Canada's Audrey Lemieux, attending her first world championships, finished a strong 7th today in the Junior women's 76.8 kilometre road. As expected, the finish came down to a field sprint, with the Dutch rider Suzanne de Goede holding off Claudia Stumpf (Germany) and Monica Holer (Sweden) for the title.
The 6 lap race featured a few breakaway attempts, but nothing could stick, as the Dutch and German teams kept on top the peloton to keep it together for their sprinters. Audrey Lemieux was particularly active, featuring in two attacks, as was the Belarussian Tatsiane Sharakova.
"I started with a few attacks, but it was hard on the climb because girls were attacking." explained Lemieux, a first year Junior from Alma, Quebec, who won the national time trial title in August and was third in the road race. "Our plan was to just be in the front, and cover things - be in the game.
At the finish I knew I would not be at the front after the last climb, so I tried to get to the front before the last (hairpin) corner. I'm not a sprinter, but I tried to pick a good wheel. I don't know who are the good sprinters, but I made my choice and I was still passing people until the line. It is better then I expected, for sure."
Genevieve Leblanc was the second Canadian finisher in 37th, 7 seconds behind the front group after getting caught behind slower riders on the last climb. "The last time I was there (in the front group), but I got squeezed by a Belgian rider and got caught in the second group when it split. I came back to the front (group), but I had no juice left after that."
Magalie Boulay finished 46th, 3:25 back, after dropping off the peloton on the 4th lap, and Julie Belanger did not finish after struggling in the early laps of the race and falling off the pace.
It is clear and sunny, but the wind is blowing steadily, keeping the temperature under 10 degrees celcius.