signee Campbell Flakemore.

Lennard Kamna kicked off a great day for Germany on the third day of competition, taking out the junior men’s ITT, while compatriot Lisa Brennauer took out gold in the elite women’s ITT.

The following day Germany went into the elite men’s ITT with the big favourite Tony Martin, but Martin’s hopes of winning a fourth consecutive world title were foiled by a rampaging Bradley Wiggins, the Briton winning ahead of Martin and the Netherlands’ Tom Dumoulin.

Competition resumed on Friday after a rest day with the first of the road races. In the junior women’s road race Denmark’s Amalie Dideriksen won a second consecutive world title in a bunch sprint. Later in the day Sven Erik Bystrom (Norway) attacked on the final climb in the men’s U23 race to take gold.

On Saturday morning the junior men’s road race was won in a reduced bunch sprint by Germany’s Jonas Bokeloh. And in the afternoon, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot sprinted to victory from a reformed lead group after an elite four-rider group — Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson, Elisa Longo Borghini and Lizzie Armitstead — squandered their chance of victory.

And finally, in yesterday’s final race of the Worlds, Michal Kwiatkowski rewarded his hard-working Polish teammates by attacking on the last lap, bridging to the lead group, then riding away to a narrow solo victory in the elite men’s road race.

We hope you enjoy the following selection of photos from a great week of racing in Ponferrada.

Visit the UCI YouTube channel for video highlights from every event.

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