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by Shane Stokes
September 23, 2017
Cosnefroy wins under 23 world road race championship; Pirrone adds junior road race title to time trial gold; Benfatto wins again at Tour of China II; Degenkolb hospitalized as health issues continue; Hammer series expands in 2018 with Hammer Stavanger; ‘Screw the naysayers’: Chloe Hosking ready to make an impact at Worlds; Deignan: I wanted to be on the startline to end the season on my own terms; Ride with Marianne Vos at the Holden Giro della Donna; Video: Riding a bike blind – Daniel Kish’s echolocation in action
Having already won the junior time trial earlier this week, Elena Pirrone took a rare double on Friday when she soloed to victory in the road race. The Italian rider made her move on the second-to-last lap, getting a gap on the descent off Salmon Hill, and was strong enough to hold off the chase.
She reached the finish 12 seconds ahead of Denmark’s Emma Cecilie Norsgaard Jorgensen and her own teammate Letizia Paternoster. “It’s incredible, amazing, I never dreamed of doing something like this,” she said. “Words fail me, I’m so happy.”
“Our pre-race tactic was to wait until about half way through and then toughen it up before starting the breaks with the last lap, so I was worried about whether I was taking too big a risk by attacking a little earlier. And in fact I felt terrible with about 10 kilometres to go, I got cramps. But my form was good, very good, I came through that, and I’m very pleased with what I’ve managed to achieve.”
The 76.4km race comprised four laps of the 19.1 kilometre circuit, and was run off in wet conditions. There were a number of attacks, with the crucial move by Pirrone going on lap three after an effort by Australian Madeleine Fasnacht was unsuccessful.
She powered on to the finish, with teammates Paternoster and Nicole D’Agostini helping to frustrate the chase behind. The former was then quick enough to nab bronze, ensuring two medals for the Italian squad and boosting morale ahead of the remaining events. Pirrone said that she will turn pro in 2018, and is hungry for more success. “My dream is to do on advancing there and some day end up as a World Champion in the elite category, too.”