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Elisa Balsamo became world champion on the road on Sunday.

The Italian beat Marianne Vos in Belgium in Leuven and Katarzyna Niewiadoma in Poland in the final sprint.

With the gold for 23-year-old Balsamo, a series of four years in which a Dutch woman always became world champion comes to an end.

Van der Breggen was the best last year and in 2018, in 2019 Van Vleuten conquered the rainbow jersey and in 2017 Chantal van den Broek-Blaak took the gold.

Van der Breggen ended her successful career in Belgium.

The 31-year-old rider rode in a servant role in her last race.

Vos narrowly missed her fourth world title.

The 34-year-old Brabant was the best in 2006, 2012 and 2013.

Anna van der Breggen (leading) rode the last race of her career.

Anna van der Breggen (leading) rode the last race of her career.

Photo: Getty

Spanish García ignites course

The battle for the world title led the rider over 157 kilometers over a hilly course from Antwerp to Leuven.

Despite several pin pricks, it took a long time before the race really got going.

Demi Vollering had to deal with a lot of material failure with about 70 kilometers to go, which cost her a lot of strength to get back in the front.

Ellen van Dijk, Van der Breggen and Vos, among others, drove offensively but did not get away.

At 23 kilometers from the finish, the race really ignited when Mavi García managed to make a gap.

A chasing group with seven Dutch riders only managed to catch up with the Spanish routine after 10 kilometers.

World Championship cycling results

  • 1. Elisa Balsamo (Ita)

  • 2. Marianne Vos (Ned) +0.00

  • 3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) +0.01

  • 4. Kata Vas (Hon) +0.01

  • 5. Arlenis Sierra (Cub) +0.01

  • 6. Alison Jackson (Can) +0.01

  • 7. Demi Vollering (Ned) +0.01

  • 8. Cecile Ludwi (Den) +0.01

  • 9. Lisa Brennauer (Germany) +0.01

  • 10. Coryn Rivera (US) +0.01

Vos narrowly beaten in sprint

Brand, Van Vleuten, Van Dijk and Vos then tried to drive away without success.

As a result, a group of about thirty riders in Leuven was allowed to sprint for the victory.

Italy seized the initiative with a sprint train of four riders.

Balsamo started the sprint in the lead with Vos in her wheel.

The Dutch came next to the Italian, who, however, turned out to have the longest breath.

For Balsamo, the world title is by far the greatest success in her early career. Last year she became European champion with the promises.

She has already won several medals as a track cyclist.