Annemiek van Vleuten became European road champion in Plouay on Thursday. The world champion defeated the Italian Elisa Longo Borghini after an exciting final in a sprint.
In the pouring rain in Plouay it took a long time before a leading group was formed. Only after more than 40 kilometers did Demi Vollering ignite the course with an attack. The Dutch got three riders with him, after which a little later a group including Chantal Blaak managed to join.
Because it remained restless in the thinned peloton, the ten riders strong leading group did not last long. With 30 kilometers to go, an attack by Annemiek van Vleuten, the Polish Katarzyna Niewiadoma and the Italian Elisa Longo Borghini was more successful. A moment later Blaak managed to connect on her own.
While Blaak was getting more and more difficult, Longo Borghini smelled her chance. The Italian jumped away and only got Van Vleuten with him. Moments later, the Italian also reacted attentively to an attack by the world champion.
Because Van Vleuten and Longo Borghini kept looking at each other, Blaak and Niewiadoma returned, only to drop out at a new acceleration at 2 kilometers from the finish. In a sprint, Van Vleuten eventually beat Longo Borghini.